UNITE HERE Philly rallies with community allies to celebrate canvass operation that secured Biden-Harris victory

After knocking on doors of more than 575,000 voters, over 5,000 hospitality workers and allies marched for commitment to racial and economic justice.

Philadelphia—UNITE HERE, the hospitality workers’ union that ran the largest door-to-door turnout operation in Philadelphia, marched from Independence Hall to City Hall with faith, labor, and community allies to celebrate their historic effort to win Pennsylvania, and to call for a new national agenda grounded in racial and economic justice. Pennsylvania was called today for former Vice President Joe Biden, securing his victory in the 2020 presidential election.

Beginning October 1, when few groups were engaging voters in person, UNITE HERE Philly members launched a contactless face-to-face effort to get out the vote. Working six days a week until election day, hospitality workers knocked on doors in the disenfranchised Black and Brown communities where they live in and made voting plans with residents, many of whom did not vote in 2016. UNITE HERE Philly members, who have been devastated by the current economic and health crises, made the critical difference in defeating Trump in Pennsylvania.

By the numbers:

  • UNITE HERE knocked on the doors of 575,000 voters.
  • 60,000 people pledged to vote for Biden and Harris via a contactless conversation with a UNITE HERE canvasser.
  • 30,000 people who did not vote in 2016 pledged to vote for Biden and Harris in a conversation with a UNITE HERE canvasser.
  • 44,292 was the Pennsylvania margin in the 2016 election between Clinton and Trump.
  • 500 canvassers knocked doors during UNITE HERE’s final push towards the election.

“We knocked on doors in Black and Brown neighborhoods across Philadelphia,” said Rosslyn Wuchinich, President of UNITE HERE Local 274. “We know that we, UNITE HERE, have made a significant difference in Pennsylvania. Our door knocking strategy was essential, there was no substitute.”

“This is what democracy looks like,” said Nicole Hunt, President of UNITE HERE Local 634. “Biden spoke to working people about how we’ll recover after COVID-19. Now, as we celebrate his election we’re going to keep fighting until we can get our jobs back, pay our bills, and end racial injustice in America.”

“This election was personal to me. I was knocking on doors for my ten-year-old grandson, because he’s a young Black man and I don’t want him to need to be afraid that he will lose his life for walking down the street in this country,” said Theressa Council, Staff and Organizing Director for UNITE HERE Local 54. “We had no choice but to do the work in this election. Our union our and our lives depend on this victory.”

“I’m incredibly proud of UNITE HERE Philadelphia and its members, who operated a huge canvassing operation in the state of Pennsylvania,” said UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor, “When it became clear that no other groups were doing door-to-door canvassing, UNITE HERE Philadelphia stepped in to do the type of in-person organizing that our union does best. They built a program that grew from 50 to 500 people in just a few weeks, knocking on the doors of over 575,000 voters. That’s the kind of dedication necessary to flip Pennsylvania, take back our country, and it’s the commitment that we’ll need to begin rebuilding the nation with a Biden/Harris administration.”

UNITE HERE leaders celebrated their victory and called on the Biden-Harris administration to deliver justice for Black and Brown workers, from economic relief to organizing rights to an end to mass incarceration and family separation.

Contact: Bethany Holmes, 213-675-0905, [email protected];
Arthur Phillips, 978-500-5366, [email protected]

 

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UNITE HERE represents more than 300,000 workers in the North American hospitality industry. UNITE HERE ran the largest door-to-door union canvassing operation in the United States including the largest overall door-to-door canvassing operations in the states of Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. UNITE HERE knocked on the doors of 3 million voters across the U.S. heading into election day.

 

UNITE HERE Philly celebrates Biden-Harris victory in Pennsylvania after leading Philadelphia’s largest GOTV program

Hospitality workers who knocked on the doors of more than 575,000 voters made a critical difference in the state

Philadelphia—UNITE HERE, the hospitality workers’ union that ran the largest door-to-door turnout operation in Philadelphia, celebrates its historic effort to flip Pennsylvania back to blue.

Beginning October 1, when polls showed a big lead and few groups were engaging voters in person, UNITE HERE Philly members launched a contactless face-to-face canvassing effort to make voting plans with residents from the same disenfranchised neighborhoods in which they live. These mostly Black and Brown workers made the critical difference in defeating Trump in Pennsylvania.

By the numbers:

  • UNITE HERE knocked on the doors of 575,000 voters.
  • 60,000 people pledged to vote for Biden-Harris via a contactless conversation with a UNITE HERE canvasser.
  • 30,000 people who did not vote in 2016 pledged to vote for Biden-Harris in a conversation with a UNITE HERE canvasser.
  • 44,292 was the margin in the 2016 election between Clinton and Trump.
  • 500 canvassers knocked doors during UNITE HERE’s final push towards the election.

“We believe we made a critical difference in Pennsylvania by focusing our efforts in the disenfranchised Black and Brown communities where most of our members live,” said UNITE HERE Local 274 President Rosslyn Wuchinich. “Four years ago, when a hotel owner won the State of Pennsylvania and the White House, we pledged to do whatever was needed to take back our country. And despite a pandemic that has devastated our industries and our communities, we did just that. That is a testament to how our union brings together those from all walks of life to harness our collective power and win for all working people.”

 

“This is what we do as a union—we organize. The members I work with are primarily Black and Brown leaders who need to see a change in this country,” said Nicole Hunt, President, UNITE HERE Local 634. “They had lost hope in the system so they did not vote last election, and they may not have this year either. But we went to them to help them find their voice, to let them know their vote matters. We’re proud of the work we have done, and we are proud to have taken our country back.”

“This election was personal to me. I was knocking on doors for my ten-year-old grandson, because he’s a young Black man and I don’t want him to need to be afraid that he will lose his life for walking down the street in this country,” said Theressa Council, Staff and Organizing Director for UNITE HERE Local 54. “We had no choice but to do the work in this election. Our union and our lives depend on this victory.”

Contact: Arthur Phillips, 978-500-5366, [email protected]

###

UNITE HERE represents more than 300,000 workers in the North American hospitality industry. UNITE HERE ran the largest door-to-door canvassing operation in the United States including the largest overall door-to-door canvassing operations in the states of Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. UNITE HERE knocked on the doors of 3 million voters across the U.S. heading into election day.

UNITE HERE turnout operation reached 60,000 voters who pledge to vote Biden-Harris in Pennsylvania

30,000 of these were people who did not vote in 2016 when Pennsylvania went to Trump

Philadelphia—UNITE HERE, the hospitality workers’ union that ran the largest door-to-door election turnout operation in Philadelphia, tonight will celebrate its efforts to flip Pennsylvania back to blue.

By the numbers:

  • 300,000 doors were knocked by UNITE HERE canvassers
  • 60,000 Philadelphia residents pledged to vote for Biden-Harris via a contactless conversation with a UNITE HERE canvasser. Of these, 30,000 were people who did not vote in 2016
  • 44,292 the margin in 2016 between Clinton and Trump
  • 500+ people who knocked doors during turnout in final push towards the election

Leaders of canvass operations and union officials will be available for comment tonight.

Background: UNITE HERE Philly’s contactless election turnout operation knocked on more than 300,000 doors since early October, making plans to vote with residents from Philadelphia neighborhoods with low turnout in 2016. The hotel, food service, airport, and casino workers of UNITE HERE are majority Black and Brown people who live in communities that have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 as a public health and economic crisis.

“Four years ago when we watched our state help elect a hotel and casino owner as president, we pledged to do whatever we needed to take our state back this year, and that was before COVID-19 devastated our industries and the bosses turned their backs on our members,” said UNITE HERE Local 274 President Rosslyn Wuchinich. “The power of our union is our ability to build unity and organization across race and other divisions, and that is what helped us run this operation while 80% of our members have been laid off.”

“The pandemic has been hard for casino workers and our number one priority since it began has been making sure we elect leadership who will take this crisis seriously. We decided to do everything we could to help flip Pennsylvania because our members and families are in pain. We’ve lost our jobs, we’ve lost so many of our loved ones, and we need change,” said Theressa Council, Staff and Organizing Director, UNITE HERE Local 54

“People in Philly are tough. You can disrespect us, you can underestimate us—that just makes us fight harder. We are 2,000 Philadelphia School District cafeteria workers and student climate staff. We are primarily Black women and men who come from the same neighborhoods we serve. We see what Trump has done to our communities. We knew it was on us this year to make a difference in this election and we gave it everything we got,” said Nicole Hunt, President, UNITE HERE Local 634.

Contact: Arthur Phillips, 978-500-5366, [email protected]

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UNITE HERE represents more than 300,000 workers in the North American hospitality industry. UNITE HERE is operating the largest door-to-door canvassing operation in the United States including the largest overall door-to-door canvassing operations in the States of Arizona, Florida Nevada, and Pennsylvania. UNITE HERE knocked on 2 million doors across the U.S. heading into election day.

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