The causes we fight for don’t always stop at the walls of our workplace, and that’s why we build the power to win inside and outside of our facilities by helping elect healthcare champions who will stand with us at the bargaining table, the picket line and in the halls of power.
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In 2023, candidates and incumbents for city, county, and other local offices across our State are up for election and asking for our union’s endorsement. That means we get the chance to exercise our power by engaging with them and their campaigns, checking their records and sharing what we need to be respected and protected at work and in our communities. Because we need champions at every level of government who will stand with us in bargaining, on the picket line, and to pass policy that supports us, our patients, our clients and our communities.
Our local governments are critical to some of the biggest issues our union is working on, like affordable, abundant and accessible housing in every community, reliable and equitable transit that connects our communities and eases traffic and pollution, and safe communities including police accountability.
Many local electeds are partnering with our union to make progress on all these fronts – but many are also using their power to slow, roll back, or prevent our progress.
This year we’re organizing to endorse and elect candidates who are ready to stand with us in our biggest fights:
Our State is facing one of the most acute housing crises in the country, and the result is more of our paychecks going to rent and mortgages, fewer of us being able to stay in the communities we love, and more of our neighbors being forced into homelessness and insecure housing.
We need elected officials who will stand with us on:
We need to make sure that all travel options are safe, reliable, and available choices. Safe streets to schools, transit service that 24/7 workers, patients, and people with disabilities can rely on, and bike infrastructure that keeps riders safe are the kinds of policies that healthcare workers and their families need for their own commutes and that the healthcare system needs to see for its patients.
Our local governments fund, design, and run these transportation programs and need to make the choices that build a system that moves us all efficiently and safely.
We have been members of the Washington Coalition for Police Accountability, a group led by families impacted by police violence in community, working to address law enforcement accountability. While state lawmakers and some local leaders have taken leadership to make changes to policing laws, local governments have not all shown similar leadership.
Our cities and counties are the direct employers of law enforcement and need to be accountable when their policies result in danger to the community, or when policies are not being followed and there is no management oversight. We need local leaders who are committed to safety and accountability for and by law enforcement.
We also represent many workers who work in the crisis response system—we need local leaders who will partner with us to ensure we have the resources and funding to ensure that non-law enforcement crisis response jobs are good jobs that have the support they need to be successful in taking care of the most vulnerable in our community.
Local governments are also employers, and as a union we need to know that our political voice is only behind people who are responsible, pro-labor employers. Our siblings in city and county unions deserve high-road management partners and we get to help pick their bosses!
We also need to ensure that city and county electeds are building a racial justice lens as an employer as well as a government serving its residents. Governments are one of the larger employers, they are setting policies that impact us all, and wielding significant resources—if they are not also on their path to become anti-racist, they are holding back their community.
There are many issues that our local governments lead on every day, but these are the top four policies we need to see alignment on across the board in 2023.