In the August 1 Nashville Metro Council elections, the biggest winners were candidates endorsed by SEIU Local 205. Members of the union representing Metro Government employees and support staff in Metro Schools and Nashville General Hospital endorsed 28 candidates, with 16 of them winning outright on Election Day. Meanwhile, 9 other candidates that Local 205 endorsed are headed into runoff elections on Sept. 12 as the front-runners in their races.
For two years, SEIU has led the fight to pass a “Moral Budget” which invests in our schools, infrastructure and public safety. The results of the council elections sent a clear message that Nashville voters understand the need for more public investment and that candidates who addressed that need clearly won the day.
Nowhere was this more clear than in the county-wide At-Large race. Bob Mendes, who led the fight to fix the budget for two years won the most votes and avoided a runoff. He was the first to do so since 2011. Tanaka Vercher, whose substitute budget would have sustainably funded raises to all Metro employees and given a much needed increase in school funding, was handily re-elected in her district. Delishia Porterfield, who spoke courageously in support of the Vercher budget, was re-elected with 76% of the vote.
“People in Nashville understand that investment in our schools, public services and infrastructure has not kept up with the growth,” said Lilldeus Russell – a paraprofessional and SEIU member who was active on the union’s endorsement committee. “Voters are fully aware that these things cost money and they are willing to pay for them. We need all of our elected officials to understand that.”
SEIU members volunteered with other unions and community organizations including the Central Labor Council and the Nashville Justice League in an effort that contacted over 6,000 union households and knocked over 5000 doors in districts all across the county.
More information on the Sept. 12 runoff elections for Mayor and Metro Council, including early voting dates and polling locations, can be found at the Davidson County Election Commission website or by calling 615-862-8800.