Statement from George Gresham, President 1199SEIU Regarding Jack Martins’ Fearmongering

November 1, 2017

1199SEIU denounces the actions of Jack Martins, candidate for Nassau County Executive, who is standing by a divisive and hateful campaign strategy designed to provoke fear and falsely link protections for immigrants with violent crime. An abhorrent campaign mailer, paid for by the New York Republican State Committee, depicts dark-skinned men covered in tattoos as MS-13 gang members, and suggests that Martins’ opponent, Laura Curran welcomes violent and criminal activity in the community.

While attempting to defend the photo, which intentionally stokes racial divides and fears, Martins labeled our healthcare workers union, 1199SEIU, “radical,” along with other groups who oppose the President’s punitive immigration policies, which deny basic human rights and do nothing to address real immigration reform.

At the heart of 1199’s core values is a commitment to ensuring that all people are treated fairly and with respect. As a union rooted in diversity and tolerance, we recognize the many economic and social contributions of immigrants, and the role immigrants play in making our nation great. It is alarming that Jack Martins is contributing to the wave of hatred and intolerance that has been unleashed across our country, by distorting the issues of dignity and human rights and raising unfounded fears of violent crime. Now more than ever, 1199SEIU members will stand united against racism, intolerance and hate in all its forms.

- George Gresham, President
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East