Local 5 endorses Kim Coco Iwamoto for Lieutenant Governor

Honolulu, Hi. – Progressive candidate for Lieutenant Governor Kim Coco Iwamoto was endorsed today by the union representing 11,000 Hawaii hospitality, health and food service industry workers.

“We are happy to endorse Kim Coco Iwamoto for Lieutenant Governor,” said Eric Gill, Financial-Secretary Treasurer of UNITE Here, Local 5. “She has been a staunch ally of Local 5 for over a decade and is an enthusiastic supporter of our One Job Should Be Enough campaign. Like us, she believes that one job should be enough to live in Hawaii, to provide for our families, and to retire with dignity. We know that she will turn the Lieutenant Governor’s Office into the People’s Office. She has demonstrated that in her unwavering commitment to equal rights and inclusivity, both in and out of the workplace.”

The endorsement comes on the heels of the latest media poll showing Kim Coco surging with the primary election less than two months away on Aug. 11.

The former Board of Education member thanked an enthusiastic crowd at Local 5 headquarters.

“In an age when labor unions are under assault from legislatures imposing right to work laws, from the looming JANUS decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, to local threats of illegal vacation rentals and privatization, it is truly inspiring to see the work Local 5 is doing with its members and the community to fight back,” Kim Coco said.

An attorney and former member of the Civil Rights Commission, Kim Coco has been honored by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change. She’s the only candidate in the race for Lieutenant Governor calling for the state’s minimum wage to be raised to $22 an hour.

Kim Coco applauded Local 5’s AIKEA campaign including efforts to help the tens of thousands of workers in high priced Hawaii forced to work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet.

“Local 5 is building a movement beyond the needs of their members and going out into their communities,” she said. “They’re knocking on doors, training grassroots organizers, doing the work all labor unions once did. And they’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. We look forward to working with them to reclaim our democracy. Together we can.”