The SEIU recently wrote an op-ed, “The SEIU View,” regarding my candidacy for City Council.
I interviewed with Police, Firefighters, and SEIU. In each interview, I told them that I’d like their endorsement but wouldn’t accept any money from them. As I stated in the SEIU questionnaire, I am supportive of city employees receiving fair compensation, wages, and benefits so the city can attract and retain a quality workforce, but City Council approves their contracts, and I firmly believe it’s a serious conflict of interest for prospective councilmembers to accept their campaign contributions.
City Councilmembers are in a position of public trust and, to me, high ethical standards require them to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.
There is a problem when unions support candidates financially. SEIU, Police, and Firefighters contributions to City Council candidates through October 19 totaled $39,028, and in three cases — Diaz Alley, Hart, and Nelson — these amounts equaled 20 percent or more of their respective total cash contributions. Reasonable people will question the ability of councilmembers who accept contributions to remain objective when considering union contracts, a situation that’s not good for the council, our city, or the unions.
City Council elections are ostensibly nonpartisan, and I want to represent all residents of our city, including our hard working Police, Fire, and SEIU employees.