MSEA-SEIU Local 1989 announcement: Sara Gideon has earned your vote for U.S. Senate

MSEA-SEIU-endorsed U.S. Senate Candidate Sara Gideon is shown in this file photo from 2014 with our beloved late MSEA-SEIU Retiree Member Wayne Hollingworth of Freeport. Wayne’s legacy, in addition to leading union meetings in singing “Solidarity Forever,” is his keen understanding of the importance of electing proven leaders like Sara Gideon to public office.

Citing her proven record of advocating for Maine workers, active and retired, members of the Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union, announced their support for Maine House of Representatives Speaker Sara Gideon for U.S. Senate.

MSEA-SEIU members cited Speaker Gideon’s leadership, her votes for quality, affordable healthcare and prescription drug coverage for all Mainers, her leadership in funding quality services for all Maine people, her record of defending and supporting the rights of all workers to have a voice at work, and her determination to meet the state’s responsibility to retired public workers in announcing their support for her election as U.S. Senator.

“On every issue in the Maine Legislature, Sara Gideon has made sure the voice of Maine workers is heard,” said MSEA-SEIU President Dean Staffieri, who works as a rehabilitation counselor for the Maine Department of Labor. “Under her leadership as House speaker, MSEA-SEIU members succeeded in passing many bills addressing issues faced by MSEA members, including raising staffing levels for Maine’s public health nursing program, and making the quality services our members provide even stronger. Sara has proven herself as an advocate for workers and issues important to workers, and that’s why I’ll be voting Sara Gideon for U.S. Senate.”

As U.S. Senator, Sara Gideon will fight for Maine workers and the federally funded services Maine people count on, from our roads and bridges to crucial programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. She’ll fight to raise the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. She’ll fight to protect and expand Social Security. She’ll fight to build the political will necessary to repeal the Social Security Offsets penalizing thousands of Maine workers and their families. She’ll fight to protect Medicare and Medicaid and ensure the federal government meets its responsibility to fund services in Maine.

“As a retiree, it’s important to elect a U.S. Senator who will fight to protect the benefits we earned during our years of working,” said MSEA-SEIU Retiree Member Jane L. Gilbert, chair of our union’s political action committee known as PASER, Political Action by Service Employees and Retirees. “Sara Gideon’s leadership in the Maine Legislature to protect the retiree pension cost of living adjustment proves she understands our issues, and that we can count on her to be a beacon for retirement protection in Congress, too.”

“Maine people need a U.S. Senator who will get things done for all of us, not just wring their hands and say they’re concerned about all the bad decisions being made in Washington,” said MSEA-SEIU Vice President and Cornville resident Allison Perkins, who works as an overpayment specialist for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. “We need a U.S. Senator who will put Maine people first with every single vote, because it’s not how often you vote that matters. It’s how you vote that matters.”

“In Sara Gideon,” Allison Perkins continued, “we have a leader with a proven record of voting to make Maine people, not corporations, her priority. Sara fought for affordable healthcare throughout her service in the Maine Legislature. Her work to enshrine the core protections of the Affordable Care Act in state law protects Mainers with preexisting conditions. We can count on Sara Gideon, and we need Sara Gideon, in the U.S. Senate to fight to protect and improve the healthcare of all Mainers.”

Because of Sara Gideon’s leadership and her championing issues important to workers, active and retired, members of the MSEA-SEIU Board of Directors voted to endorse Sara Gideon in the July 14 primary elections. The MSEA-SEIU board took this action on the recommendation of our PASER Committee.

“Hardworking Mainers deserve a Senator who will fight for their rights and always put the interests of Maine people first,” Sara Gideon said in accepting our endorsement. “In Maine, we’ve worked to expand access to affordable healthcare, address the opioid epidemic, and protect the right of working people to organize — and I’m proud to have MSEA’s endorsement so we can continue to work together for Maine people in Washington.”

Sara Gideon has been a member of the Maine State Legislature since 2013, and is currently serving her second term as Speaker of the House. Before her election to the State House, she served as vice chairwoman of the Freeport Town Council and volunteered in the RSU 5 schools. She also served on the boards of Freeport Community Services and the Freeport Economic Development Corporation.

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The Maine Service Employees Association, SEIU Local 1989, represents over 13,000 Maine workers.

Updated: September 24, 2020 — 3:10 PM