A lot of the decisions that impact SEIU 503 members are made in the State
Legislature, at the Governor’s office, or in Washington, D.C. Our union’s member-run
political program is how we make sure our voice is in the room when those
decisions are made.
Political work is coordinated by CAPE (Citizen Action for Political Education), a
group of 52 SEIU 503 members who are elected by the membership right here in
Oregon. Members on the CAPE Council recommend candidate endorsements and
then work to get our endorsed candidates elected by phonebanking, canvassing,
donating resources, and getting the word out to other SEIU 503 members.
When relevant to our membership, SEIU 503 will endorse or oppose ballot
● Recent wins include raising revenue to fund the highest wage increases for
public employees in over a decade, winning funding for a homecare worker
retirement program, winning paid family and medical leave, and raising the
● SEIU members helped found the Fair Shot For All coalition, which works to
give a voice to those left behind in the political process: low-wage workers,
women, and people of color. Fair Shot has won reforms such as paid sick
leave, raising the minimum wage, stronger reproductive freedoms, and
healthcare for all kids.
● CAPE is funded by voluntary contributions that thousands of SEIU members
give, in addition to dues, as an investment in lawmakers who support the
issues that matter to us.
● SEIU 503 invites all candidates, regardless of party, to participate in our
endorsements process. In the past we have endorsed members of the
Democratic, Republican and Working Families party.
● No dues money is spent on federal elections. In fact, SEIU 503 does not
endorse candidates for Federal office, such as President. Federal nominations
are made by the National SEIU executive board, on which 503 has a seat.
Our CAPE Council meets quarterly, and our CAPE regions hold regularly scheduled meetings during election season to make endorsements and move our grassroots political program. The CAPE Council gets regular updates about issues and campaigns that impact our SEIU members so they are informed as they help lead our political program.
The people elected to represent Oregonians in Salem and Washington D.C. impact the lives of all working families, and it is important that working families have a voice in the process. CAPE members are encouraged to run for office and to be a leading voice in the election process. If you have been interested in politics for years, this is a great place to learn more. If you are new to the union, this is a great place to experience how politics impact our lives.
CAPE Questions & Answers
Do you have questions and/or comments about our CAPE political program? Contact SEIU 503 at 844-503-SEIU.
Our CAPE Council
Our CAPE Council consists of 48 locally elected member representatives that drive SEIU Local 503’s voice in politics. The members of our CAPE Council provide a voice for working Oregonians by recommending candidate endorsements, and then working to get our endorsed candidates elected by phonebanking, canvassing, donating resources, and getting the word out to other SEIU 503 members.
Invest in our political strength today!
When you make a voluntary contribution to CAPE (Citizen Action for Political Education), you help elect lawmakers who support the issues that matter to working people and our families.