Over the last couple of years, PROTEC17 has been working with members to re-envision it’s political presence across the region. This year, through a rigorous member endorsement process, PROTEC17 endorsed over 50 candidates running for office at various levels of government. Our endorsements demonstrate a renewed focus on the intersection of politics, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The victories of Hamdi Mohamed (Port of Seattle Position 3) and Toshiko Hasegawa (Port of Seattle Position 4) are important as we now represent members at SeaTac Airport, which falls under the Port of Seattle. You can read more about the Airport Duty Managers joining PROTEC17 on page 10. Mohamed and Hasegawa are also the first women of color to ever serve on the commission in its 110 year history. They are proven champions of working families and will be key allies as we expand our union.
In King County, PROTEC17-endorsed candidates also had great showings. We look forward to continuing our work alongside incumbents, King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove (District 5), as well as building a strong partnership with King County Councilmember-elect Sarah Perry (District 3). As one of the largest unions representing workers at King County, supporting and maintaining strong relationships with elected officials will be instrumental in PROTEC17’s on-going efforts to make the County a strong union workplace.
In the City of Seattle, labor-champion Teresa Mosqueda was re-elected by a strong margin. We look forward to continuing to work closely with her office. We have also had early meetings with councilmember-elect Sara Nelson. We look forward to continued communication as she works to staff her office.
In addition, Executive Director Karen Estevinin was selected to serve on Mayor-Elect Bruce Harrel’s transition team along with other prominent labor leaders in the region. Estevenin will work with the team to set the initial labor priorities for the Harrel Administration. As the largest union at the City of Seattle, her voice will be integral to ensuring our members continue to win fair contracts and safe working conditions.
The endorsement process that selected these candidates built on the fruitful organizing efforts from last year. In 2020, we had over 25 PROTEC17 members participate in endorsement interviews. This year, we are proud to share that more than 40 members participated in various candidate endorsements and political actions in coordination with the MLK Labor Council. We are committed to building a political program that empowers members to hold elected officials accountable to their promises. As 2021 comes to a close, we are looking forward to the 2022 legislative session.
The 2022 legislative session – beginning on January 10, 2022 and proceeding through March 10, 2022 – is known as a ‘short session’. The session will occur in a hybrid format this year, providing opportunities to connect with lawmakers both in-person and remotely. More details about how the hybrid session will operate will be shared in early 2022.
The fully remote legislative session in 2021 made it easier for Washingtonians to testify, without having to travel to Olympia. Similarly, this year’s hybrid model will make testimony and advocacy more accessible for our members.
We are in the process of finalizing our 2022 legislative agenda. Our priorities this year will focus on three key areas, public health funding, creating a more fair tax system, and infrastructure and transportation. We are excited to share our full slate of legislative advocacy with members and lawmakers in early 2022. If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to our Political Director Brandon Hersey at .
In Oregon, PROTEC17 Research Director and Legislative Advocate, Elliot Levin, will continue working in Salem, and with Mayor Ted Wheeler and the Portland City Council on issues that impact PROTEC17 members. The Oregon legislative session is also short in 2022, running just from Feb. 1 through March 7. Priorities will include workplace safety, union organizing and representational rights, and local allocation of Federal transportation infrastructure funding. More information on the 2022 session will be provided at upcoming Portland chapter meetings.
Thank you for your continued support of our political program. We look forward to building on the momentum of the last two years to make more positive change in 2022.