SEIU Members Propel Pro-Worker Candidates to Victory, Defeat Corporate Democrats

Article Published on November 10, 2022

Because Politics Matter to us, SEIU members in California made a difference in pivotal California and national races, helping grow the pro-worker majority in the State Legislature, solidifying California’s pro-worker slate of statewide elected officials, and helping defend pro-worker Congresspeople in both California, as well as pro-worker candidates for Congress and statewide office in Arizona.    

Members across the state participated in elections at every level – from interviewing the candidates for endorsement, volunteering to get out the vote for candidates, and investing in key races. 

We helped elect pro-worker candidates who will partner with us in creating justice and equality, and by choosing this new class of pro-worker leaders, we are a step closer to the California our children deserve. 


SEIU member-endorsed candidates swept statewide elected offices, with pro-worker allies prevailing in key races. SEIU members and leaders commented on several key races: 

Attorney General 

“SEIU members and other working people fought hard to make sure that our next Attorney General will be someone who stands up for laws protecting us and our communities,” said David Huerta, President of SEIU CA and SEIU-USWW, “and we have elected a true champion in Rob Bonta. From battling the underground economy to keeping our affordable housing commitments, California’s top law enforcement officer has a duty to hold the wealthy and powerful accountable to our state’s laws. Rob Bonta has demonstrated his unflagging dedication to justice and to serving the people of this state.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction 

“SEIU members enthusiastically supported State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond’s re-election,” said Kelly Rodriguez, Early Education Teacher Aide, Los Angeles Unified School District. “He has been a tireless and visionary advocate for students and workers within our education system. He knows that students can’t learn when they have overwhelming needs such as hunger or physical or mental health problems. He is leading the way in creating a new model for education: schools that care for the whole child and for their families and communities.”


“We’re proud that we fought hard to elect Malia Cohen,” said Bill Hall, SEIU Local 1000 member and Board Chair. “Californians need to know that our next Controller will stand up for taxpayers, workers, and all Californians. Malia knows that for California to prosper, working people and our communities must prosper, and our government and taxpayer dollars must be strictly dedicated to serving the people, not corporate interests.”


While millions of ballots remain to be counted across California, SEIU-member endorsed candidates were early leaders in pivotal races, demonstrating the strength of SEIU California endorsements and local union GOTV efforts in hotly contested seats.  SEIU members and leaders celebrated victories for workers over corporate-backed candidates in the following races, with more expected in the coming days: 

Senate District 28 – Los Angeles 

“SEIU members celebrate the victory of Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, who is an extraordinary leader and a champion for workers,” said David Huerta, President of SEIU CA and SEIU United Service Workers West (USWW). “In a time when Angelenos are moving past divisive politics, Lola shows us the way. As a labor organizer for security officers, a community leader fighting for the inclusion of Black workers, and an educator who leads critical thinking on racial equity at work, Smallwood-Cuevas has always led through inclusion and respect for all.”

Assembly District 20 – East Bay Area

“SEIU members know East Bay voters share our values. We elected a strong worker champion over a corporate Democrat by helping voters in Assembly District 20 understand the clear choice in this race,” said Sandra Lewis, SEIU Local 1021 member and Vice President of Representation.  “Like us, Liz Ortega believes the toughest issues in our state – the cost of living, the lack of affordable housing, racism and discrimination – can only be tackled when workers have a strong voice. We can’t wait to work with her to build a stronger, more just and equitable California.” 

Assembly District 47 – Palm Springs 

“With Christy Holstege as our Assembly Member in AD 47, working people have a partner in the legislature who will stand with us to create good jobs, strengthen the vital public services families are counting on, and leave our kids a healthy planet,” said David Green, President of SEIU Local 721. It’s gratifying knowing my union made a difference in this election and that my community has a true equity and justice champion in the State Legislature.” 

Assembly District 52 – Los Angeles 

“Whether fighting to improve nursing homes or to improve working conditions for fast food workers, Wendy Carrillo is the kind of champion we need in the legislature,” said Arnulfo de la Cruz, SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President. “Wendy is a champion and a strong voice for working people, and we look forward to continuing working with her.”

Assembly District 69 – Long Beach 

“Josh Lowenthal knows what it takes to create good jobs you can raise a family on – investment in training, education and ensuring workers a say on the job,” said Datosha Williams, SEIU-UHW Executive Board Member, Kaiser, South Bay.  “Being an active member of SEIU-UHW is an opportunity to improve our healthcare system and help shape California’s future.  I’m thrilled that all the hard work we put into reaching voters means workers will have a strong ally representing Assembly District 69.”