Skip to main content

The ATU endorses Tom Perez for Governor of Maryland

November 16, 2021

SILVER SPRING -- Recognizing the need for a candidate who stands for transit workers, public transit, and working families across Maryland, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International and Locals 689-Washington, DC and 1300-Baltimore, MD, representing almost 19,000 transit workers in Maryland and the Washington, DC area, have endorsed Tom Perez for Governor of Maryland.

The ATU has a demonstrated history of driving turnout on behalf of candidates up and down the ballot, and will mobilize members to participate in efforts to ensure that Perez is elected the next Governor of Maryland.

Perez began his career as a civil rights prosecutor taking on police brutality, hate crimes, and voter suppression, and became the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council in 2002. Perez then went on to serve in Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.

Perez was later appointed to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Barack Obama, where he fought for and defended the rights of transit workers and unions, enforced laws protecting transit workers on the job, supported nationwide paid sick and family leave, and created more than 125,000 apprenticeship opportunities.

“Transit workers play a critical role here in Maryland. They keep our communities moving and our economy strong, and I couldn’t be more proud to have the support of the ATU,” said Tom Perez. “With Maryland set to receive billions of dollars from the recent infrastructure bill passed by Congress, we need a leader that has experience not only dispersing funds effectively, but ensuring that workers always have a seat at the table. If I have the privilege of becoming Maryland’s next Governor, I promise to be that leader and will continue to be a strong partner to the ATU.”

“Working people in Maryland need a true champion as Governor. Tom Perez is the leader Maryland needs with the experience necessary to build better public transit, support working families and create a better Maryland,” said ATU International President John Costa. “With the recent passage of the Infrastructure bill, Tom’s experience in local, state, and federal government will ensure that the funding will be used to increase public transit for all Marylanders, improve safety for our members on the job, replace gas-powered buses with zero emission vehicles to fight climate change, and ensure our members are trained to operate, maintain, and repair these vehicles. As he did as Secretary of Labor of Maryland and U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Barack Obama, we know Tom will fight for and defend the rights of transit workers and unions.”

“After vetting all the candidates, Tom stood head and shoulders above the others,” said Local 689-Washington, DC, President Raymond Jackson. “Tom has shown strong support for the issues our members care about, including giving our members a greater voice in the critical decisions impacting the future of public transit in the Washington, DC area. Tom knows that public transit works best when those that help run the systems aren't ignored.”

“During his tenure as Maryland Secretary of Labor, Tom fought to expand public transit throughout Baltimore and protect the jobs and rights of our members,” said Local 1300-Baltimore, MD, President Mike McMillian. “Tom is the right person to be the next Governor of Maryland, recognizing the critical role our members and public transit plays in boosting our economy and improving our communities.”