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Labor, Community Groups Host Meet & Greet with Former Congresswoman Donna Edwards

On Wednesday morning, former Congresswoman Donna Edwards shared reflections on our country’s current political atmosphere and her vision of the future of her community with a crowd of labor leaders, local politicians and interested residents of Prince George’s County. The event was hosted by UFCW Local 400, along with UNITE HERE Local 25, CASA in Action and LiUNA Mid-Atlantic, representatives of which enthusiastically introduced Edwards as an advocate and friend of working families.

Edwards, a former congresswoman from Maryland’s fourth district, lost a closely-watched Senate race last April in which she was endorsed by Local 400. As she explained to the crowded room, after leaving office, she seized the opportunity to go on a three-month road trip across the country. Edwards said this time away from home gave her space to reflect on her pride in her community and her ability to serve it. She returned from her trip more aware of the “promise and opportunity” of her county, and resolved to capitalize on this potential.

In her search for local solutions, Edwards recalled the community activism she was involved in beginning in 1999, when plans for a development project in Fort Washington included turning a two-lane road into a four-lane road. The road bordered Fort Foote Elementary School, and Edwards and other members of her community were determined to keep it a safe and welcoming place for children and their families. They saw the fruits of their activism in the completion of this re-developed road two years ago – still two lanes, but with added sidewalks, roundabouts, and bike trails.

“Progress is slow,” Edwards said, but for her this was a clear reminder of what can happen “when you organize in your community and fight for what you want in your community and don’t let up.”

She reiterated this message of collective community activism throughout a discussion in which constituents expressed concerns about education, immigration, health care, prison reform, and protecting the environment. She emphasized the fact that county governments have more flexibility than many realize in how they use taxpayer dollars, regardless of the policies of the federal government. “It’s tough for a county to push back against the federal government, but it’s the right thing to do,” she said. “Four years is a long time, but four years is a short time.”

She envisions refocusing county resources toward protecting and supporting the county’s large immigrant population, helping residents get the health care they need, and improving the area’s lowest performing schools. “Education doesn’t work trickle down, it works bottom up – just like, actually, a lot of things,” she said.

Indeed this seems to be Edwards’ strategy for enacting change in general: start at the bottom, with local issues like trash collection. Edwards recalled encountering a woman at the pharmacy who recognized her as an elected official and began complaining about her infrequent trash pick-up. “Little things can start to get on your nerves because they start to mirror some of the bigger problems,” Edwards said. “Structural problems become even more difficult to solve if people don’t trust you to pick up their trash.”

Edwards closed by addressing rumors that she is gearing up for another political campaign. “I haven’t decided if I’m going to run for anything,” she said. “What I have decided is that there are so many different ways that we can contribute to and strengthen our communities.”

While Edwards was sure to make clear that she has not made any decisions about whether she will run for political office in upcoming county or state elections, there is no doubt that she intends to remain a leader in determining the future of the county. For now she intends to think about how she can best serve, whether as an elected official, in the non-profit sector or somewhere else. “When I figure that out, y’all will know,” she said.

Four Candidates Recommended by Local 400 Win Elections in Virginia

The results are in from yesterday’s closely-watched primary election in Virginia. Local 400 recommended candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates in six districts. Four of the candidates won their races:

In House District 31, Elizabeth Guzman won the Democratic primary with 52.16% of the vote. In District 51, Hala Ayala won with 66.34% of the vote. Karrie Delaney won in House District 67 with 65.33% of the vote. And in District 92, Jeion Joyner Ward won with an overwhelming 87.54% of the vote.

In District 42, Tilly Blanding lost to Kathy K. L. Tran. Meanwhile, Josh King was defeated by Jennifer Carroll Foy in District 2 by a mere ten votes.

Local 400 made some of these recommendations in conjunction with Take Action Virginia, a partnership of major community and labor groups representing tens of thousands of the commonwealth’s workers fighting for policies to raise the standard of living and protect people’s rights.

For a complete list of election results, visit the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Local 400 Recommends Candidates in June 13th Virginia Primary

With key issues at stake affecting Virginia members, including a $15 minimum wage, immigrant protections, and the right to union representation, Local 400 has recommended six candidates for the state House of Delegates in the June 13th primary election.

The candidates Local 400 has identified as strongly pro-worker include:

House District 2: Josh King

House District 31: Elizabeth Guzman

House District 42: Tilly Blanding

House District 51: Hala Ayala

House District 67: Karrie Delaney

House District 92: Jeion Joyner Ward

“The Commonwealth of Virginia desperately needs the progressive leadership these candidates will provide,” said Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “In the retail industry in particular, too many Virginia families are struggling to make ends meet even though their employers are as profitable as ever. We need leaders in Richmond who are willing to act to provide opportunities for hardworking men and women to earn a better life.

“The election of good people like our recommended candidates can help shift the balance in the General Assembly and could make possible the passage of laws that will make a profound, positive difference in people’s lives, like a $15 minimum wage,” Federici said.

Local 400 made some of these recommendations in conjunction with Take Action Virginia, a partnership of major community and labor groups representing tens of thousands of the commonwealth’s workers fighting for policies to raise the standard of living and protect people’s rights.

We encourage all members to volunteer their time in the Local 400/Take Action Virginia campaign to elect these recommended candidates. And we urge all of our members in Virginia to vote in the June 13th primary. Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

If you can’t make it to the polls on election day, you can request an absentee ballot on the Virginia Department of Elections website. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, June 6th. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by appearing in-person is June 10th.

UFCW Local 400 Endorses Levar Stoney for Richmond Mayor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 29, 2016

CONTACT
Jonathan Williams, Communications Manager, jwilliams@local400.org

Union of food and grocery workers weighs in on mayoral race

RICHMOND, VA – Local 400 of the United Food & Commercial Workers union (UFCW) announced its endorsement today of Levar Stoney for mayor of Richmond.

“Mr. Stoney understands the challenges facing hard-working families today. He is committed to upholding and improving working standards, not undermining them. He knows the working people of Richmond need to be at the table, not on the chopping block. We believe Mr. Stoney will bring a fresh approach to city hall and we look forward to his much-needed leadership,” said Mark Federici, president of UFCW Local 400.

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Take Action Virginia Endorses LuAnn Bennett and Hillary Clinton

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2016

 

WOODBRIDGE, VA – Take Action Virginia, an alliance of community and labor organizations focused on improving the lives of working and immigrant families, announced today its endorsement of LuAnn Bennett for Congress and Hillary Clinton for President, two candidates who vow to work toward a more progressive agenda in Virginia and nationwide.

In Virginia’s District 10, Take Action is supporting LuAnn Bennett in light of her unwavering support of comprehensive immigration reform. Bennett has said that if elected, she would be in favor of a comprehensive, bipartisan approach to immigration legislation.
 
We believe Bennett is the kind of fair candidate Virginia’s District 10 deserves.

A cosmopolitan, racially diverse district deserves a candidate who supports raising the minimum wage and investing in badly needed infrastructure and transportation projects, has supported a woman’s right to choose, and equal pay. As opposed to her opponent Rep. Barbara Comstock who has repeatedly sided with the far right-wing of Republicans in the House, Bennett has stood with working moms and favors access to quality health care.

Comstock has also refused to condemn Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump for this attack on Mexican immigrants, an American born judge of Latino descent, and a Muslim Gold Star family.

“Comstock has refused to condemn Donald Trump for his racist attacks, to us, not surprisingly given that Trump has hosted fundraisers to support her candidacy,” said CASA in Action President Gustavo Torres. “Comstock shares many of the beliefs Donald Trump shares and we think they both would be very dangerous for this country.”

Bennett has repeatedly stated she will work to end the partisan Washington gridlock that has stalled progress in such important issues as infrastructure repair and job creation.
 
Virginia’s 10th congressional district includes all of Clarke CountyFrederick County, and Loudoun County, and the cities of ManassasManassas Park, and Winchester, with portions of Fairfax and Prince William Counties.

Take Action is also endorsing Hillary Clinton for President. Clinton has promised she will make immigration reform one of her top priorities if she is elected. We are encouraged that she listed immigration reform as her number one task during her first 100 days in office.

“If Congress won’t act, I’ll defend President Obama’s executive actions and I’ll go even further to keep families together. I’ll end family detention centers, and help more people become naturalized.”

Clinton has fought for quality, affordable care for more than 25 years and has vowed to defend the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, she plans to crack down on drug companies that charge outrageous prices, slow the growth of out-of-pocket costs and provide new credit to those facing high health expenses.  She is a pro-choice candidate who has promised to protect Planned Parenthood.

“We believe that Hillary Clinton is the right choice for Virginia and the right choice for the United States,” said Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400.

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Take Action Virginia is an electoral collaboration of community and labor organizations that share concerns about issues impacting working families in Virginia.  Our members are SEIU 32BJ, SEIU Virginia 512, CASA in Action,LiUNA! Mid-Atlantic, NAKASEC Action Fund, UNITE HERE Local 23, UNITE HERE Local 25, and UFCW Local 400.

Aug 27: Votante Fiel Kick-off Event

Join us as we celebrate the beginning of a historic election season for Latino voters. Hear stories of trial and triumph as community members discuss how to motivate your Latino friends and family to vote. Find out how you can take action and be empowered at the polls.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Patric Henry Elementary School
701 S. Highland St.
Arlington, VA 22204

For more information, call Sara Benitez at (202) 499-4084 or email sbenitez@faithinpubliclife.org.

Print the Flier

20160827-Votante Fiel Kick-Off Event Flyer

2016 Election Labor Walks

Steve Meador (left), a Local 400 union rep, knocked on hundreds of doors to speak with fellow labor voters last year.

Steve Meador (left), a Local 400 union rep, knocked on hundreds of doors to speak with fellow labor voters last year.

Labor 2016 kicks in to high gear on Saturday, September 10th! Come out to walk and talk with fellow union members about what’s at stake in November’s election.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. on September 10th at one of the following locations:

In Annandale: NoVA Labor Offices – 4536 John Marr Drive

In Richmond: CWA Local 2201 Hall – 5809 Lakeside Ave.

In Norfolk: Ironworkers Local 79 Hall – 5307 E. Virginia Beach Blvd.

In Roanoke: Western Virginia Labor Federation – 2101 Dale Ave., SE

Election Day West Virginia: Vote Tuesday, May 10

Tuesday, May 10 is election day in West Virginia! Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

Together with the West Virginia AFL-CIO, UFCW Local 400 has endorsed the following candidates for office. Who you vote for is your individual choice, but we encourage you to consider voting for the candidates below. We strongly believe these are the best choices for our members and all working people in West Virginia.

Print the complete list (PDF)

Find your polling place:

Don’t know where to vote? You can look up your polling place online or contact your County Clerk if you have questions. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10.

PARKERSBURG AREA

House Districts 8, 9, & 10

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw

 State Auditor
Jason Pizatella 

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

House of Delegates – 10th District
Andy Daniel
Bill Merriman
Stephen Ruble

RIPLEY AREA

House Districts 11, 12, 13, & 14

State Senate – State Senate – 4th District
Brian Prim (D)
Dustin Lewis (R)

House of Delegates – 12th District
Missy Morris

House of Delegates – 13th District
Scott Brewer

TEAYS VALLEY AREA

House District 15

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw

 State Auditor
Jason Pizatella

 Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

State Senate – 4th District
Brian Prim (D)
Dustin Lewis (R)

House of Delegates – 15th District
Terrence Turley

HUNTINGTON AREA

House Districts 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, & 21

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw

 State Auditor
Jason Pizatella

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

State Senate – 6th District
Rocky Seay

State Senate – 7th District
Art Kirkendoll

House of Delegates – 16th District
Sean Hornbuckle
James Stacy

House of Delegates – 17th District
Chad Lovejoy
Matthew Rohrbach

House of Delegates – 18th District
Paul David Ross

House of Delegates – 19th District
Ken Hicks
Matthew McComas

House of Delegates – 20th District
Justin Marcum

House of Delegates – 21st District
Phyllis White 

BOONE, LINCOLN & LOGAN AREAS

House Districts 22, 23 & 24

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw 

State Auditor
Jason Pizatella 

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

State Senate – 4th District
Brian Prim (D)
Dustin Lewis (R)

State Senate – 7th District
Art Kirkendoll

House of Delegates – 22nd District
Jeff Eldridge
Gary McCallister 

House of Delegates – 23rd District
Rodney Miller

House of Delegates – 24th District
Ralph Rodighiero

BECKLEY AREA

House Districts 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 & 32

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw 

State Auditor
Jason Pizatella

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

State Senate – 6th District
Rocky Seay

House of Delegates – 26th District
Ed Evans

House of Delegates – 29th District
Ricky Moye

House of Delegates – 32nd District
Greg Crist
John Pino
Margaret Anne Staggers

CHARLESTON AREA

House Districts 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 & 40

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw 

State Auditor
Jason Pizatella 

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

State Senate – 4th District
Brian Prim (D)
Dustin Lewis (R)

House of Delegates – 35th District
Ben Adams
Andrew Byrd
Shawn Little
Ben Sheridan

House of Delegates – 36th District
Nancy Guthrie
Andrew Robinson
Larry Rowe

House of Delegates – 37th District
Mike Pushkin

House of Delegates – 39th District
Shannon Hagerman

House of Delegates – 40th District
Melissa Riggs Huffman (D)
Ronald Shamblin (R)

LEWISBURG AREA

House Districts 41, 42, 43 & 44

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw 

State Auditor
Jason Pizatella 

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

House of Delegates – 41st District
Adam Young

House of Delegates – 42nd District
Stephen Baldwin, Jr. (D)
Ray Canterbury (R)

House of Delegates – 43rd District
Bill Hartman

CLARKSBURG AREA

House Districts 45, 46, 47, 48 & 49

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw 

State Auditor
Jason Pizatella 

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

State Senate – 13th District
Roman Prezioso 

House of Delegates – 45th District
Bill Hamilton (R)

House of Delegates – 48th District
Richard Iaquinta
Derek McIntyre
Tim Miley
Wayne Worth

FAIRMONT AREA

House District 50

Supreme Court of Appeals
Darrell McGraw 

State Auditor
Jason Pizatella 

Secretary of State
Natalie Tennant

State Senate – 13th District
Roman Prezioso

House of Delegates – 50th District
Mike Caputo
Linda Longstreth
Tim Manchin