In the several weeks leading up to Election Day on May 13, 1199SEIU member volunteers knocked on countless doors, made countless phone calls, and spread the word among co-workers, family and friends about Councilman Ras Baraka’s candidacy for Mayor of Newark.
After interviewing him back in February, 1199SEIU members enthusiastically threw their support behind Councilman Baraka, citing his long-time advocacy on behalf of working families and his history of standing alongside 1199ers on the picket line in support of quality care and better nursing home jobs.
On Election Day, 1199SEIU members fanned out across the city for a final push to get voters to the polls.
Patricia Matthews, a union delegate and certified nursing assistant at Forest Hill Healthcare Center in Newark, was one of the many 1199ers who spent her time after work on Election Day helping to get out the vote. “I’m here today because Ras has his heart in this city. He’s been in the trenches for a very long time fighting for better schools for our kids and to end gang violence,” she said. “Ras Baraka also understands that we need to fix our residential areas, not just the downtown. What better person to run this city than someone who knows it inside and out!”
“I want the best in life for my daughters,” said Khalilah Scott, an 1199SEIU member and home health aide at Addus HealthCare. “Ras Baraka has created summer youth programs to keep kids safe and off the street, and that’s one reason why I got active in this election.”
The hard work of 1199SEIU members paid off when polls closed and Ras Baraka was declared the winner. Behind a backdrop reading “When I become mayor, we become mayor,” Ras Baraka stood on the stage at his victory party and personally thanked the members of 1199SEIU and other unions who made victory possible. "Watch out, America, here comes Newark!," he proclaimed.