November 26, 2019

Angelette Harley, LTC Cook 601 height.jpgAngelette Harley uses her powerful voice in more ways than one.  A star member of the Purple Voices union choir, she recently became an member political organizer (MPO) to help elect candidates who will best serve working families in Central Florida.

Currently in the middle of her first local election cycle as an MPO, Angelette has quickly impressed everyone around her as a fast learner, hard worker and strong, inspiring leader.

“Angelette has a gift to make herself heard, and she’s using that uplifting power for good,” said Sophia Colley, a Purple Voices choir-mate and Angelette’s co-worker at Titusville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.  Angelette serves as an 1199SEIU delegate at the facility leading and organizing her co-workers to have a voice on the job.

Coy Jones, political coordinator for 1199SEIU Florida, points to Angelette’s attention to detail, strong work ethic, and willingness to learn and take on complicated assignments.

“Angelette has been awesome this first time out,” Jones says.  “We’re excited about her future as an organizer and leader.”

Angelette has been immediately successful in get-out-the-vote efforts in Central Florida, especially for another newcomer to politics.  She has led frequent canvassing and phone banks for Bakari Burns, the candidate SEIU Florida members have endorsed for Orlando City Commission District 6.  

Although it was his very first campaign for public office, Burns topped all other candidates with 46% of the vote in the November elections.  That race will continue with a critical runoff on December 3.

“The runoff will mean knocking on thousands of more doors and making hours and hours of calls, but it all will be worth it to elect a leader who will serve the people,” says Angelette.  “Bakari Burns might be new to politics, but he has dedicated his career to helping his community, in particular the people who need it most.”

Burns grew up in District 6 and has successfully developed Orange Blossom Family Health to deliver quality, affordable health services to the area.  His campaign has focused on affordable housing, good paying jobs, improved public transportation and infrastructure for the people of the district.

Angelette also was a key 1199SEIU team member in the successful campaign to re-elect Buddy Dyer as Orlando’s mayor this past month.

She first joined 1199SEIU in 2015 as a dietary worker, bringing with her several years of management experience and expertise on laws and regulations from the food service industry.  She quickly became a delegate and helped her bargaining unit win numerous workplace benefits.  In recent years, she and other union members have worked together to improve scheduling, staffing and disciplinary process issues at the facility, as well as winning better wages and enhanced health, dental and retirement plans.

“We need to stand together and fight for what’s right,” Angelette says.  “Hard workers should be able to provide for their families and have the opportunity for a fair, secure lifestyle,” says Angelette.

These are the very needs and rights that make participating in the political process so important, too.

Angelette urges fellow 1199SEIU members to vote in every election because they all have consequences for our communities.  She says the upcoming 2020 national elections are of dire importance to turn back four years of terrible policies that have damaged our cities, state and nation.  These include attacks on healthcare, the environment, immigrants, women’s and minority rights; ignoring working people and common decency while doling out favors and massive tax cuts to the very rich; and a long list of other mistakes and injustices.

“Florida will be the difference-maker in the 2020 elections,” says Angelette.  “So every vote is vital in determining the quality of our lives now and our children’s future.”