Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Anna conceeds, Mary Kay is the new Presidential Zombie.

After weeks of drama SEIU has a clear new boss: Mary Kay Henry.

Below is Anna Burger's letter to supporters/SEIU staff in which she takes her name out of consideration:

April 28, 2010

To the Members of the International Executive Board:

Thirty-eight years ago, as a member of SEIU, I was faced with a major
decision about participating in my first wild cat strike. My father
gave me good advice, telling me to stick to the union because unions
make a difference in working peoples' lives. In the years since, I
have had the most extraordinary opportunity to each day apply my
values and my convictions to my work. I have been granted the chance
to stand by and for people who work - janitors, security officers,
nurses' aides, home care attendants, child care providers and public
sector workers like I once was. I have sat at the bargaining table,
in the offices of elected leaders and, most importantly, in living
rooms all around this country, serving at every level of this union
from rank-and-file member to organizer to local leader to field
director to Secretary-Treasurer - all to help working people have
their shot at the American Dream.

I am writing to you today to let you know while I would have treasured
the opportunity to serve as SEIU President, I am withdrawing my

I am very proud of what our union has accomplished over the past 14
years, doubling our members' strength, winning major victories for
workers and changing the political landscape in this country to help
working families make life better for their children and
grandchildren. Mary Kay Henry and I have been close allies for years,
and we share the same goals for our union and for the larger labor
movement. We have worked side-by-side on many initiatives over the
years, and I wish her only the best as President of SEIU. And because
I love our union, I will do everything in my power to make sure that
this is a smooth transition and that our union will continue to help
our members do extraordinary things.

We women have a special knack for putting our egos aside and keeping
our eye on the bigger picture and the common good. I am a union
sister of Mary Kay's in the truest sense of the term. We intend to
show the broader community how, despite honest differences over a
leadership choice, once that choice is made we can come back together
as close working colleagues for the benefit of our members and all
working people.

I want to thank many of you for supporting my candidacy and sharing my
vision for the future of our union. The media is just wrong when they
suggest that this contest represents a "shift in SEIU's priorities" or
a "rejection of the Stern/Burger agenda." I know this was a tough
decision for many of you, that each and every one of you weighed this
choice carefully, and I accept this outcome.

It is time for us to focus back on the important work we need to do.
My job right now is to continue as Secretary-Treasurer and to help
Mary Kay and the rest of the leadership of our union to finish the job
of reaching our ambitious Justice for All goals adopted by our members
at our 2008 Convention.

Again, I congratulate Mary Kay and look forward to cementing our
partnership as we lead SEIU through 2010 and beyond.

In unity,

Anna Burger
Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU