December 14, 2017 - The California State University Employees Union Endorses Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor


Prominent labor union singles out Kounalakis as best candidate for Lt. Governor

San Francisco – Today, the California State University Employees Union SEIU 2579 formally endorsed Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor. This union represents nearly 16,000 healthcare, operations, administrative and technical support staff at all 23 California State University campuses and the Office of the Chancellor. As Lt. Governor, Kounalakis will be a member of the CSU Board of Trustees. 

“The California State University Employees Union is proud to support Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “She understands just how important it is for labor to organize and fight for fair wages, better working conditions and retirement benefits. As Lt. Governor, Eleni would sit on the Board of Trustees for the CSU, and we know that she will be a champion for working families and students.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the California State University Employees Union,” said Kounalakis. “Unions are the cornerstone of a strong workforce. As Lt. Governor I will advocate for policies that strengthen and secure workers’ rights across California. We need to ensure fair pay, safe working conditions and greater protections for collective bargaining. I look forward to working with these union members to strengthen our universities and to build a strong economy that benefits all Californians.”

Kounalakis comes armed with a growing list of endorsements from prominent Democratic elected officials and organizations, like U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Equality California, the California Federation of Teachers, EMILY’s List, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Representatives Nanette Barragan, Anna Eshoo, Doris Matsui, Jimmy Panetta, and Mike Thompson, former State Senator Mark Leno, Sacramento Assembly members Blanca Rubio and Kevin McCarty, CA Women’s List, and the Fresno, Marin, and Ventura County Young Democrats.

Kounalakis is a business woman and diplomat. She was appointed by President Barack Obama as Ambassador to Hungary in 2010. She is a life-long Democrat and five-time delegate to the Democratic National Convention and worked as an advocate for early childhood education as a member of California's First 5 Commission and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.

She was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to lead the California International Trade and Investment Advisory Council and served as a member of the San Francisco Port Commission. Prior to serving our country in the diplomatic corps, she was president of AKT Development Corporation in Sacramento, where she grew up. She is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Dartmouth College. She and her husband, Markos, live in San Francisco where they are raising their two teenage sons.

For more information on Eleni Kounalakis for Lt. Governor, please visit

press releaseAmy Zock