Andy Stern

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Andy Stern
Andystern.JPG
President of the Service Employees International Union
In office
1996–2010
Preceded byRichard Cordtz
Succeeded byMary Kay Henry
Personal details
Born (1950-11-22) November 22, 1950 (age 69)
West Orange, New Jersey,
U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jane Perkins (Divorced) Jennifer Johnson
ChildrenMatthew And
Cassie Stern (deceased) Claire, Isabel, and Alex Beckenstein
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
[1]

Andrew L. Stern (born November 22, 1950) is the former president[2][3] of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).[4][5] Stern was a senior fellow at Columbia University.[6] He is now a Senior Fellow at the Economic Security Project.

He is the author of two books, A Country That Works (2006),[7] and Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream (2016).[8]

Early life and career[edit]

He grew up Jewish in West Orange, New Jersey, where his father was a lawyer and his mother worked both at home and in healthcare. Stern graduated from West Orange High School in 1968.[9] He began college as a business major at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, but ultimately graduated in 1971 with a BA in education and urban planning.[10][11] Stern began his career as a welfare caseworker and member of the SEIU Local 668 in 1973, eventually being elected president in 1977 of his Pennsylvania local.[11] In 1980, he was elected, as the youngest member in its history, to the union's international executive board, and in 1984 the union's then-president John Sweeney put him in charge of its organizing efforts.

SEIU President[edit]

In 1996, Stern was elected to the presidency of the union. He led a major restructuring of the union to “grow stronger not smaller” spending nearly 50% of its resources on organizing.[2] In 1999 SEIU won the largest union election since 1935 for 74,000 LA home care workers.[3] By 2000 SEIU had become the largest union in the AFL-CIO, and the fastest growing union in the world. It launched major North American campaigns “Justice for Janitors”,[4] “Stand for Security”, “There’s No Place Like Home” (home care workers), as well as child care, Southern, hospital and nursing home workers, and set up offices around the world to lead transnational global accountability efforts for Sodexo, Securitas, and ISS.[5] As a result of these efforts, SEIU grew 1,200,000 members under his leadership.

After launching a national debate[12] aimed at uniting the nine out of ten American workers who have no organization at work, SEIU, along with the Teamsters, announced on July 25, 2005 that they were disaffiliating from the AFL-CIO.[13] Stern led SEIU out of the AFL-CIO and founded Change to Win,[14] a six-million-member federation of seven major unions "dedicated to giving workers a voice at their jobs".

Political Influence[edit]

During the years of Stern's leadership, the SEIU became the largest political action committee in the United States,[15] and funneled vast amounts of financing to the Democratic Party and its candidates, far outnumbering the contributions of other unions during his last two election cycles. SEIU contributed $65 million to the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry.[16] In 2008 SEIU sponsored with the Center for American Progress (CAP), [17]the first Presidential election forum, on health care, and required all candidates seeking the union's endorsement to “Walk A Day In My Shoes” including Senator Barack Obama as a home care worker[18] Hillary Clinton as a nurse, and Joe Biden as a school maintenance worker, and have a plan for universal healthcare. The union spent another $85 million on Democratic candidates in 2008; $60 million going toward the election of President Barack Obama,[19] with a significant chunk of that money funding door-to-door canvassing and other GOTV efforts,[20] as well as voter registration.

Stern along with Harold Ickes, Ellen Malcolm, Steve Rosenthal, and George Soros, and other activists founded and funded America Coming Together (ACT) the largest independent expenditure in history at that time for grassroots organizing in an effort to defeat the re-election of President George Bush.[21]

Stern has been the most frequent visitor to the White House since Obama's election.[22][23] Between Inauguration Day and February 23, 2011, Stern visited the White House 53 times.[24]

Healthcare and Media[edit]

Stern is referred to as one of "the chief architects of healthcare reform" in Modern Healthcare magazine, ranking in the top 10[25] of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare. Stern has been named to Modern Healthcare's annual "movers and shakers in healthcare" list for five years in a row. SEIU poured millions into a group called Health Care for America NOW!, which, at times, fought strongly for universal healthcare including single payer. Stern was an ardent supporter of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[26]

Media and Internet[edit]

Andy Stern, as SEIU President, was a constant figure in the news. He was on the covers of The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, and Business Week, featured on CBS 60 Minutes, on Fox as the Power Player of the Week, CNN, and the Washington Post

Stern embraced political organizing via the Internet in the wake of the Howard Dean campaign, which his union endorsed.[27]

Through Stern's initiative, a New Media team was formed at SEIU in the late summer of 2008, the first major union to enter the digital age. The union's website was completely redesigned and relaunched shortly thereafter,[28] and Stern began to blog on the Huffington Post. [6]

In fall of 2005, he launched an online contest called Since Sliced Bread that awarded $100,000 for the best new economic ideas in America. Since 2005, Stern had been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post.[29]

Stern has been a key figure in financing the online grassroots "netroots" community, along with Dean, George Soros, Simon Rosenberg, and Andrew S. Rappaport, to funnel a progressive agenda to liberal bloggers.[30]

Resignation[edit]

Stern announced on April 13, 2010, that he would be stepping down as president of the SEIU. “There is a time to learn, a time to lead, and then there’s a time to leave. And shortly it will be my time to retire...and end my SEIU journey”, Stern wrote on April 14, 2010.[31]

Post SEIU Affiliations and Activities[edit]

In March 2010, Stern was the Alice B. Grant Labor Leader in Residence at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Stern was a senior fellow at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute from 2010 to 2011. From 2011 to 2016, he served as a Senior Fellow at the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business Law and Public Policy at Columbia University.[32]

He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Economic Security Project. [7] Stern has served on the Boards of the Open Society Foundations, the Hillman Foundation, and Broad Foundation, and works with many non-profits and unions on worker organizing.

Author: A Country That Works and Raising the Floor[edit]

In the book, A Country That Works (Free Press), Stern calls for unions to be the dominant vehicles for the promotion of social reforms, including espousing the benefits of increased taxation on the wealthy and universal health care.[33] On October 3, 2006, he appeared on The Colbert Report to promote his new book A Country That Works.[34] On October 4, he appeared on Democracy Now! to promote the book.[35]

In 2016, Stern authored a book with Lee Kravitz entitled Raising the Floor,[36] in which he makes the case for a universal basic income.[37] The book was a catalyst to a renewed debate about and experimentation with universal basic income, the founding of the Economic Security Project, and Andrew Yang’s 2020 presidential campaign.[8]

Andrew Yang credited Stern with his decision to run for President in 2020 on a platform of universal basic income, calling his UBI proposal-the “Freedom Dividend”.[38]

Personal Life[edit]

Stern is divorced from Jane Perkins, a former head of the environmental network Friends of the Earth.[39] They had two children, Matt and Cassie. Cassie died in 2002.[40] In 2017, Stern married Jennifer Johnson, a former Communications Director for the Center for Food Action in northern NJ, and the mother of Claire, Alex, and Isabel Beckenstein.


Controversy[edit]

"He's arguably the most important labor leader we've had in a long time: aggressive and controversial," says Philip Dine, an authority on labor issues and author of the recent book State of the Unions.[41] On January 27, 2009, SEIU placed UHW West under trusteeship and dismissed 70 of the local's executives, including president Sal Rosselli.[42][43] Rosselli and other ousted leaders reformed under the National Union of Healthcare Workers and pushed for UHW West members at 60 facilities to vote to decertify SEIU.[44] SEIU filed a lawsuit in mid-2009 alleging that UHW West and NUHW officials embezzled millions of dollars.[45] In 2009 Former Labor Secretary Ray Marshall issued a report, "Acting as hearing officer, Mr. Marshall found that the local's president, Sal Rosselli, and other union officials had improperly transferred union money to a nonprofit group to use in a feud with the parent union.[46][47] Mr. Marshall also concluded that the local had wrongly hidden $500,000 from the parent union by placing the money into a lawyer's trust account." On March 26, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court ruling that a jury awarded, "... individual judgments ranged from $31,400 to $77,850, and NUHW was assessed damages of $724,000".[48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andrew L. Stern." Marquis Who's Who, 2009. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Fee via Fairfax County Public Library, accessed 2009-08-12. Document Number: K2016166524.
  2. ^ "Andy Stern - SEIU - retirement". Mediaite. 2010-04-14. Archived from the original on 15 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  3. ^ "Andy Stern, SEIU International President". SEIU. Archived from the original on 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  4. ^ "National Labor Organizations with Membership over 100,000". Infoplease. Pearson Education. Retrieved 2009-08-12. Members Union1 2,731,419 National Education Association of the United States2 1,505,100 Service Employees International Union U.S. Department of Labor
  5. ^ "Afl-Cio". Afl-Cio. Archived from the original on 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-01-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Stern, Andy (2006-10-03). A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track (1St ed.). Free Press. ISBN 9780743297677.
  8. ^ Stern, Andy; Kravitz, Lee (2016-06-14). Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream. PublicAffairs. ISBN 9781610396257.
  9. ^ West-O-Ranger, 1968, West Orange High School. Accessed September 24, 2019.
  10. ^ Kaminski, Matthew (December 6, 2008). "Andy Stern - Let's 'Share the Wealth' - America's most powerful union boss says Europe offers a good economic model". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  11. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Can This Man Save Labor?". www.bloomberg.com. 2004-09-12. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  13. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (July 26, 2005). "Two Top Unions Split From AFL-CIO, Others Are Expected To Follow Teamsters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-12. Cite has empty unknown parameters: |pmd= and |curly= (help)
  14. ^ "About Us". Change to Win. Archived from the original on 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  15. ^ "Top Organization Contributors | OpenSecrets". www.opensecrets.org. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  16. ^ Kirkland, Rik; Contributor, Fortune (2006-10-10). "The new face of labor". CNN.
  17. ^ "Campaign 2008 Health Care Forum | C-SPAN.org". www.c-span.org. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miUS7WnMgBw/
  19. ^ "Unholy Union by Stephen Spruiell on National Review / Digital". Nrd.nationalreview.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-09. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  20. ^ "SEIU's Data Footprint In 2008 - Politics". The Atlantic. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  21. ^ "America Coming Together (ACT)". www.influencewatch.org. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  22. ^ Zeleny, Jeff (October 31, 2009). "White House Visitor Log Lists Stars and C.E.O.'s". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2010.
  23. ^ Davis, Susan (2009-10-30). "SEIU's Stern Tops White House Visitor List - Washington Wire - WSJ". Blogs.wsj.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  24. ^ Carney, Timothy (2011-02-23) Obama's top funder also leads the nation in White House visits Archived 2011-04-08 at the Wayback Machine, Washington Examiner
  25. ^ "SEIU's Andy Stern Named in Top Ten Most Powerful People in Healthcare". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  26. ^ "SEIU Launches New Ad In Special Election, Promoting Stimulus -- And Obama". TPM. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  27. ^ Wilgoren, Jodi (2003-11-07). "Diverse Union Decides Dean Is Its Candidate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  28. ^ "Site Profile for seiu.org (rank #14,105)". Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  29. ^ "Andy Stern". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  30. ^ Bai, Matt (2004-07-25). "Wiring the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy". The New York Times.
  31. ^ "Ezra Klein - Andy Stern: The exit interview". voices.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  32. ^ School, Columbia Business (2011-11-16). "Andy Stern Named Senior Fellow for Richman Center". Newsroom. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  33. ^ "A Country That Works: Getting America Back on Track by Andy Stern - Powell's Books". Powells.com. 2009-08-12. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
  34. ^ October 3, 2006 - Andy Stern, retrieved 2016-11-13
  35. ^ "October 04, 2006". Democracy Now!. 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  36. ^ RAISING THE FLOOR by Andy Stern , Lee Kravitz | Kirkus Reviews.
  37. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times.
  38. ^ "Andrew Yang Is Not Full of Shit". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  39. ^ ""Can This Man Save Labor?" "Business Week", 13 Sept. 2004". Businessweek.com. 2004-09-13. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  40. ^ Duke, Lynne (January 3, 2006). "Love, Labor, Loss. A Child's Death Stirred Andrew Stern To Challenge Himself -- and Unionism". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  41. ^ "Departing SEIU Chief Stern Grew, Split Big Labor". NPR.org. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  42. ^ Raine, George (2009-01-28). ""SEIU Takes Over West Coast Union", San Francisco Chronicle (January 28, 2009)". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  43. ^ Steven T. Jones, "Union Showdown", San Francisco Bay Guardian (January 28, 2009)
  44. ^ "George Raine, "Ousted SEIU Leaders Push Decertification Vote", San Francisco Chronicle (February 3, 2009)". Sfgate.com. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  45. ^ Shaw, Randy (12 April 2010). "Randy Shaw, Beyond Chron (April 12, 2010)". Beyondchron.org. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
  46. ^ Greenhouse, Steven (2009-01-22). "Trustee May Take Helm of Union Local in Dispute". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  47. ^ Uhw, Seiu. "Newly Obtained Information Shows that Ousted Union Leaders Plotted and Covered Up Wrongdoing". Archived from the original on 2019-05-12. Retrieved 2019-08-03.
  48. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 2016-07-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2019-08-03. Cite uses generic title (help)

External links[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Richard Cordtz
President of the Service Employees International Union
1996–2010
Succeeded by
Mary Kay Henry