Press Release

Nurses Endorse Vincent Orange for DC Mayor

RNs Also Back Jim Graham, Charles Allen for Council

WASHINGTON, DC-- National Nurses United, the nation's largest union and professional association of registered nurses, announced today its endorsement of Council Member Vincent Orange in the District of Columbia for the April 1 Democratic mayoral primary.

In the District Council races, NNU is endorsing incumbent Jim Graham for re-election in Ward 1 and Charles Allen for Ward 6.

NNU Vice President Sandy Falwell, a neo-natal intensive care RN at Children's National Medical Center, praised Council Member Orange for having "demonstrated his support, leadership and commitment to the nurses of the District and to our patients."

Falwell noted in particular Orange’s “steadfast” support and advocacy for the Patient Protection Act, the bill before the District Council that would make DC hospitals safer with minimum specific numbers of patients nurses can care for. She also praised Orange’s call for action to address the “continuing health disparities that plague the District of Columbia.”

“Mr. Orange has also distinguished himself as a champion of workers' rights legislation, including raising the minimum wage in Washington, D.C.," said Falwell. "He has earned the respect of registered nurses across the city and we are proud to support him."

Responding to the nurses' endorsement, Council Member Orange said, "It is an honor to receive the endorsement for Mayor from the National Nurses United. Nurses represent the most trusted profession in the nation. I am extremely pleased to stand and work with the men and women who dedicate their lives to taking care of mankind. God bless you and thank you for believing in me to lead our great City while leaving no one behind and taking no one for granted."

Graham, who NNU is supporting for a new term in Ward 1 has also been a strong supporter of the Patient Protection Act in addition to other progressive causes, said NNU.

Before joining the Council, he served as the Executive Director of the Whitman Walker Clinic for 15 years during the height of the AIDS crisis, Falwell noted, “and he brings a deep knowledge of the problems of health care to the Council chamber. We are impressed by the work that Council Member Graham has done on the DC Council and want to ensure that the residents of Ward 1 and the rest of the District benefit from his leadership in the coming term."

"I am proud to have the support of this noble profession,” said Graham. “I learned firsthand in my work in the AIDS epidemic how much nurses contribute to human welfare."

In the Ward 6 Council race NNU cited Charles Allen’s extensive experience in District affairs, most recently working as Chief of Staff for Ward 6 Council Member Tommy Wells since 2007. Allen also worked for the Primary Care Association, which represents the District's network of clinics, and worked as an EMT in the District's Fire and Emergency Medical Services.

"Charles Allen is committed to standing with nurses and patients and promised to work tirelessly in support of the Patient Protection Act,” said Falwell. “We believe his knowledge of the District-- and the neighborhoods and people of Ward 6 in particular-- and his commitment to progressive causes makes him a strong candidate for the Council position in Ward 6 and we are pleased to endorse him."

“I'm honored to earn the support of our nurses,” said Allen. “I've worked alongside our healthcare providers for years and appreciate them standing with me now in this campaign for Ward 6 and our city.”

NNU represents 185,000 registered nurses across the United States, including 4,400 RNs in the District of Columbia.