Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 775
Growing political clout
Chris McGann of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in June 2007 that SEIU 775 has "built an empire in Washington politics similar to what autoworkers had on the national scene" in past decades.. According to McGann:
Service union leaders have open access to the highest levels of political office and have successfully demanded an ever-widening slice of the $33 billion, two-year state budget.
SEIU 775 president David Rolf told McGann:
"I can probably count on both hands the number of legislators of the 147 that we don't have access to. And we have access to be in all the rooms that seem to matter for getting our priorities addressed."
Washington ballot initiative activism
SEIU 775, along with related SEIU political advocacy groups, is an active participant in ballot initiative campaigns in Washington, both through lawsuits against initiatives and in direct financial donations to ballot campaign committees.
SEIU 775 has given $50,000 to defeat the 2007 Washington Taxpayer Protection Initiative (I-960), a tax limitation measure supported by Tim Eyman, while the SEIU Washington State Council has given $75,000 against I-960. The SEIU Washington State Council also contributed $100,000 to defeat Initiative 920 in 2006. The national office of SEIU donated $100,000 to defeat I-920. The SEIU State Council gave $34,000 in 2006 to defeat Initiative 933, a property rights initiative.