FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sam Fettig
Candidates pledge to support Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, put patients and healthcare workers before profits
(St. Paul) – May 24, 2020 – Nurses of the Minnesota Nurses Association today announced six new endorsements for the 2022 election cycle for candidates in open races for the Minnesota Legislature. These endorsements follow the first four announced by MNA in April, and are based on screening interviews and recommendations of member nurses based on candidates’ pledged support for MNA priority issues. All endorsed candidates have affirmed their commitment to support the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act; oppose the Outsourcing Care Compact; and defend workers’ collective bargaining rights and oppose so-called “right-to-work” laws.
The candidates endorsed by MNA nurses today for their commitment to these priority issues are Arik Forsman (HD 8B); Pete Radosevich (HD 11A); Grant Hauschild (SD 3); Ben DeNucci (SD 7); Bonnie Westlin (SD 42); and Clare Oumou Verbeten (SD 66).
About the MNA Endorsed Candidates
Nurses appreciated that Forsman “shows up for us and is actively engaged to partner to find solutions,” pledging support for MNA priority positions including the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act. Nurses expressed their appreciation for candidates like Forsman “who speak so passionately about Labor issues” including those of MNA nurses.
Radosevich impressed nurses with his understanding that Minnesota’s strong healthcare system is due to our strong union nurses and expressed concern over the impact of corporate healthcare policies on Minnesota hospitals. Like all other MNA-endorsed candidates, Radosevich committed to listening, learning, and supporting MNA nurses on critical issues like the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act.
MNA nurses recognized Hauschild as “a strong supporter of collective bargaining rights, the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act and single payer healthcare” who understands nurses’ strong opposition to the Compact. An Essentia employee, Hauschild understands the importance of unions to protect patient care and supports nurses as they negotiate contracts across the district.
DeNucci “proudly and strongly supports MNA on all issues,” and “wants to be in the fight alongside MNA members.” MNA nurses appreciate that he has joined nurses on picket lines when hospitals have brought in strike-breakers, and they know he is committed to fighting with nurses against corporate healthcare and for the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act and other essential measures to put patients before profits.
Nurses appreciated Westlin’s strong conviction to “put people first over profits” in healthcare and in public policy. One nurse appreciated that Westlin “closely follows issues MNA nurses are passionate about” and pledged to work alongside MNA on issues like safe staffing and access to healthcare.
Oumou Verbeten impressed nurses as “a strong champion for MNA issues” who emphasized “the intersection of healthcare access and quality with racial justice.” She shared that her father, a union member, taught her that “if you take care of the workers, the people they serve benefit,” and she committed to organizing with MNA members to oppose corporate healthcare policies that put profits over patients and workers.
Nurses Care, Nurses Vote
In working to support MNA-endorsed candidates, nurses will encourage fellow members and the voting public to support those who will uphold their commitment to put healthcare workers and patients before the profit-seeking of healthcare executives. Nurse efforts to elect endorsed candidates through phone- and text-banking, door-knocking, digital advertisements and more will focus on candidate support for MNA priorities like the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act and other pledged positions.
MNA endorsement recommendations are based on candidate questionnaires and interviews conducted by nurse members with candidates; these recommendations are then approved by the MNA Board of Directors, an elected body of nurse members. Nurses continue to interview candidates, and additional endorsements in state races will be announced on a rolling basis in the coming months. Additional information on the MNA endorsement process and on endorsed candidates can be found at nursescarenursesvote.com.