The Importance of Getting Involved in the Upcoming Elections
The UFCW Western States Council has done an interesting analysis on how the margin of victory can be provided by our own membership in elections. There are some instances where a candidate lost by 600 votes, and our own members could have made the difference.
Each of us has the power to determine the outcome of elections important to us.
For example, one pro-labor candidate running for water board in East San Diego County lost by a few more than 800 votes. If we could have channeled our membership to vote for her, she would have won easily. We have well more than 800 members in East County. But we are learning.
Many people think it doesn’t matter if they vote, but it does. We need you to talk to your co-workers, family members and friends about labor’s endorsed candidates and propositions because we know you know how important it is.
Election time can be overwhelming with TV ads, mailboxes stuffed full of campaign mailers, robo-calls, and people knocking on your door for their favorite candidate. The thing is, those methods may inform voters of who’s running, but it rarely sways them.
What sways voters is one-on-one conversations.
Research shows that a one-on-one conversation with someone you trust equals about 500 phone calls. The power of a conversation with a co-worker or family member is tremendous. They know you and they trust you.
So, we are asking you to have those conversations with people who trust you. Social media is a good way to communicate. Your friends and family trust you and will listen to you if you have solid reasons.
You can learn about our endorsed candidates and propositions at our next Member Organizing training. We will focus on the upcoming election from Clinton and Trump down to special districts. If you take the initiative on the front lines, we will be able to tip the scales in favor of working families.
It is imperative that we take a leadership position in November since we have several candidates and ballot initiatives highly important to growing our union – and the labor movement as a whole.
Take the rise of Trump, for example. It is correlated to a loss of union density. Trump supporters are typically working-class folks who feel frustrated and are often seen as xenophobic, racist, misogynist, or dangerously naïve.
Whether or not they are all those things, it doesn’t mean that people who are frustrated by injustice in the economy should be Trump supporters.
According to an article in The New York Times, recent research in social science and history suggests that these very voters might have been out front in the fight against Trump — if only the American labor movement was growing. Union members are more likely to channel that frustration into something positive. When people don’t have a channel, such as a strong union, they cast a vote for Trump against their own interests.
If you have a friend or family member who is feeling frustrated, you, as a union member have the ability to sway them to pro-union positions.
Please plan on attending the Member Organizing Training on October 20 at 6 p.m. in the UFCW Local 135 union hall. We will provide dinner for you.