We Care For Florida: Political Year In ReviewFebruary 12, 2020
A Message from Your Florida Political Coordinators
As we look back on 2019, we’re proud and excited by what 1199SEIU members accomplished when we got active and engaged. Standing together, we fought for what’s right for our families and our communities, delivering numerous electoral victories across the state. Please celebrate your accomplishments detailed in this newsletter and visit 1199SEIU.org/florida to read more about each of these victories and the leaders involved. Your dedication, collaboration and energy formed a potent force for good in 2019, and more importantly, built powerful momentum charging into the 2020 Florida Legislative Session and November presidential election.
Coy Jones & Jason Morales
1199SEIU Members Help Power Political Victories Across Florida!
Members of 1199SEIU played an important part in political victories in Orlando, Tampa Bay and South Florida. This included the Tampa mayor announcing a $15/hour minimum wage, and elections of other leaders who will serve working families. Our members in Orlando were especially proud to help elect political newcomer Bakari Burns to the Orlando City Commission. We helped elect the following SEIU Florida-endorsed candidates:
Orlando Mayor: Buddy Dyer
Orlando City Commission District 6: Bakari Burns
St. Petersburg City Council: Deborah Figgs-Sanders
and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman
Hialeah City Council: Monica Perez and Jesus Tundidor
Miami Beach City Commission: Ricky Arriola and David Richardson.
Member Political Organizers Angelette Harley and Kaydra Bonamy in Orlando, Lillie Roberson and Anne Mercie Blot in South Florida, and Woody Washington in St. Pete worked tirelessly to lead get-out-the-vote efforts and continue to play a crucial role in building our power and strengthening our communities.
Text MPO to 30644 if you’d like to become a leader in our 2020 Election Campaign!
Looking Ahead To 2020 Presidential Elections: Holding Politicians Accountable
Much of our political action in 2019 was to hold officials accountable – on the national, state and local levels – who push misguided policies regarding workers’ rights, healthcare, taxes, climate change, immigration and others that divide us. The momentum our members are building is critical to winning the 2020 presidential and other key elections. Florida again will be the most important and contested battleground state for the presidency. Every vote will be crucial to changing the direction of our country and electing leaders who strive to unite rather than divide. We need intelligent, honest and compassionate leaders who will serve the needs of working families and our communities. Our members have the power to make positive change if we stand together and make our voices heard by engaging in the political process.
Members Stand Against Tax Cuts Benefitting Billionaires & Big Business, Including HCA-affiliated Hospitals
1199SEIU member nurses and other healthcare employees at HCA-affiliated hospitals in Florida overwhelmingly rejected a proposal from the hospitals that would have cut employees’ existing benefits in exchange for new ones. HCA-affiliated hospitals proposed the cuts despite multi-billion-dollar profits and their announcement that they would invest the majority of a $500 million Trump tax windfall in new benefits.
“As a single income parent, my budget is very tight. Any additional out of pocket costs would take a toll on me, my family and my colleagues.” – Karen Wong, RN at JFK Medical North.
Healthcare Workers Take the Lead on Issues Defining the 2020 Election
Members of 1199SEIU took action across the state in 2019 on issues that significantly impact our hospitals, nursing homes and communities. Issues that are critical to the 2020 election: immigration, climate change, school and gun safety, worker and union rights, healthcare, affordable housing, fair wages and more. We stood united at the first Democratic presidential debate in Miami, the 1199SEIU MPO convening in Cocoa Beach, the Climate Strike, the Unions For All Summit in L.A. and many other events. Member leaders like Margalie Williams, who penned an op-ed on the need for affordable, quality healthcare published in one of the largest newspapers in the state, are leading the charge to lift up working people.
To protest thousands of unfair deportations, and family separations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), members protested outside of ICE offices in Miramar.
Members and families joined Climate Strikes in Florida to protect our communities and children.
At the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates,1199SEIU was on hand in Miami to emphasize the priorities of working people.
Unions For All Summit In Los Angeles
MPO Convening In Cocoa Beach
Protecting Our Seniors as Leaders in the Coalition for Silver Solutions
1199SEIU has taken a lead role in the Coalition for Silver Solutions in partnership with AARP Florida, the Florida Healthcare Association and Leading Age Florida to improve care for Florida seniors and their caregivers. Our efforts stopped state legislation in 2019 that would have cut CNA hours and wages. We also co-hosted an incredibly impactful Silver Summit on Long-Term Care to develop solutions with family caregivers, community partners and government leaders. 1199SEIU MPO and CNA Sophia Colley, backed by dozens of her colleagues from across the state in the audience, shined on stage sharing her story as a caregiver and the need for better funding and an improved continuum of care.
2020 Florida Legislative Session Priorities
1199SEIU members, leaders and partners are working together in Tallahassee to advocate for working families, our patients and our communities on the following issues:
• Protect and expand the right for all to have a union
• Raise the minimum wage so it works for everyone, with paid leave
• Increase access to quality, affordable health care
• Fully fund public education
• Protect the ability for local decisions to be made locally
• Welcome all to Florida and protect immigrant families from hateful legislation
• Ensure affordable housing for all Floridians
We must keep working and fighting each day to create a better future for our members and Florida’s working families. The 2020 elections are fast-approaching and will have a dramatic and long-lasting impact on our state, nation and lives. We have the power to build a better future by taking action.
Text FLORIDA to 30644 to get informed and involved!
Political Coordinator – Central Florida
Political Coordinator – South Florida