With the Nov. 6 general election just a couple months away, St. Louis labor leaders are organizing around Labor 2012, the AFL-CIO’s grassroots campaign initiative aimed at informing union members, union families and others about the issues and candidates in this year’s election.
Local labor leaders met for a roll out meeting last week at Painters District Council 2 hall in St. Louis to discuss how they will use personal outreach in the workplace, on the phone, on the street and through social media to make a difference this Election Day. The Labor 2012 program will engage working people around the issues that matter to working people to help combat the flood of corporate money and misinformation pouring into the state.
"We’re working with local unions; we’re working with rank and file activists so they can share the facts about candidates running for office and the issues that matter to workers,” Randy Kiser, senior field representative for the AFL-CIO’s Midwest region said. “Missourians need to see something other than the 30 second ads, the 10 seconds on the news. They need to see what the real issues are that affect working families and the truth about shady groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS - trying to buy our elections and write our state's laws.”
Bradley Harmon, President of CWA Local 6355 and Labor 2012’s St. Louis zone coordinator said the goal is to get union members talking to other union members.
“We know our endorsed candidates will be outspent, and the way we’re going to deal with that is by having our members talk to each other about what’s really happening in the election,” Harmon said.
Arming union members with the truth, Labor 2012 organizers hope to positively influence:
- The re-election of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
- The re-election of Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-St. Louis) and statewide down ballot candidates.
- Increasing the number of worker friendly legislators.
- Passage of the minimum wage and paycheck loan initiatives.
- Turning Missouri into a battle ground state in the presidential race.
“We are going to be making sure that we’ve got an active campaign going on in every workplace where we’re handing out leaflets and fliers about the candidates and the issues that are going to be on the ballots,” Harmon said. “We’re going to be doing a vigorous door to door program. We’re going to have union members going to visit each other at their homes to talk about the campaign.”
Local coordinators from participating unions will use phone banks to follow up with members, and utilize social media like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to members on election issues, canvasing initiatives and other ways they can get involved.
If you want to get involved in the Labor 2012 campaign, contact Harmon at 314-753-1802.