Members hold endorsement interviews in Salinas

Salinas — More than 100 SEIU members from three different locals (Local 521, ULTCW, and Local 1000) gathered on Feb. 2 in Salinas to make our State Assembly and State Senate endorsement recommendations to SEIU State Council.

SEIU members had the opportunity to ask candidates questions that helped members determine whom SEIU would support in the 2012 elections.

The candidates who participated were:

Mark Stone, Santa Cruz County Supervisor, for Assembly District 29

Luis Alejo, current State Assembly Member, for Assembly District 30

Bill Monning, current Assembly Member, for Senate District 17

All three candidates won SEIU endorsement on Thursday.

Veronica Rodriguez“I was extremely impressed with the large turnout we had to interview these candidates. We had great questions and some very good answers that go to the heart of the three candidates’ beliefs.”  
— Victoria Rodriguez (Pictured on the right.)
SEIU 521 member
Senior Receptionist in the Health Services Agency of Santa Cruz County

Victoria’s question of the candidates was whether they would support legislation that would create manageable caseloads for social workers across California. The candidates all affirmed their support for the legislation.

Luis Alejo“It is an honor to meet with the dedicated members of SEIU and to continue working together to improve the lives of our families.”
— Luis Alejo (Pictured on the left.)

SEIU’s endorsement carries a lot of weight.

Once endorsed, candidates can count on the full force of SEIU California’s 700,000 members to provide support to their campaigns. 

What’s next?

Once SEIU State Council’s Executive Board makes its official endorsements, the real work begins. April and May will be the peak time for all of us to get out, knock on doors and make phone calls to support our chosen candidates.

Ways to participate include:

1) Volunteer for a 2.5 hour phone banking shift at the union hall. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s how we win for our members.

2) Volunteer for a Saturday precinct walk. This is where we get to talk to voters at their front doors. Short of being visited by the candidates themselves, a union member at the door is the most effective way to get out the votes.

3) Register to vote. If you are not yet registered or you recently moved, changed your name (ladies), or haven’t voted for a long time you need to re-register to vote.

We are 700,000 members strong, but we can only make a difference if we get our friends, families, and neighbors out to vote and if we get out to vote ourselves.

If you want to get involved, contact your union representative, steward, or chapter officers. If you don’t know whom to contact, please call either our Santa Cruz office at (831) 824-9255 or our Salinas office at (831) 784-2560.

Background on the races 

Assembly District 29: AD 29 is the number for the redrawn 27th Assembly District. It includes most of Santa Cruz County, Northern Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula. Seat is being vacated by Bill Monning.
Recommendation: Endorse Mark Stone for the 29th State Assembly District

Assembly District 30: AD 30 is the number for the redrawn 28th Assembly District. It includes the city of Watsonville, All of Monterey County South and east of the Monterey Peninsula, Southern Santa Clara County and San Benito County. Luis Alejo is the incumbent Assembly Member in the district.
Recommendation: Endorse Luis Alejo for the 30th State Assembly District

Senate District 17: SD 17 is the number for the redrawn 15th Senate District. The district includes all of Santa Cruz County, Southern Santa Clara County, San Luis Obispo County, and all of Monterey County except the Salinas Valley. Sam Blakeslee, who has declined to run for the seat again, currently represents this district. SEIU endorsed Blakeslee’s opponent in the last election.
Recommendation: Endorse Bill Monning for the 17th State Senate District

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