Making a DifferenceJanuary 4, 2023
People power proved the pundits wrong in the Midterm elections.
As the country went into the midterm elections on November 8, the GOP was crowing about an expected “red wave” – counting on voters’ fears around crime and inflation to carry them through. But they weren’t accounting for the power of the Weekend Warriors of the purple army. In New York State, once Governor Hochul had proven herself by bringing in higher wages for home care members; expanding the $3,000 pandemic bonus program and increasing funding the safety net hospitals, 1199ers knew she deserved their support to become a full-term governor.
Mounting a crucial push to get out the vote, the Union enabled 500 members to be released from their jobs in order to distribute half a million flyers throughout NYC and Long Island in the final days of the election.
They also made 60,000 calls to members reminding them to vote, as well as 33,380 text messages being sent.
In the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, John Fetterman won his US Senate race and Josh Shapiro was elected Governor with members’ help knocking on doors and talking to voters. In the 1199 states of Massachusetts and Maryland, local members helped lift Maura Healy and Wes Moore into their respective governor’s mansions. Moore will be the first Black governor of Maryland and the third elected nationwide; Healy is the first lesbian elected governor nationally, while Hochul is the first woman elected governor in New York.
And after helping to keep the US Senate blue in Pennsylvania, 1199ers didn’t stop there. Officers and members travelled down to Georgia to meet up with retirees and make sure that Senator Raphael Warnock was able to beat back his runoff challenge on December 6 and give the Democrats an outright majority.
Across the country, the labor movement was instrumental in making sure that every single election denier running to oversee state elections was defeated. This is vital to shoring up our democracy as we move into the 2024 presidential elections cycle.