SEIU Healthcare labor union endorses independent DA candidate Lisa Middleman | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

SEIU Healthcare labor union endorses independent DA candidate Lisa Middleman

click to enlarge SEIU Healthcare labor union endorses independent DA candidate Lisa Middleman
Photo: courtesy of campaign
Lisa Middleman
As the Nov. 5 election nears, Lisa Middleman — the independent candidate for Allegheny County District Attorney — is steadily gaining endorsements.

SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania's largest health-care union, became the most recent name on Middleman’s list of supporters after announcing their endorsement on Oct. 16.

The union represents more than 45,000 people in Pennsylvania and both SEIU Healthcare and its members believe advocating for progressive policies that benefit the community and center racial justice are an important part of being a health-care professional. SEIU sees Middleman’s record of union support and push for racial justice as important to the health and well-being of working people and their communities.

“We are all in to elect Lisa Middleman for District Attorney because all people—black, white and brown—deserve justice,” Matt Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania said a press release. “Lisa’s vision for a more just and humane system—one that prioritizes rehabilitation over conviction rates—will better serve communities that have been left behind, as well as victims of crime and their families.”
SEIU Healthcare is the fourth major Pittsburgh organization to support Middleman, in addition to UNITE Political Action Committee, Democracy for America, and One Pennsylvania.

In addition to these organizations, eighteen elected officials and both the Green and Libertarian parties of Allegheny County announced their endorsement for Middleman last month. Pittsburgh City Councilor Erika Strassburger (D-Shadyside) and State Rep. Summer Lee (D-Swissvale) are among the officials supporting Middleman.

“I’m honored to have support all across the ideological spectrum,” Middleman said in a Sept. 17 press release. “Criminal justice reform transcends partisanship, and my broad base of support, both geographically and politically, demonstrates that Allegheny County is ready for change in the DA’s office.”

Lisa Middleman, a Highland Park native and University of Pittsburgh Law graduate, kicked off her campaign in early August. Middleman, who is a part-time public defender, is running on a platform of progressive reforms to tackle the racial and economic injustice she believes exists in the county’s current DA administration.

Zappala, the incumbent and Middleman’s opposition, has been the county DA for 21 years. While he has support of the Allegheny County’s Democratic committee, some prominent Democratic committee members have come out in support of Middleman. Zappala has also been actively campaigning with Republican party members, including a meeting with the Young Republicans of Allegheny County in August.