The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) State Council, representing 150,000 Illinois workers in health care, property services and the public sector, have endorsed Democrat Alexi Giannoulias for Illinois Secretary of State in 2022. SEIU State Council is comprised of SEIU HCII, Local 1, and Local 73.
SEIU’s support for Giannoulias is the earliest the labor union has ever endorsed a candidate for statewide office in Illinois. SEIU Local 73 represents 2,600 workers, or more than half of all Secretary of State’s office employees.
The SEIU State Council serves as the union’s political arm in Illinois and includes SEIU locals 1 and 73 and SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, including many workers who served as frontline essential workers during the pandemic.
SEIU’s endorsement enables Giannoulias to tap into a network of thousands of volunteers, activists and organizational groups which will enhance his grassroots support and target key parts of the state leading up to the March 2022 Democratic primary election.
“We’re proud to stand with Alexi who will champion the needs of working families and won’t back down when it comes to advocating for fair wages and benefits for all Illinoisans,” said SEIU Local 73 President Dian Palmer. “Our members understand the importance of continuing Jesse White’s legacy under Alexi’s leadership and that we cannot afford to sit this election out.”
“Alexi’s knowledge of our issues, his demonstrated support for worker rights and his clear understanding of the Secretary of State’s office makes him the undisputed choice for labor and the best chance we have for ensuring the seat remains held by a Democrat,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “His character, integrity and forward-thinking leadership will connect with working-class Illinoisans and his ability to get things done will usher in a hopeful, inclusive and progressive future for our state.”
“I’m honored by this historic endorsement,” Giannoulias said. “Middle-class families will have an ally in the Secretary of State’s office who will fight to empower workers and fight on their behalf. I will serve as a Secretary of State who reflects our shared values, delivers on promises and works to restore our faith and trust in government.”
Along with SEIU, Giannoulias has received the endorsement of two locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, Local 881, which boasts 34,000 members, and Local 1546, which includes 20,000 members, earlier this year. In addition, 14 locals representing more than 10,000 workers from International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) have endorsed Giannoulias’ bid.