SEIU Nears Endorsement
Five Democrats address 1,500 of the union's most politically active members
at its Member Political Action Conference (MPAC)-- September 17, 2007 ...Next >
September 17, 2007--Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger addresses 1,500 hundred of the union's most politically active members during the SEIU Member Political Action Conference at the Washington Hilton.  Five of the Democratic presidential candidates spoke at the conference.
SEIU has sought to engage the candidates in a variety of ways during the course of the year.  Many of the Democratic candidates appeared before the SEIU executive board during its meeting at Gallaudet University in January 2007.  Also in January the union launched its "Walk a Day in My Shoes" campaign.  Between April and August six of the Democratic candidates joined an SEIU member at home and on the job for a day; Republican candidate Mike Huckabee also participated.  On March 24 SEIU joined with the Center for American Progress Action Fund to sponsor a health care forum in Las Vegas.  All eight Democratic candidates did a one-on-one interview with individual SEIU members.  SEIU also called on all candidates to release detailed health care plans by August 1.  (Additionally purple-shirted activists from Americans for Health Care, a project of the SEIU, are much in evidence at campaign events in the early primary states.  SEIU is also partnering with AARP and Business Roundtable on the Divided We Fail campaign).

Ed. note (Oct. 22, 2007): There was no national endorsement by SEIU.  Following the conference, on September 19, the executive board met.  (The board comprises 64 leaders representing about 85 percent of the union's 1.9 million members.  An endorsement in the presidential race requires at least 50 percent of the executive board members representing 60 percent of per capita membership).  Local leaders were to go back and engage their boards and members on the conference and the issues.  Meanwhile, members of the board planned to meet on September 24 in Chicago with representatives of the three top campaigns (Clinton, Obama and Edwards) and hear from each how their candidate would win the general election.  On October 8 the SEIU announced that its local unions will decide on presidential primary endorsements on a state-by-state basis, with decisions announced no earlier than Oct. 15, 2007. 

SEIU International President Andrew L. Stern. 
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC)
And for Republicans

Copyright © 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action