FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2019
RICHMOND, VA (February 1, 2019) – After a photograph from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook surfaced showing a man in a Ku Klux Klan robe and another man in blackface, two of Virginia’s largest membership organizations who had previously endorsed Mr. Northam have called on the governor to resign.
Mark Federici, President of Local 400 of the United Food & Commercial Workers union (UFCW), issued the following statement on behalf of the union:
“This racist, despicable behavior is reprehensible no matter who does it and no matter when it is done. There is simply no place for blackface or the Ku Klux Klan in Virginia, let alone in the governor’s mansion.
“Mr. Northam has much work to do to reconcile his relationship with our members, our community, and all citizens of the Commonwealth. Remaining in the governor’s office is simply incompatible with that undertaking.
“We hereby rescind our past endorsement of Gov. Northam and call on him to resign from office immediately.”
Luis Aguilar of CASA in Action, Virginia’s largest immigrant rights organization, issued the following statement:
“Our members – people on the frontlines of the battle for human rights – deserve representation that honors their fundamental dignity. It is almost impossible to identify images more damaging to the soul than those in Ralph Northam’s yearbook. He has apologized and said he is a changed person. But it doesn’t mean he is an appropriate governor. In an era in which the White House is occupied by a white supremacist, we ask that Governor Northam heal this grave wound to the African-American community and more broadly all People of Color, by resigning.”
UFCW Local 400 represents thousands of members working in the retail food, health care, retail department store, food processing, service and other industries. In Virginia, the union represents primarily grocery clerks at Giant Food, Safeway, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, and Kroger grocery stores, as well as factory workers in food processing, Chesapeake Bay fisherman, and many others.
With 97,000+ lifetime members, CASA in Action is the largest electoral organization fighting for immigrant rights in the Mid-Atlantic region.