More than a week after, we are still dissecting the 2016 election. What happened and what does it mean for our collective future?
While much of the attention has been focused on the national elections, in Connecticut the Democratic Party kept control of the House of Representatives but only hold a 79-72 majority in the House. Republicans gained eleven seats.
The Senate will be evenly divided at 18-18, with Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman able to break ties as the presiding officer. However, it is yet to be determined if the Senate Democrats are technically the “majority” party and has the right to appoint committee chairs.
It has been reported that Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin) has been elected Speaker of the House and Rep. Matthew Ritter (D-Hartford) as Majority Leader. Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby) was elected as Minority Leader.
There will be new chairs of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee forthcoming as Rep. Roberta Willis did not seek re-election and Sen. Dante Bartolomeo did not win re-election.
SEIU released a statement on the election results, which follows:
After Tuesday’s election, our union’s path to our Vision for a Just Society is more important than ever.
Many of our members, their families and communities are waking up every day with a new level of anxiety and fear about the impact that the incoming Trump Administration and Republican-controlled Congress will have on their lives. Meanwhile, some of our members voted for Trump and are satisfied with the election outcome, something we want to dig deeper to understand.
If the rhetoric in the campaign is truly a bellwether, we can expect national “right to work” and other attacks on worker organization, increased criminalization and disenfranchisement of communities of color, more immigrant families being torn apart, and lower wages for millions of workers who already cannot make ends meet.
The outcome of the election threatens our agenda on many other fronts at the federal, state and local levels: millions stand to lose healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, funding is at risk for childcare, education and services that seniors and people with disabilities rely on, and the hopes that every community can have clean air and water, and that we can reverse the effects of climate change may become more distant.
At a time when the threats are so real, we can find hope in our union’s lived experience of creating opportunity and fighting forward time and again.
We see it every day when workers risk it all to stand up for a better future. We’ve seen it in the Fight for $15 movement where workers in home care, childcare, airports, and higher education have united to win higher wages and change the narrative in the United States and around the world.
We felt it together in Detroit, when delegates committed to a path that unites across the Fight for 15, racial, immigrant and environmental justice movements to become an “Unstoppable” force for change in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.”
To read SEIU’s entire statement and their path forward, please visit our website.