For immediate release
November 8, 2022
Over 1,200 UNITE HERE Canvassers Drive Labor’s Largest Field Operation for Democrats in Tightest Races, Knocking 2.7 Million Voter Doors in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia
Hospitality Union UNITE HERE leads massive field program talking to working-class voters about their economic concerns and protecting our rights against Trump Republicans.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Over the course of eight months, 1,200 canvassers working full-time with the hospitality union UNITE HERE will have knocked on 2.7 million doors in the country’s most high-profile battleground states: Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. UNITE HERE’s door-to-door canvassing operations are the largest in the states of Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, and combined they are the largest labor-led program in the nation. Total estimated doors from each state:
- Nevada: 1,000,000 doors, 450 canvassers by GOTV weekend
- Arizona: 750,000 doors, 350 canvassers by GOTV weekend
- Pennsylvania: 950,000 doors, 400 canvassers by GOTV weekend
- Georgia (launched October): 17,000 doors, 11 canvassers by GOTV weekend (UNITE HERE is prepared to build on our general election efforts if Georgia were to go to a runoff in December)
***Leadership quoted below are available for interview.***
D. Taylor, UNITE HERE President:
“UNITE HERE is hitting the doors of millions of voters this year in an effort powered by the entire labor movement. Working people are standing together in the fight of our lives as the cost of rents, groceries, and gas are higher than ever. These are tough times, and we must be able to have the tough conversations about the bread-and-butter issues that voters are most concerned about. We know that Trump Republicans don’t have a plan for corporate price gouging and the housing crisis — their only plans are around how to steal an election or organize another insurrection. But as voters are bombarded with ads and mailers that talk at them, we’ve been doing the hard work of talking with them about the stakes of these races.”
Gwen Mills, UNITE HERE Secretary-Treasurer:
“UNITE HERE is pulling out all the stops this election, because the stakes for working people and the future of democracy are so high. 1,200 UNITE HERE canvassers are dedicating long hours, six days a week to stand up for basic economic progress like rent relief and child tax credit, and to ensure that Trump Republicans don’t claw back our freedoms. Our canvassers have endured gun violence and triple-digit heat waves to connect with people in their homes, prioritizing voters who are less likely to vote. When we talk to working-class communities, we do have some anger and apathy from people struggling to make ends meet to overcome. But this is the essential work of democracy — and in tight races, this work is essential to win.”
NEVADA — Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union:
“We are proud to get out the vote for political leaders who will continue to fight to protect working families. We have the most pro-worker representatives we have ever had in our lifetimes. Governor Sisolak, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Congressional Representatives Dina Titus, Steven Horsford, and Susie Lee, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, and candidate for North Las Vegas Mayor, Pat Spearman fought for workers during the pandemic, and we are going to have their backs during this Midterm. The biggest corporations have been using the pandemic to price gouge working families, but we are fighting back, and we have a plan to win. No voter believes Republicans are going to take on massive Wall Street landlords who are stealing our homes and ruining our neighborhoods. Workers do not believe that Republicans, who are getting rich off record oil profits and prescription drugs, are going to take on Big Oil or Big Pharma. Together, we will continue to take on Wall Street landlords, Big Oil, Big Pharma, and greedy corporations to win for working families.”
ARIZONA — Susan Minato, UNITE HERE Local 11 Co-President:
“Our canvassers have been hard at it since the late summer, hitting almost half a million doors since Labor Day alone. Our members have canvassed cycle after cycle for the last 15 years in Arizona because they know that it’s door-by-door that things are going to change. In addition to canvassing for Senator Mark Kelly, who we successfully got elected in 2020, and Secretary of State/gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, this year we have proudly run one of our own members for Phoenix City Council – Kellen Wilson. Kellen would join our member Betty Guardado who we got elected to Phoenix City Council in 2019. Bellmen, bartenders, cooks, and housekeepers have led the charge for political change in Arizona, and they won’t stop now.”
PENNSYLVANIA — Rosslyn Wuchinich, UNITE HERE Philly Local 274 President:
“By 8pm on Election Day, we knocked on over 950,000 doors for John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro. We were the largest door-to-door canvassing operation in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania this midterm election, and we will make the critical difference in the outcome. In Pennsylvania, elections are often determined not by the people who vote but by the people who don’t. Though working people had the most to lose in this election, they were also the least likely to participate. Our union focused on voters in our own, impacted communities who are frustrated, struggling to pay their bills and don’t believe politicians care about them. We were the trusted messengers who connected with our neighbors and talked to them about how to move forward together. Ultimately, this is not only about winning an election. The real path to victory is building durable political power for the working people, People of Color and women who make up an overwhelming majority of our city and our commonwealth.”
GEORGIA — Tembi Hove, UNITE HERE Local 23 — Atlanta Chapter President and Canvass Lead:
“We launched in Columbus, GA in October because our democracy and right to vote is on the line. We had restrictions imposed after 2020 when we turned Georgia blue because it’s the only way Trump Republicans can contend against our power in our collective voice. Stacey Abrams and Reverend Warnock are more in touch with every day, working-class people than any of the candidates on the other side. They know what it feels like to come from not having much and living in neighborhoods with higher poverty rates, like the ones where we knock doors. These weeks of talking to working-class voters in the field have shown us that Georgians aren’t interested in what the Republicans have to offer when they are able to hear from someone who can relate to their experience. They are interested in how they can afford to keep a roof over their head or fill their car up with gas. They aren’t interested in election-deniers trying to ensure their vote doesn’t get counted.”
UNITE HERE’s political program is part of a decades-long cycle of investment in building organizing infrastructure year-round, not just during election season. UNITE HERE members train as organizers and bring those skills into their neighborhoods, mostly Black and Brown and immigrant communities, during election season. After elections end, canvassers continue building power for working people by union organizing in the hospitality industry.
Under the banner, “Workers to the Front,” UNITE HERE’s 2022 midterm canvassing program is centered on the workers who lead its success — the people in the trenches talking to voters every day until Tuesday about the issues they care about most. This is amid a moment where workers across industries, particularly the hospitality industry, are more fed up than ever and are organizing for better conditions at their workplaces.
In 2020, after COVID-19 created one of the biggest crises in the Union’s history, UNITE HERE — with the backing of allies across the labor movement — led the way into the field to defeat Trump in Nevada, Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania. 1,700 hospitality workers knocked on over three million doors. Then, the Union joined Stacey Abrams and others in Georgia, growing to 1,100 in the field, hitting 1.6 million doors, and helping the broader coalition reach 10 million knocks before the runoffs. In 2022, once again alongside the backing of the labor movement, the Union ran its largest-ever field program, reaching more voters than ever before.
UNITE HERE is the hospitality workers’ union in the U.S. and Canada that represented 300,000 workers in hotels, gaming, restaurants and food service, airports, and more pre-pandemic.