NUHW members begin candidate interviews for political endorsements

NewsJanuary 10, 2018

NUHW has a well-deserved reputation for being an important player in state politics, and over the next few months our members will be interviewing candidates seeking our endorsement.

Getting our allies elected to public office is critical to winning good contracts. Politicians hold sway over health care executives because so much of health care spending comes from taxpayer dollars. Just last year, a Los Angeles councilman we endorsed and campaigned for directly intervened on our behalf to compel the University of Southern California to cut ties with a low-wage subcontractor and bring dozens of jobs in-house.

This year, we will be looking to support more candidates who will stand up for working families.

The endorsement process kicked off this month in Orange County where candidates for Congress, State Senate, Assembly, and the Board of Supervisors answered questions from NUHW members who work for Kaiser Permanente and Fountain Valley Regional Medical Center.

State Senator Josh Newman answering questions from Orange County NUHW members (above). District 48 congressional candidate Hans Keirsted meets with members (top of page).

Our endorsement process is one of the many ways that NUHW differs from other unions. We don’t do backroom deals. Our members interview the candidates and decide who gets our endorsement.

This democratic approach makes our endorsements more valuable. Since our members play a key role in deciding endorsements, they are also more willing to knock on doors and walk neighborhoods to get our candidates elected.

That’s one of the reasons that the top four Democratic candidates for governor happily accepted our invitation to hold their first debate during our leadership conference in Anaheim last October.

After hearing the candidates discuss issues including protecting workers rights, expanding healthcare to all Californians, and tackling the affordable housing crisis, members voted to endorse Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The debate was covered by media outlets across the state, which has resulted in even more candidates asking for our endorsement this year. That, of course, is up to our members, who will have the chance to query candidates across the state over the next few months leading up the June Primary election.

Later this month, our members will interview candidates for San Francisco mayor. Next month, members will interview candidates in Los Angeles, Humboldt, Napa, Sonoma, and San Bernardino counties. And in March, we’ll be holding endorsement meetings for candidates in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Then it will be time to roll up our sleeves getting our allies into office and holding them accountable to the needs of working families across our state.