Presidential Candidate Selection Process Finalized

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 has finalized the selection process for its endorsement criteria for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. A work group of 10 union members from all political persuasions designed a series of questions that will be asked of candidates seeking the State Employees’ Association’s endorsement. 

“In the presidential candidate selection process, we worked with SEA members from conservatives, centrists, and left-leaning union members,” said SEA board member Germano Martins, who chaired the work group that drafted the questions. “Make no mistake: this is not about political parties or agendas. This is all about supporting labor and working family values, pure and simple.” 

The questions are designed to gauge which candidate support a worker’s right to join a union, access to quality affordable healthcare, and protections for a wide range of national issues including climate change, Dreamers, and the overturn of Citizens United. 

The SEA is also endorsing the SEIU’s 2020 “Unions for All” platform, in which the opportunity for anyone to join a union regardless of workplace is a central premise to unrigging the nation’s economic system and improving workplace conditions. 

NOTICE to members: These questions were sent to the major candidates. If you would like to download these question in pdf format, click here.We encourage members to attend candidates’ events and ask these questions.

Approved Questions for Presidential Candidates

  1. Because it is well known that joining a union is the best way known to raise wages to a living wage, improve working conditions, and create family-sustaining jobs, every working American must have the right to do so. As President, what would you do to address the forces responsible for the Janus decision?
  2. How will you ensure that every American can access affordable healthcare and long-term care as we continue on our path to universal healthcare?
  3. Do you support a national single-payer healthcare plan? And if so, when did you first make that publicly clear? If not, please tell us what you support and why.
  4. If you are elected, when will you begin to address the inequities that all working people including communities of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities— face in their employment and to address reverse multi-generational poverty, exploitation, low wages, and unsafe working conditions, which the most vulnerable among us face?
  5. Specifically concerning immigrants, what relief can we expect you to extend to those who hold temporary protected status, what protection to the Dreamers and what clear path forward can we expect from your administration on this issue. How would you make the United States a welcoming nation to immigrants again? 
  6. Do you support $15.00 minimum wage, and an opportunity to join a union? If so, when did you first make that clear publicly? And if not, what is your vision of what is a living wage?
  7. Climate change is a real and present danger to all of us and the powerful corporations are not being held responsible for the rampant pollution that contributes to it. As President, how would you hold these corporations responsible? Would you agree to work with other nations toward this goal? 
  8. Do you believe the United States can free itself from the horrible Citizens United decision, and if so, do you have a plan that would hold corporations at bay and elevate the one-person one-vote doctrine for fair elections?
  9. Could you please give us a specific example on your labor-related activities, such as previous membership; or, if you have previously a mayor, governor, etc. talk about your contract negotiations and support of unions; if you have been in Congress or Legislatures, please talk about specific votes and bills you sponsored. 
  10. If you are elected President of the United States, what would your policy goals be for the first 100 days and what leadership style would you bring to the position to accomplish it? 

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