SEIU Political Roundup 4.20

Throughout the presidential campaign, the SEIU Communications Department will provide political reporters with a regular update of the political activities of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing union.

>>Edwards Walks a Day in Shoes of Nursing Home Worker

Last week, John Edwards became the first presidential candidate to take time off the campaigntrail to "walk a day in the shoes" of an SEIU member and see what life is really like for working Americans. Edwards joined nursing assistant Elaine Ellis at her home in New Rochelle, NY, for an early breakfast before driving together to the nursing home where she’s worked for the past 18 years to begin her 6:30am shift.

ABC's Good MorningAmerica featured footage and more than 200 media outlets and blogs ran stories on the event. Ellis wrote abouther experience on the Edwards blog.

The AP and DailyNews reported on how Edwards helped Ellis perform her morning rounds, getting residents out of bed, dressed, fed, and ready to start their days.

Sen.Clinton, Sen. Dodd, and Gov. Richardson have also accepted the Walk a Day invitation. Read more.

>>Candidates Participate in First Forum on Health Care

Last month in Las Vegas, SEIU members asked Sen. Clinton, Sen. Dodd, Sen. Edwards, Sen. Gravel, Rep. Kucinich, Sen. Obama and Gov. Richardson their plans to make health care for all a reality at New Leadership on Health Care: A Presidential Forum. ReadMore. Watch Excerpts.

Transcripts of the forum are available upon request.

>> Workers Speak Up on Walking a Day In Their Shoes

Our email boxes were flooded after we invited workers to share what it’s like to walk in their shoes. JimLongley of Pennsylvania shares his experiences as a service representative for a utility company, asking Have you ever seen the look on a child’s face when you are there to shut off the gas to their home because their parents have had to make a decision of where to spend the money?” KatieOppenheim, an RN in Michigan, worries how we will be able to solve our growing nursing shortage and writes about a former CEO who walked a day in her shoes and what he learned that day. DavidLamson of New Hampshire writes that even though he and his wife are retired, they’ve had to get part time jobs paying $6 or $9 an hour to afford their medications. Read More.

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With 1.8 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America.Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.