For the past six years, Marie Mattioli has worked as a CNA at CVPH Medical Center off of Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, NY. This election season, she and her daughter Paedyn, 15, have been working the phone banks for North Country political candidates Janet Duprey and Bill Owens. Janet is a Republican running for State Assembly in District 115, and Bill is the incumbent Democratic Congressman for District 21. Both candidates are endorsed by 1199SEIU.
Paedyn wants to be a lawyer someday, so she joins her mother in campaigning for the rights of healthcare workers. About two years ago, Marie became an 1199 Delegate and since then she has gotten quiet an education, she says. “Before I became a Union Delegate, I didn’t know much about the political process. Now I know how important it is to get involved. And that is why I make calls for Bill and Janet. So I can learn more, and bring that information back to the shop.” The more she learns the more she wants to get involved, and she has learned that unions and political action go hand in hand.
On September 13, Duprey won State Assembly District 115’s Republican Primary with 48 percent of the vote in a three-way race. She was aided by Marie and Paedyn who made calls for her that week. Marie says, “She’s a Republican and she believes what we believe. She’s for the schools and healthcare.” Janet has meet with our Union on several occasions, going out of her way to have face-to-face visits with our members.
The Republican Assemblywoman from Plattsburgh doesn’t follow the stereotypical party lines. She voted for marriage equality and GENDA (anti-discrimination against transgendered people), and is pro-choice, and pro-union. Although she was disappointed in the low voter turnout for this primary (about 10-15 percent), she was grateful to have the support of our union.
“My father was a proud IBEW member, so I grew up with union ideas and beliefs,” Duprey told 1199 members. “I am committed to assisting labor unions maintain their bargaining rights and to support equitable pay raises and benefits.”
Marie goes out of her way to volunteer for Political Action because she cares about the future of healthcare, but she also enjoys making the calls and talking to voters. She says, “I think we need everybody on board for healthcare. Medicare and Medicaid need to be protected, because whether you are a Democrat or a Republican we are all getting older. We need these things, and that is why I will vote for Janet and Bill.”