You Can Make a Difference in this Election

Join Your Fellow Members in Talking to Voters About Our Endorsed Candidates

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Last weekend, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry was in Manchester to join SEIU members from our own local, as well as SEIU Local 1199 in Massachusetts, to canvass for our endorsed candidates.

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SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member Laurie Pelletier, center, looks through a canvassing packet on Saturday with Anestine Bentick of SEIU 1199, left, and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry.

Laurie Pelletier, a child protective service worker and member of Chapter 45, had only canvassed once before and was partnered up with Henry and Anestine Bentick of SEIU 1199 to knock on doors in a section of Manchester. Pelletier said the experience was a good one, and she appreciated hearing what the voters they were talking with had to say. It was also good, Pelletier said, to get the perspective of the SEIU members who’d come up from Massachusetts.

“Their dedication was impressive and it was good hearing what their lives are like and why the election is important to them,” Pelletier said. “I always enjoy getting different perspectives and interacting with people from different places and cultures. I think there’s a common thread that pulls us all together.”

In this case, that common thread is one that SEIU members have long fought for: improving the lives of everyone in society, not just the top 1 percent. New Hampshire is again considered a swing state in the presidential election, and our U.S. Senate race could also potentially tip the balance of power in that body. That kind of impact is what draws in big names such as Mary Kay Henry, but more importantly, it’s what draws in volunteers like Anestine Bentick.

We’ll be canvassing every weekend through the election — including the four days leading up to and including Election Day, Nov. 8. We’re also phone-banking every Tuesday and Thursday through Election Day. Canvass locations are set up all over the state, and most importantly, as Pelletier noted, it’s easy.

“It’s only a couple of hours and anybody can do it — it’s really not difficult,” she said, and you can make a big impact in a short amount of time. “All of the races — the presidential down to the state races — are extremely important.”

If you think that you can’t make a difference, Pelletier is proof that you can. A longtime SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member, she began getting more involved in the union in 2015 as part of efforts to establish caseload standards for DHHS caseworkers. Along with her colleague, Demetrios Tsaros, Pelletier testified before a state commission on child fatalities about their need for more resources to do their jobs.

“I’ve seen how small steps can turn into major change,” she said. “Demetrios and I testifying helped to get laptops and iPhones for people in the field that we didn’t have before.”

“That didn’t take much and it led to positive results,” she said. “People need to realize that they may be only one person, but they’re part of a bigger group and together we can achieve great things.”

Help Us Hold Rep. Neal Kurk Accountable

We’ll be canvassing this Saturday in Weare and Deering in support of three great candidates there, as we work to oust Rep. Neal Kurk, who has chipped away at our retirement benefits (and is trying to do so again) and balanced budgets on the backs of public employees for years. We need to hold Kurk accountable.

We’ll be meeting at the Center Woods School, 14 Center Road, Weare, at 9 a.m. to go door-to-door in Kurk’s House district. We’ll be supporting three great candidates to replace Kurk: Ellen Dokton, Arnold Rocklin-Weare and Aaron Gill. Unlike Kurk, all three will be strong advocates for working families. In addition to the canvass, we’ll be holding a retirement visibility from 11-11:45 a.m. (this is good for anyone who can’t participate in a canvass).

If you can join us, you’re asked to contact Laurie Gordon at 271-3411, ext. 101, or lgordon@seiu1984.org.

Phone Banks Continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays

You’re invited to join us Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. at the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 office (207 N. Main St., Concord) to help make phone calls to voters in support of our endorsed candidates. These kind of one-to-one conversations are the most effective way to make sure people get out to vote for candidates who’ll fight for working people.

If you can make it to the phone banks, you can just drop by the office or send an email to bhawkins@seiu1984.org.

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