Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Published 12:31 AM Eastern - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tyler Prell

Tonight is a Victory for Working People Everywhere

SEIU's Henry: "By re-electing President Barack Obama tonight, working people voted for a country with a vibrant middle class fueled by good jobs and where everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream. Voters rejected the notion that the rich should be allowed to run roughshod over our economy with shameful tax breaks and let off the hook by not investing in America."

CHICAGO, IL - Mary Kay Henry, President of the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) released the following statement after the re-election of President Barack Obama tonight:

"By re-electing President Barack Obama tonight to lead our country, working people voted for a vibrant middle class fueled by good jobs, where everyone has a fair shot at the American Dream. Voters rejected the notion that the rich should be allowed to run roughshod over our economy with shameful tax breaks and let off the hook by not investing in America. In states like New Hampshire, Ohio and Nevada working people rejected Mitt Romney's 'you're on your own' vision and embraced a country where our deeds are guided by the core American value that 'we're all in this together."

"President Barack Obama's re-election tonight is a victory for working people, whose voices were heard despite some of the most coordinated and insidious obstacles to their participation in our democracy in history. When the right wing flooded our electoral process with obscene amounts of money, working people mobilized to energize voters around a better vision for America. When extremist state legislators tried to suppress the votes of broad swaths of Americans, working people responded by standing up for their constitutional right to cast their votes. When Mitt Romney and the Republican Party sought to dismiss entire communities, voters in states like Nevada responded loud and clear: 'Ignore us at your own peril.'

"Our union, including the more than 100,000 SEIU members who were on the ground during this campaign, made history as we stood with President Barack Obama - the most volunteers in SEIU history, knocking on millions of doors and making millions of phone calls to talk about the critically important issues at stake. We are also incredibly proud of our early and sustained work in the Latino and African American communities, which was ultimately critical in tonight's outcome.

"Together, we were galvanized by our belief that President Obama is the leader we need to help get our country on track by creating good jobs now, requiring the rich and corporations to pay their fair share, to invest in healthcare, education and other vital services and by creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.

"Our hard work paid off - but it's not over. We will stay in the streets until our agenda for working people is a reality."


With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.

Gerry Hudson: African Americans Showed up for Obama Because His Vision Represents Better Days for Us All

Published 4:03 PM Eastern - Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Contact: Jenice R. Robinson

(Washington, D.C.) Most of ballots are tallied, and it's clear that the black community voted this year at the same or greater levels than they did four years ago. African Americans showed up at the polls in spite of dire predictions from pollsters and pundits that they would represent a smaller share of the electorate and in the face of a coordinated, rightwing effort to suppress voter turnout in communities of color. Following is a statement from Gerry Hudson, SEIU International Executive Vice President, regarding President Obama's victory and the African American vote.

"Tuesday was an incredible victory for the whole nation. Yes, President Obama needed African Americans to show up for him at the polls--just as he needed Latinos, women, whites and everyone who believes in the shared American value that if you work hard, you should be able to get ahead. Together, we voted for a vision of America that will live up to its promise that we are all in this together and rebuffed the idea that the government should only work for the elite few.

"African Americans overcame a coordinated effort to suppress black voter turnout in the form of restrictive voter ID laws and a Tea Party propaganda machine designed to intimidate voters at the polls. We took on these challenges and hurdles to make it clear to politicians across the political spectrum that our voices and our votes matter. We will not allow efforts to suppress our votes to prevail over our will to exercise our right to participate in this great democracy. We showed up at the polls, we stood in line for hours if we had to, and in some states we exceeded our turnout in 2008. The black community not only helped put President Obama over the finish line, we made a collective statement that we cannot be silenced.

"We turned out to vote because we know the future of our community is at stake. Mitt Romney and his allies represented a divisive vision of this country that doesn't embrace the wonderful diversity that enriches us all. From his false comments about President Obama and welfare to his dismissal of 47 percent as feeling "entitled," to his declaration that hardworking immigrants should "self deport," Mitt Romney made clear that he was the candidate for an elite, homogeneous America that has never existed.

"The America that does exist is full of diverse opinions and ideals but also recognizes we are all in this together and that everyone who plays by the rules and works hard should be able to get ahead. African Americans and a broad coalition of others voted on this vision. Now that the election is behind us, policy makers in Washington need to heed the will of the people and focus on getting this country on track."