For immediate release
September 18, 2023
UNITE HERE canvassers, who have helped secure huge wins for Virginia Democrats, have already knocked 35,000 doors, and are projecting to knock at least 215,000 doors total.
“Walk With Us” Opportunity —
Join UNITE HERE canvassers in the field talking to voters any time before November 7’s Election Day in Virginia. Turf includes neighborhoods around Richmond, Petersburg, and Virginia Beach. Please contact Diana Hussein, [email protected] or 313-460-3119 to arrange a time to shadow our door-knockers talking to voters.
RICHMOND, Va. — UNITE HERE’s battle-tested field operation is kicking off a sustained effort to flip Virginia’s house of delegates and win good jobs for Richmond workers. UNITE HERE will knock doors in favor of the referendum to create good jobs by building a resort casino in Richmond, as well as some of the Commonwealth’s most competetive races Democrats need to fend off a Youngkin Republican Party trifecta.
“Corporate price-gouging and sky-high inflation are putting significant strain on Virginia’s working families. Commonwealth workers need good jobs to support themselves and their families, and elected officials who will fight for economic justice,” said D Taylor, President of UNITE HERE. “Republicans and the radical Youngkin administration are dead-set on robbing working-class Virginians of their basic rights and an economic future. The Richmond GOP even went so far as to try and shutter early voting sites, a move that would have disproportionately harmed Black and Brown working-class voters.
“That’s why hospitality workers are fighting back.”
UNITE HERE canvassers have already knocked 35,000 doors and are projecting to knock over 215,000 total by November 7’s closing of polls, leading on the issue of good jobs in Richmond and supporting key House Democrats. All eyes are on Virginia as Democrats seek to hold onto critical gains and look ahead to 2024.
“Virginia’s working families are struggling to make ends meet, and UNITE HERE canvassers — union workers themselves — can speak directly from their experiences about the life-changing impact of fair wages, healthcare, and respect on the job,” said Paul Schwalb, Executive-Secretary Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 25. “This is the kind of operation that actually builds power for working people, where workers organize workers.”
“From Richmond’s Southside to Norfolk and Petersburg, Black voter turnout is critical to the statewide push to keep the far-right at bay and referendum to create good jobs in Richmond,” said Marlene-Patrick Cooper, Executive Secretary Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 23. “Our canvass is staffed and run by working-class people of color, who will bring their stories of struggle and political action directly to the doors.”
In the 2021 general, 200 UNITE HERE members knocked over 230,000 doors for endorsed candidates in VA. Union-endorsed candidates won in every down-ballot race where UNITE HERE canvassed. In January, 20 UNITE HERE members knocked 9,000 doors for Aaron Rouse in VA-07’s special election, which Rouse won by just a few hundred votes. During the 2023 Primary, UNITE HERE knocked 67,000 doors for Lashrescse Aird – the largest canvassing operation in the race – helping her handily defeat Joe Morrisey in his home turf in Petersburg.
UNITE HERE Locals 25 and 23 represent over 8,000 Virginia voters, including food service workers from universities such as VCU, the College of William and Mary, and Old Dominion, as well as hospitality workers at Colonial Williamsburg.