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Those of us who hope to further our goals through the political process have two options: 1) choose a political candidate who already agrees with us whether or not they have a chance of winning, or 2) support a candidate who has a chance of winning and by so doing, gain influence with that candidate if s/he wins. It would be nice if "the candidate who already agrees with us" was the same as "the candidate who has a chance of winning" but not many elections contain such a happy coincidence and so the choice often remains as delineated above.

The recent election of November 5th presented options of both kinds. There were candidates such as (but not limited to) Darrell Steinberg and Deborah Ortiz who are so swell that almost everyone realizes that they should vote for them (and they win), and candidates who share some of our views and might share more if we got out the vote to ensure their election.

"Getting Out the Vote to Ensure Their Election" is the topic here. Unions want candidates to win who support worker-friendly issues. Candidates who support overtime pay after 8 hours, safe-staffing (in hospitals), and paid family medical leave are selected over candidates who don't believe in these things, for example. But what can a person do to support these Labor-friendly candidates?



This is "The War Room" at the Central Labor Council. In the weeks preceding an election, volunteers call union members to ask them to support Labor-friendly candidates. This is a hard thing to do because most people do not want to be called by someone who is not their friend or family member (unless the caller is announcing the winning of a Major Prize). So, you are calling people who wish you weren't calling them and that can be unpleasant for everyone. However, every so often there is someone who says "No, I don't know what your candidate stands for -- tell me!" and you do, and they care enough about the issues and the political process to stay in the conversation and maybe decide to vote for the Union candidate. And that is the reason we do this.


  Jeanine coordinated phone-banking at the Central Labor Council. "Who is phone banking and when are they going to be here?" were her responsibility.


  Dick Wood (Local 1000) phone banking while Lydia Bone (Local 250) indicates work yet to be done....


  Phone banking....Coffee thermos in the middle reveals the fuel (besides political zeal) that keeps phonebankers phoning.


  Casey (Local 250 staffmember) phone-banking. We had plenty of paperwork about our candidates' positions, but in the end, it's a person talking to a person. The other option (which I heard on my home phone) was a canned message from a paid political advertisor. After this phone-banking experience, I will always appreciate the actual persons who call me in support of some political candidate or issue.


  Happy phone-bankers Ellen and Walter. Was someone telling us that Measures G, H and T were going to go our way?
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