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32BJ SEIU ANNOUNCES $300K ELECTION PROGRAM IN PENNSYLVANIA

32BJ SEIU ANNOUNCES $300K ELECTION PROGRAM IN PENNSYLVANIA

Union to Focus on Intensive Get-Out-the-Vote Program for Onorato, Others

Philadelphia, PA –32BJ SEIU, the largest property service union in the country, is committing $300,000 to voter outreach campaign in support of Dan Onorato’s bid for governor and the union’s other endorsed candidates.  The total spend, which includes a member-outreach program and an independent expenditure, will focus on grassroots voter mobilization through canvassing, mailings and phone banking.

“Getting out the vote for Dan Onorato is critical to working families having their voices heard in Harrisburg,” said Gabe Morgan, 32BJ Western Pennsylvania Director.  “Dan has the experience and the commitment to creating the jobs that Pennsylvanians need.”

Leading up to the November election, 32BJ members are working around the clock to talk to members about Onorato’s candidacy and the importance of this year’s election.  Twelve members in Philadelphia and another six in Pittsburgh are working full-time to reach out to the union’s 16,000 members state-wide.  To date, the union has already reached 1,000 union member doors in Allegheny County, and another 5,300 in Philadelphia-area.

“We’re giving everything we’ve got to elect Dan Onorato,” said Ashley Matthews, a cleaner in downtown Pittsburgh.  “During the day, I’m knocking on doors and I’m on the phones to 32BJ members, and at night, I’m talking to my friends and family about the race.”

32BJ members are also recruiting union members to volunteer to talk to voters in election wards in Philadelphia that showed unprecedented voter turnout during the 2008 elections.  On Election Day and the preceding weekend, 32BJ plans to have 350 members volunteer in these neighborhoods.

In addition to mobilizing members to vote and volunteer, 32BJ is also making a $150,000 independent expenditure to help get out the vote in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  The expenditure will go towards a comprehensive canvass, mail and phone banking program to reach voters who support a progressive agenda, particularly in African-American communities.

“Too often, my friends and family don’t get out to vote,” said Audra Traynham, a 32BJ member who lives in southwest Philadelphia.  “But this won’t happen this year.  Not on my watch.”

32BJ is known for its strength in mobilizing members and voters to support endorsed candidates.  During the Primary, dozens of 32BJ members volunteered to mobilize voters in support of Onorato.  In areas where these volunteers were active, voter turnout was as much as 16 points higher than neighboring areas and the support for Onorato was as much as nine points higher than the county average.

For a full list of endorsed candidates, visit: http://www.seiu32bj.org/au/PA_endorsements.asp

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