Historic Election of Ed Gainey as Pittsburgh Mayor Demonstrates the Power of Working People
Frontline workers of SEIU Healthcare PA look forward to building racial, social, and economic justice for all
(Pittsburgh, PA) – Ed Gainey’s election as the next Mayor of Pittsburgh is a historic moment for the City and for the entire Commonwealth.
In response, Matthew W. Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, issued the following statement:
“Mayor-elect Gainey’s remarkable victory is a strong and inspiring reminder of what is possible when working families come together to elect a transformational leader who will take on powerful interests like UPMC, the largest private employer in our state, and invest in all communities..
“Ed Gainey ran a campaign that spoke to all people – caregivers, working families and professionals, union members, business owners, community and faith leaders, and progressive advocates. Together, we formed an unstoppable movement to demand change.
As the first Black mayor of Pittsburgh, Ed Gainey will lead the city through a transformation toward social, racial, and economic justice. And while no single election can change or alter our long history of structural racism and inequality, Tuesday’s election is an important step in building an economy and healthcare system to benefit all families.
For too long, poor and working class people have felt the weight of unaccountable and militarized policing, with Pittsburgh’s Black minority most harmed. The “eds and meds” economy has never replaced the upward mobility of good, family supporting, union jobs of the steel era, and Black workers who are over represented in Pittsburgh’s service sector have been denied opportunity. Gentrification has forced families from the city and disproportionately harmed Black neighborhoods.
“Mayor-elect Gainey’s success tonight is even more poignant and important as we witness powerful ideological and corporate interests who continue to try and divide us. But instead, Mr. Gainey focused on what unites all working families: our collective demands and need for affordable healthcare, a high-quality education and investments in early learning, expanding good paying union jobs, criminal justice reform, and taking on powerful interests like UPMC and their corrosive anti-union agenda.
“Ed Gainey’s election tonight marks a major turning point and opportunity for Pittsburgh, and our entire State. We must seize this moment and continue to center our politics on investing in working families again and tear down the walls of poverty, anti-Black racism, discrimination of all kinds, and the gross inequities within healthcare, education, and housing. It is a cause and a fight our SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to leading.”
Karen Gownley, 717-805-6070; firstname.lastname@example.org , Scott Vogel, 773-329-5589; email@example.com
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home- and community-based services, and state facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of health care workers and ensuring quality care and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.