For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Smith 510-326-4644
California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski on the 2016 General Election
Amidst the darkness of the national election results for progressives and working people, California firmly remains a beacon of light and hope. Hillary Clinton won by nearly 30 points in California and we elected a true fighter for working people to the U.S. Senate in Kamala Harris.
The months of on-the-ground organizing unions poured into this election continued our state’s progress. We passed two important measures to fund schools and health care in Prop 55 and 56. We restored bilingual education and built on criminal justice reform. Prop 53, which threatened good jobs and much-needed infrastructure projects, was rejected.
Our Nevada program, which included 2300 volunteers traveling to the Silver State, delivered wins for Clinton and U.S. Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto and helped turn the Nevada state legislature blue.
We’re proud to be heading toward an even more progressive legislature, despite the millions spent by corporate interests to thwart California’s progress. And while longtime Washington insider Darrell Issa is narrowly clinging to a lead in Congressional District 49, a spirited and robust union program helped first-time candidate Doug Applegate get to within striking distance of taking the seat. The final tally in that race may not be determined for a few more days as additional votes trickle in.
While the national result is disheartening, we’re committed to ensuring California remains a shining example of what working people can accomplish when we stand together. And we have a message for Trump this morning: California is already great. We’re simply not going to allow Trump to turn back the clock on the decades of progress we’ve made on workers’ rights and equality.
The California Labor Federation is made up of more than 1,200 AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions, representing 2.1 million union members in manufacturing, retail, construction, hospitality, public sector, health care, entertainment and other industries.