In 2007, the SEIU poured $2 million into aldermanic contests. The union said the effort landed the group nine victories. Now that campaigning for the 2011 municipal elections is underway, the influential SEIU hopes to replicate its status as a key player. The union carries weight in terms of raw numbers of constituents and members who work in city services.
Balanoff told Moore that the union will contribute money to the aldermanic and mayoral races – probably around $1 million. The SEIU has already disseminated questionnaires to aldermanic candidates to determine endorsements; following that, the group will conduct interviews. Balanoff says union members will be activated in every ward in Chicago and campaigning will continue until the election on February 22.
Balanoff explains the SEIU's approach to the race for mayor will be slightly different, and that could mean the union will put off a mayoral endorsement until a possible April runoff.
Listen to the interview above.