1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, Largest Local Union in the World, Endorses Michael Blake for DNC Vice Chair

February 9, 2017

THE BRONX, NY – Today, the Michael Blake for DNC Campaign announced that 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East has endorsed New York State Assembly Member Michael Blake in his campaign for DNC Vice Chair. The endorsement of 1199SEIU continues the support that Blake has from fellow labor leaders such as Local 372 AFL-CIO President Shaun D. Francois I., President of RWDSU Stuart Applebaum, as well as those of DNC Members such as the Honorable Mayor Kasim Reed, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 881 and UFCW International Vice President Steven Powell, Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl E. Heastie,  U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper and Vice Chair Rhine McLin, current Vice Chair R.T. Rybak and many other party leaders across the country. 

1199SEIU is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in the nation, with over 400,000 members throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. The members of 1199SEIU work in all areas of the healthcare industry, including nurses, lab workers, pharmacists, and technicians. 

“The Democratic Party needs leaders like Michael Blake who understand the importance of organizing to win real victories for working people. Assembly Member Blake has been a tireless advocate for progressive change in New York, fighting to provide quality paying jobs with benefits for all and standing with 1199 for strong contracts. He has marched and rallied with our members and would bring that same spirit to the Democratic National Committee as Vice Chair,” said George Gresham, 1199SEIU President. “Michael has stood side by side with me at several movement moments including the Women's March on Washington and the march from NY to D.C. organized by the Justice League. Our members have endorsed Michael Blake for DNC Vice Chair because he has proven over the years to fight for our values of quality healthcare, good jobs and social justice; We believe it is pivotal for the DNC to elect new leaders who can lead the effort to organize working people to support progressive candidates and to advance a bold platform of economic justice across the country.”  

1199SEIU represents over 220,000 nurses and healthcare workers in New York City, and over 400,000 total members along the East Coast, in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, pharmacies and home care programs. 

Assembly Member Michael Blake offered the following response to 1199SEIU’s endorsement.

“I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of 1199SEIU in my campaign for Vice Chair of the DNC. My father was a proud member of 1199SEIU for more than 26 years, and I am proud as an Assembly Member today to support the efforts of 1199SEIU to defend the Affordable Care Act and fight for better jobs for working New Yorkers. 1199SEIU and specifically President George Gresham were and continue to be leaders of the successful campaign to raise the minimum wage in New York, showing the nation that progressive victories are possible when we organize workers and rally our communities for change. Their work is a model for what I hope we can accomplish as a Democratic Party in the years ahead.”







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