NUHW members vote to endorse Karen Bass for LA Mayor
After co-sponsoring a mayoral debate on March 26, NUHW members voted to endorse Congresswoman Karen Bass for mayor of Los Angeles. Bass was the runaway winner following three days of voting, receiving 55 percent of the vote.
“I’m honored to win the endorsement of the National Union of Healthcare Workers,” Rep. Bass said. “As a former healthcare professional, this endorsement is especially meaningful because it was determined by a direct vote of healthcare workers who have put their lives on the line for all Angelenos over the past two years. I look forward to working with NUHW to improve access to mental health care, protect frontline caregivers and better the lives of everyone in our city.”
Congresswoman Bass, Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin de León and City Attorney Mike Feuer participated in a two-hour candidate forum co-sponsored by NUHW and Courage California. During the forum, which was live-streamed in English and Spanish, NUHW members posed questions on a variety of issues including improving access to mental health, police accountability and housing affordability.
Bass promoted forgiving student loan debt as an incentive to address the growing shortage of healthcare workers and reduce understaffing.
“We need to expand the healthcare workforce,” Bass said during the debate. “Having student loan forgiveness will help people enter the workforce, so workers don’t have to pull two doubles (shifts) in a row either for money or staffing.”
Elaine Ahmad, an NUHW member and medical social worker at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles, said that the debate “helped everyone watching better understand where the leading candidates stand on issues that are especially important to us as healthcare workers.”
Ahmad added, “I’m proud that our union put our endorsement to a member vote, and I’m excited to begin working to help elect Congresswoman Bass as LA’s next mayor.”
Prior to holding the endorsement election, which ran through Tuesday, NUHW shared with its members the candidates’ responses to its questionnaire as well as a recording of the debate.
“We’re very appreciative of the candidates who participated in our debate and took direct questions from NUHW members about issues critical to them and their patients,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “Our members made a great choice in voting to endorse Congresswoman Bass. We look forward to knocking on doors and making calls to help elect her and advance an agenda that will improve the lives of health care workers and every working family in Los Angeles.”