Statement of SEIU President Mary Kay Henry

2014 Midterm Election Key Takeaways for Working Families

November 5, 2014
Despite a tough night with many close races, a key takeaway from Election Day is the progress made toward raising wages for working families for an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few.
Raising the minimum wage was a winning issue yesterday in red, blue, and purple states.
In deeply conservative states like Nebraska and South Dakota, the economy isn’t working for working people and the message from voters was clear: we’ve got to increase wages.
In San Francisco, where workers will get to $15 an hour a year ahead of Seattle, we saw incredible momentum built from the Fight for $15, where workers have had the courage to come out and call for wages they can raise a family on without having to cobble together 2-3 jobs and still live on the brink.
Working families issues also prevailed in Oakland with the increase in the wage to $12.25 and earned sick time, which also passed in Massachusetts.
The minimum-wage results and wins in Governors’ races in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Connecticut show that working families want action on higher wages.
I spent yesterday in Pennsylvania, where folks were so excited to get out and volunteer for Tom Wolf, who made it crystal clear from the very beginning the sharp contrast with Gov. Corbett on wages, healthcare, and education.
We need more champions like Tom Wolf, Mark Dayton and Dan Malloy. They won because of their leadership on the issues that families care about: higher wages, good jobs, better schools, and affordable healthcare. Full-throated champions of those issues can and will win.
The Fight for $15’s momentum continued even on a tough night like last night because of the boldness of the fast food workers, home care workers, Walmart workers and others. Their courage to stand up for a living wage is helping the nation understand that if you work hard for a living, you ought to be able to work one job and live a decent life.
The wins in Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Connecticut and in the minimum wage initiatives show that there is a clear path forward for working people. Working people will keep fighting for higher wages and good jobs at the ballot box, in the workplace, in our communities and on the streets.

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