As I write this report in the weeks after Election Day, we are finally getting a clear picture of the scope of our successes as advocates for working people.
The results indicate that many of the winning candidates were supported by UFCW Local 99 and our allies in the Labor Movement.
These results show our hard work in the political process has paid off and will continue to pay off for working families for years to come. We had 15 members come out on a SPUR program to work 40 hours a week, helping get our allies elected. Our union members registered to vote in record numbers and then voted for the right candidates and causes.
Local 99 is proud to have performed a key role in the coalition that helped Kyrsten Sinema win her election as the next United States Senator from Arizona. We’ve been talking for years about the state’s potential for affirming the rights and dignity of working people, and Kyrsten’s election is proof these hopes are well-founded.
We are also cheered by the reelection of U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, as well as the elections of Ann Kirkpatrick and Greg Stanton to the 2nd and 9th Congressional Districts, respectively and Gov.-Elect Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico.
While we fell short on the governor’s race, we can proudly call Katie Hobbs “Madam Secretary of State” in the state of Arizona.
Our friends didn’t win every race, but we are proud of our record of successes, even as we pledge ourselves to do better in the future. An immediate opportunity to do so will arise next March, when union firefighter Daniel Valenzuela competes in a runoff election to decide who will be the next mayor of Phoenix.
I want to be clear our union doesn’t decide whom to endorse based on political affiliation. We don’t care if a candidate is a Republican or Democrat. We are only concerned about whether he or she is truly concerned for the welfare of working families and the right of all people to come together to bargain collectively for better wages, health care, pensions and working conditions.
This is why we urge both political parties to come together to find solutions to such urgent issues as workers’ rights, immigration reform, climate change, access to health care and retirement security.
On the national level, we expect Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will do all she can to end the bickering that has crippled Congress and made progress all but impossible to move forward on these topics.
In the meantime, we have a lot more work to do in order to ensure all working people in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah have a voice in their destinies.
We can’t afford to relax because too much is at stake. Every election brings new threats to our jobs, wages, health benefits and pensions, as well as new opportunities.
We will continue to rely on YOU to step forward and participate in the political process.