SeaTac Hospitality Workers Clinch Victory for a “99%” City Council

Biggest Electoral Shift in SeaTac City Council History

SEATAC –  On November 29,2011, the King County Elections Office declared Mia Gregerson the winner in a hotly contested race for SeaTac city council.  The race solidified a victory for progressives in SeaTac, after the landslide victories of Dave Bush and Barry Ladenburg over their conservative opponents earlier this month.

Hospitality workers knocked on over 25,000 doors in support of Gregerson, Bush, and Ladenburg, contrasting the government services and progressive policies that they support with the limited government favored by the opposing candidates.

“We won these elections by having one-on-one conversations with voters about our city,” said Yancai Chen, a SeaTac resident and worker at Gate Gourmet, a food service company based at SeaTac Airport.  “We made real connections with thousands of voters who wanted to see the SeaTac city council focus on issues that matter to working families.  I am so proud of motivating so many voters to take action and determine the future of our city.”

The hospitality workers’ get out the vote efforts significantly increased turnout in SeaTac.  The intensive field campaign involved workers from SeaTac Airport, Hilton SeaTac and SeaTac Doubletree speaking directly to voters from September through November, mostly by doorbelling. Gregerson won the election by just 31 votes, 2317 to 2286.  Longtime incumbent Gene Fisher was handily defeated by challenger Barry Ladenburg 65% to 35%.

“SeaTac is developing rapidly with a thriving hospitality industry, light rail, and the airport,” says Erik Van Rossum, Secretary-Treasure of UNITE HERE Local 8, the hospitality workers union. “With this election the voters have sent a strong message that they want concerns of people, not corporations, to be foremost in the city’s development.”

UNITE HERE Local 8 represents approximately 4,000 workers in Seattle’s hotel and tourism industry and approximately 1,500 workers in the city of SeaTac. For more information visit