We don't write about every mayoral endorsement—they drop like dimes from the sky, it seems—but UFCW 21, the union representing 43,000 grocery store, retail, and health care workers across the state, took a risk in 2009 by endorsing Mike McGinn for mayor after first backing former mayor Greg Nickels. And, with considerable pressure from establishment types to rally around State Senator Ed Murray this time, it's significant that they are, instead, backing McGinn again.
Their press release explaining the decision is after the jump.
Back in 2009, UFCW 21 made headlines with our endorsement of Mike McGinn for Seattle Mayor, which was seen by some at the time as controversial. Since being elected, he has proven that our endorsement was a good call for working people and the well-being of our communities. It is as a result of this strong record as Mayor that UFCW 21 endorses McGinn for Seattle Mayor in 2013 just as ballots are about to go out to Seattle voters.
“We were with him four years ago and he has again earned a strong endorsement from us because of his track record as Mayor—as the clear progressive in the race on issues of economic justice and fairness to working people,” said Dave Schmitz, President of UFCW 21, the state’s largest private sector union with over 43,000 members—over 6,100 live in Seattle.
UFCW 21 has a long and active track record of progressive politics: the leader of the successful Seattle Paid Sick and Safe law of 2011 that gained paid sick days for over 150,000 workers in Seattle (including over 6,000 UFCW 21 grocery, retail and health care workers); an early supporter and steering committee member for Marriage Equality (R-74); a leading force behind signature gathering for the State’s Minimum Wage Initiative in 1998; one of the early unions to endorse Obama for President in 2008; a long-time supporter of Walmart workers; and, a vocal partner for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
Examples of Mayor McGinn’s demonstrable actions in support of workers and our communities:
• McGinn was among the very 1st public officials to support the Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Leave proposal, became one of the first mayors in the nation to sign such legislation into law, and has taken action to defend Seattle’s law against attacks in the State Legislature.
• McGinn has been a steadfast supporter of grocery store workers and all our member since being elected, and recently walked the Informational Picket line with UFCW 21 on July 3rd in support of local grocery store workers.
• McGinn has worked to protect quality jobs in Seattle, discouraged developers for Walmart and other low-road retailers from coming into our City Seattle, and recently took action to deny a developer in West Seattle from being able to take over ownership of public property for a development that threatened the public interest.
• McGinn stood with workers with low wages by endorsing the local fast food workers’ strike.
• McGinn has led in protecting human services funding in City Budgets, securing an additional $10.5 million in the most recent budget.
• McGinn has actively worked to support and advance transit, affordable housing and other public policies that improve the quality of life for working people and their families.
This list could go on, but the point is made. Mayor McGinn has a successful track record of standing up for working people and our communities. “Mayor McGinn has at times taken action that has faced opposition from corporations and developers. Far from criticizing him for that, we are standing with him in his bid for re-election because of his willingness to take action for regular working people and a better Seattle for all,” concluded Schmitz.