The San Joaquin-Calaveras CLC held a first-of-its-kind candidate training Saturday, October 22 at the CLC’s new labor center in Stockton. Leaders from several affiliates held discussions with candidates about issues important to public and private sector workers, education workers, and the Building Trades. Candidates for Congress on down to School Board attended, though the training was intended for candidates for local offices. Assembly and higher offices have a different process, but also found this training helpful.
After meeting together for a “general session” candidates divided themselves to have conversations in small groups with affiliate members from each of the groups mentioned above. Candidates rotated through each group and gained a better understanding of each groups positions on the issues facing them. The affiliate members in each group also came away understanding more about each candidate. It was a unique setting designed to be more about informing candidates of the issues facing labor and working families than about how to run winning campaigns. There are ample opportunities available which focus on how to win elections. This training was specifically meant to be the first step in the CLC’s endorsement process and to provide candidates with an opportunity to learn about labor and working families, and for labor to learn about the candidates. It was also an opportunity for the candidates to hear from affiliate members what it will take for them to win labor’s endorsement.
Following the break-out sessions, candidates and affiliate members were given an overview of the AFL-CIO’s Activist Central Web-based phone banking system and how the CLC can use this powerful tool to help elect endorsed candidates.