Path to Endorsement

Pushing Every Candidate to Embrace Unions for All

SEIU members have organized and made our voices heard from the very beginning of this presidential election to put the issues that matter to our families front and center–and we’ve made a real difference. We worked hard to make sure every candidate heard from us and, in turn, that every SEIU member had the chance to hear from the candidates.

Together, we changed the debate by pushing all the candidates on their plans to address our issues, including:

    Making it easier for all working people to form unions and raise wages;
    Ensuring that our nation treats immigrant families fairly, humanely, and in a manner that allows them to thrive, which benefits us all;
    Addressing racial inequality in our society head-on, including full voter access for all, so every American of every color and background can realize their hopes and dreams;
    Combating climate change in a way that protects our planet and raises standards for working people;
    Making quality, affordable healthcare accessible to all;
    Ensuring that everyone can retire with dignity.

Members in Action

    We showed up outside of debates and at candidates’ events to ask questions and push for concrete solutions.
    We held debate watch parties to engage our fellow members, families, and friends on the issues at stake for our community.
    We came together at our Unions for All Summit where we challenged all the candidates to address specific questions on our issues and present their plans.
    We sent millions of text messages, registering people to vote and engaging fellow members in the process.
    SEIU members voiced our opinions about our priority issues and the candidates in the race.
    We hosted candidates in our communities, inviting them to meet with members at our Locals, to join us on strike lines, and to literally Walk a Day in Our Shoes.

Endorsement Process

SEIU members make presidential endorsement decisions through our International Executive Board, a group of elected leaders from SEIU locals who take stock of the views of SEIU members through surveys and member convenings, as well as the exhaustive work members have done across the country pressing candidates on our issues. As a result of this process, our union decided to endorse Joe Biden, who served as Vice President under President Obama from 2008-2016. Previously, he served as U.S. Senator from Delaware for 36 years.

Vice President Biden has always spoken up about the issues that working people deal with every day. During his time as Vice President, the administration held federal contractors accountable, enabled more people to get the overtime they were entitled to and—most importantly—passed the Affordable Care Act. Vice President Biden has proposed expanding access to healthcare by building on the Affordable Care Act and creating a federal public option that would coexist with employer-sponsored and other private insurance.

He supports a $15 minimum wage and free 4-year public college for all Americans. He introduced the Senate’s first climate change bill in 1986 and has recently called climate change the “greatest threat to our national security.” He supported tax credits for renewable energy and strong emissions reduction regulations under the Obama administration. He has spoken out movingly against the hateful immigration policies of the current administration, and pledged not only to undo the damage but to go further and set our nation on a new course. That includes an unprecedented agenda of urgently needed improvements during his first 100 days in office.

In 2007, then Senator Biden walked a day in the shoes of an SEIU member who worked as a custodial engineer in an Iowa public school. Biden got to experience what it was like to do this job and how being a union member has made a difference.

Vice President Biden joined SEIU members in October 2019 at our Unions for All Summit, where he answered questions about some of the issues most important to us and our families. Tseganesh Endegeshet, who works at the Denver airport, asked Biden how he would ensure that the millions of working people who want to improve their jobs and their lives can get the union they want.

Rhonda Miller, a school bus driver from Florida, shared how racism had affected her life–and even some of her earliest memories as a child growing up in the South–and asked how Vice President Biden would address the way racism and our economy are intertwined. Vivian Denistan, a homecare provider in California who cares for her adult daughter, asked Biden how he would address the urgent need to provide solutions for quality long-term care–something everyone in our country, or someone dear to them, will depend upon one day.