The 2020 General Election brought major wins for SEIU 503 members. After a prolonged effort to count every vote, the presidential race was called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Saturday, November 7th, 4 days after the election. Electing a pro-worker President will have a profound impact on SEIU 503 members. We’ll go from a National Labor Relations Board that has actively worked to undermine workers’ rights to a Biden NLRB that will no longer put the interests of bosses first. More immediately, as over 90% of our members prepare to bargain next year, we will have an administration that will center our nation’s economic recovery on essential services and the people who provide them. Federal aid will help stabilize state budgets, including here in Oregon as our new contracts are negotiated. This is a monumental win for our members when it matters most.
Here in Oregon, we also saw significant victories for working families. Electing Shemia Fagan as our next Secretary of State protects the integrity of Oregon’s election system amid increasing attacks on our democracy. Secretary of State Fagan will also use audits to improve working conditions and identify the resources and improvements necessary to do our jobs better.
This election had many tight races, including several that are still too close to call. One of our own SEIU 503 members, homecare leader Deb Patterson, is maintaining a small, but stable lead to join the Oregon Senate and represent Salem. We also saw the reelection of union champions like Representatives Rachel Prusak and Paul Evans, and the addition of pro-worker candidates like Khanh Pham, Wlnsvey Campos, and Ricki Ruiz in the Oregon Legislature will make sure working families across our state have a voice in difficult decision making as we face budget shortfalls.
SEIU 503 members drive our political program and it’s our hard work and volunteer effort that contributed to these wins. This election, we called over 300,000 Oregon voters, texted nearly 11,000 more, and brought campaign literature to more than 16,800 homes. We were also part of a national campaign run by SEIU members across the country that made 39 million calls, 80 million texts and 2 million house visits to help essential workers vote in record numbers. We’d like to thank our members and staff who helped lead many of these campaigns to victory.