JAWANDO: “I stand with SEIU Local 500 and everyone they represent”

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Citing his record and platform to improve public schools for every child, Local 500 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today endorsed Will Jawando in his race for Montgomery County Council At-Large.

The largest and fastest-growing labor union in Montgomery County, SEIU Local 500 represents more than 11,500 public school workers — paraeducators, bus drivers, food service workers, maintenance workers, and administrative staff — and part-time faculty at Montgomery College.

“This was not a difficult decision. Will Jawando has a proven track record of standing with working families and communities of color in Montgomery County,” said SEIU Local 500 Political Director Mark McLaurin. “Constantly, over the years, our members have looked up in battle to see Will Jawando right beside them, pushing together for progressive policies. We are confident Will is going to make an amazing addition to Rockville and our members are fired up and ready to go to help him get there.”

“I’m honored to earn the endorsement of the men and women of SEIU. I stand with the union, and everyone and everything that the working families of Montgomery County are fighting for — better schools, better pay, respect for public service and better quality of life,” Jawando said. “We’re working together so every single person who calls this county home, no matter their race, ethnicity or income level, has an opportunity at what I call the Montgomery County Promise.”

Earlier in the race for the Democratic nomination to the ballot, Jawando won the endorsement of the Sierra Club, for his work to bring low-income communities into the environmental movement.

Jawando is a civil rights attorney and community activist who lives in Silver Spring with his wife, Michele, and their three daughters. He worked on education and workforce policy while on the legislative staff for Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. He went on to join the Obama White House, and served Education Secretary Arne Duncan as his special advisor through the end of the Obama Administration.

Two years ago, Jawando founded a nonprofit, Our Voices Matter, which works in underrepresented communities to increase civic engagement, voter registration and activism with the goal of improving their lives. Last year, he launched and managed Summer RISE, a job-shadowing program coordinated between MCPS, Worksource Montgomery and dozens of local employers, to give more than 400 juniors and seniors real workplace experience.