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SEIU Pledges $150 Million to Beat Trump

The record investment is meant to beat the most anti-union President of our lifetime

Brian Young's picture
Feb 28, 2020

The Service International Employees Union (SEIU) has announced a record investment into the 2020 election with the hopes of defeating Trump in November. The union has said that they will spend $150 Million on voter education and turnout efforts nationwide over the next nine months.

The investment is the largest political expenditure ever for the 2-million-member union and it shows just how seriously unions are taking the threat of a second Trump term. The campaign effort began quietly last month. International President Mary Kay Henry described the election as a “Make or break” moment for working people and for organized labor.

To inform their members about the 2020 election, SEIU has launched SEIU2020.org. This website allows members to get informed about what the candidates are doing to support SEIU, lets them interact with the candidates, and informs them about the importance of the 2020 election. It includes bios on each of the candidates, including Trump, who the union refers to as the “most anti-worker President in our lifetime.”

The union is also targeting 6 million people in 40 states, with particular attention being paid to Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin. All of these states are considered swing states in the November election. They will also be paying particular attention to Detroit and Milwaukee. Both are key voting blocks with a long history of support for union labor and will need to have a large Democratic turnout to flip their states blue.

So how will the money be spent? According to the union, some will be spent on television advertising, but the majority of the money will be used to fund direct voter contact and online advertising. They will be targeting minority men and women who are infrequent voters.

SEIU also mentioned that they are starting early because Trump has already made inroads into the minority communities. “He’s going after our communities in ways that are pervasive. We’re deeply aware of that,” Maria Peralta, SEIU’s Political Director said. “They’re talking about the strength of the economy.”

Trump often cites record low unemployment in the African American community as a reason why they should vote for him. He has also announced a plan to open 15 “Black Voices for Trump Community Centers” in many of the same states and cities that SEIU is targeting. The union is in a unique place to reach out to these voters because they are the most diverse union in the country with over half of their members identifying as people of color. They are hoping to win votes through their outreach and their message about low wages, Trump’s attacks on unions, and his policies that worsen conditions for working-class Americans.

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