California's Working Families Create Their Own Waves of Change
A Campaign Update From the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
OAKLAND – As part of the wave of political change for Barack Obama, California’s union members have created their own extraordinary political activism in state and local elections. Activists have spent the last eight weeks calling, mailing, visiting and mobilizing union members and like-minded voters on behalf of pro-worker candidates and issues. Labor’s election work this year has been fueled by thousands of union volunteers drawn to a host of new candidates committed to issues that matter to working families.
Through the California Labor Federation, its affiliated unions and Central Labor Councils, this voter outreach work has reached unprecedented levels. The Federation represents more than 2.1 million working men and women, and, including their family members, has a reach of nearly four million California voters. As part of its long-term strategic plan to build stronger pro-working families majorities in the state legislature and in Congress, the Federation targeted its efforts on ten key races that pitted pro-worker against anti-worker candidates.
Together, the Labor community’s work in these ten races has produced stunning results. Since September, more than 12,500 union volunteers have shown up to union halls or labor councils to talk to their fellow union members about candidates and issues that matter to working families.
Union households have received 1.8 million pieces of mail explaining the clear choices at stake in this election. Labor’s efforts have led to 644,000 phone calls to California households. This year, those calls have had a broader reach than ever before. Moving far beyond traditional union-heavy areas of the state, these calls include 26,000 on behalf of John Eisenhut in the Central Valley’s Assembly District 26 and 20,000 for Charlie Brown, a candidate for Congress in California’s 4th District, which stretches up the eastern edge of the state to the Oregon border. These numbers are just the beginning – calls and mailings by individual unions and the Federation’s 1,200 affiliated union locals are not included in these totals.
The sheer volume of work by union volunteers this election signals the real issues at stake in this election. Union halls across the state have overflowed with volunteers this year because working families understand that jobs, health care, the economy and more are on the line. They know that political change is needed, and they have put in the hard work to make that happen.
For more information on Labor’s Get Out the Vote activities for Election Day, visit
www.calaborfed.org or call Rebecca Greenberg at (510) 499-7188 to arrange media access to local Labor election activities.