James Guy, 23
Dietary Aide at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis & SEIU Union Steward
“I felt like I wanted to do something this year,” says Guy, when asked why he sought a leave of absence from work to commit his time and energy to issues important to SEIU members this election year. As a “lost timer,” based out of SEIU Minnesota State Council, Guy is working hard to help inform and educate members on issues important to the 99%–especially on reasons to oppose the Voter ID Amendment on this fall’s ballot.
Guy points out some basic talking points on the ballot question:
- Minnesota has one of the cleanest and most effective election systems in the country;
- This is not about ID. This is about our democracy and the right to vote;
- This amendment would make it harder or impossible to vote for over 700,000 Minnesotans;
- This is an intentional attempt to shut out the very poor who are most hurt by the policies of the 1% and prevent them from voting for change;
- Soliders on active duty would be able to vote under the amendment because they would not be able to present an ID in person;
- There have been no cases of election fraud in Minnesota and so this is a solution seeking a problem—a problem that does not exist.
“I have never been involved in politics before and yet I have never been afraid to be vocal about issues important to me,” he adds. And this year, especially, there are many issues that have gotten his full attention and he wants to work hard from now through Election Day to not only inform and educate SEIU members across the state but also to mobilize them to become involved in such things as; door-knocking for candidates endorsed by SEIU, phone-calling on GOTV efforts, and speaking out on the myriad of other issues affecting hard working Minnesotans.
SEIU’s focus this year is much bigger than a single candidate or single election. In fact, SEIU, and members like James Guy are working hard to ensure that not only leaders who represent the 99% are elected to office but they are elected on a mandate for decision makers to enact policies that benefit the 99% so that we all win good jobs and advance a vision for America where everyone prospers, not just a few.
“Our engagement should not begin and end by showing up to the voting booth,” he adds. “We need to be informed on the issues and do our part to turn out members who will help elect leaders who will represent the needs and best interests of the 99% not just the richest 1% in this country.”
SEIU members identify as Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Our focus is on the issues, not on the political party. We are proud to stand with candidates who stand with us.