Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SEIU Slams Becky Wagner

Four members of SEIU Local 500's endorsement committee have issued the following response to Council At-Large candidate Becky Wagner's mass email on the union's endorsement decision. Hide the children, folks!

Ms. Wagner,

As members of the SEIU Local 500 Committee on Political Empowerment, we were both surprised and disappointed by your public assault on the integrity of our endorsement process. You were wrong on your assumptions about our reasoning, and clearly out of touch in your assertion that you understand the interests of working people.

Those of us who serve on this committee do so on a volunteer basis and we take our responsibilities very seriously. We bring decades of experience and knowledge about our members and the issues that matter to them. We do some of the most thankless, underappreciated work there is. Among other things, we cook food for children, mop floors and scrub toilets in school buildings, care for those with developmental disabilities and provide a safe environment to some of the most at risk children in this state.

For the better than four decades our union has existed, we have struggled for appreciation for the work we do, and respect for who we are. When recommending candidates to our members, we strive to support those candidates who reflect that vision and are committed to being strong advocates on our behalf.

We understand your disappointment in not receiving our endorsement. In announcing our decision to support candidates other than you, we didn’t utter a single word of disrespect for who you are or criticism for any of the positions you’ve taken. Yet, you choose to single us out for public ridicule.

Can you name another organization that chose not to endorse you that you’ve done this to, besides us?

Your statement was condescending and disrespectful to our membership. We expected better from someone who professed to be an advocate for working people – someone who claimed to be different but, in the end, apparently was no different at all.


Mary Belin, Union member for 45 years
Henrietta Jenkins, Union member for 19 years
Ruth Musicante, Union member for 15 years
Terezia Foote, Union member for 8 years