For immediate release
November 6, 2020
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.”
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.