Stenger asks for help for his campaign
By TIM ROWDEN
St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for county executive, spoke to delegates at the St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council last week, asking for their help calling voters and going door-to-door for his campaign.
Stenger (D-Affton) is fighting to unseat incumbent Charlie Dooley, who has turned his back on the labor movement, despite union members volunteering and turning out in mass to help him win his 2010 re-election campaign.
“We need to get these people out to vote and let them know what the County Executive thinks of unions,” Stenger said. “We need you, and you need me.”
Stenger outlined some of the ways Dooley has shown his anti-union stripes over the last few years:
• County contracts have gone non-union, costing county taxpayers additional money when that work has to be redone.
• Dooley attempted to appoint Republican right-to-work advocate and 2012 gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence to the county’s Police Board. (Under fire, Spence later withdrew his name from consideration.)
• Last week, after the St. Louis County Council gave final approval to three bills aimed at broadening minority participation in county contracts, Dooley said he would veto one sponsored by Councilman Mike O’Mara (D-Florissant), international representative of the United Association and member Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, that would require contractors with contracts of at least $25,000 to have apprenticeship training programs.
Dooley has argued that apprenticeship training – which is done primarily by unions – is too expensive for some minority and female businesses.
“He’s no longer even passively anti-labor,” Stenger said. “We’re under attack.”
In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Stenger said: “If you talk to labor unions across the board, what they will tell you is the apprenticeship programs are really the opening door – the door that opens – for minorities in the trades. They start out as apprentices and move up. That’s what we want to see.”
LOW TURNOUT EXPECTED
Only about 65,000 of St. Louis County’s 700,000 registered voters are expected to vote in the Democratic primary.
“This race is really important to us, but for some reason, it’s not for the people of St. Louis County.”
That’s one of the areas where Stenger said his campaign needs help – reaching out to voters and making sure they get to the polls.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you want to see what a political campaign is like from the inside, this is your chance.
To volunteer to help with Stenger’s campaign call 314-690-3012, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.