1199SEIU Florida Member Leaders Get Out the Vote for the Nov. 5 Local ElectionsNovember 2, 2019
There might not be a presidential or gubernatorial race on the ballot on November 5, but 1199SEIU Florida members are excited and working hard to spread the word about important municipal races in Miami, Orlando and St. Petersburg. A dedicated team of member political organizers, or MPOs, have been making phone calls and knocking on thousands of doors.
“Local elections matter because local issues impact us directly,” said Kaydra Bonamy, an MPO in Orlando. “From affordable healthcare to a $15 minimum wage, our endorsed candidates support policies that will improve the lives of working people.”
1199SEIU Florida members have endorsed two candidates in the Orlando elections: Bakari Burns for Orlando Commissioner District 6 and the reelection of Buddy Dyer for Orlando Mayor. Burns has dedicated his career to bringing affordable health centers to the community. Dyer helped usher in a new $15 minimum wage for city employees. Bonamy has been working with volunteers from FPSU, a sister SEIU Local representing public service employees and Organize Florida, a nonprofit member organization empowering local residents to stand up for their community. Together, they have been hitting the streets to drum up support for these candidates because they both stand with working people.
In Miami, the race to watch is the Commissioner District 1 election. Members have endorsed Eleazar Melendez, a dedicated public servant who previously served as Chief of Staff for Miami Commissioner Ken Russell. He was also the Political Director of the Florida Democratic Party in Miami. Two MPOs have been working to get out the vote for this race; Anne Mercie Blot and Lillie Roberson.
“Low pay, high rent and inadequate public transportation, these issues are critically important to me and other hardworking Miamians,” said CNA Anne Mercie Blot. “We need to vote for candidates who will address these concerns and help our community thrive.”
“I live and work in Miami and raised my family here,” said Lillie Roberson, a unit secretary. “I want to see my community prosper and have opportunities for all residents, not just the wealthy. Voting is the best way to make sure workers’ voices are heard.”
That’s the message MPO Woody Washington has been sharing with voters in St. Petersburg. He’s been encouraging people to get to the polls and support Deborah Figgs-Sanders for St. Petersburg City Council District 5 and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman for St. Petersburg City Council District 7. Both candidates are community leaders who believe in good jobs, affordable healthcare and unions for all.
“I care about our community,” explained Woody Washington, a dietary worker and longtime resident of St. Petersburg. “That’s why I am helping to get out the vote for our endorsed candidates because they will fight with us for equal rights, good jobs and policies that uplift working families so we can give our children and grandchildren a bright future.”
Early voting wraps up Sunday, November 3 in Orlando and Miami before Election Day on Tuesday, November 5. There’s no early voting in St. Petersburg so voters there will head to the polls on Election Day, November 5.