Longtime champion of working families needs your help in the Aug. 2 primary
By SHERI GASSAWAY
There’s a reason Rep. Anne Zerr (R-St. Charles) has fought so hard for working families during her eight years as a Missouri legislator. She and her husband raised their family on union wages.
Zerr was working as a secretary in 1977 when she noticed a female meter reader working outside one day. The thought of working outside intrigued her and she applied for a job at the company, but there were no openings. Eventually, a utility worker position became available.
“I had to take a brutal four-hour strength test which included using a jackhammer, climbing ladders and moving boxes up and down stairs,” Zerr said. “It was grueling, but I was determined to get through it because I really wanted that job. I was so physically exhausted that night I couldn’t sleep.”
That’s when Zerr joined Utility Workers Local 110. At the time, she said the company didn’t require that she be a member of Local 110, but she chose to join because of the benefits union membership provided.
During her 10 years as a utility worker, Zerr said she met her husband Michael, who was a member of Laborers’ Local 660. The couple married, had three children and have lived in the St. Charles area ever since.
“We raised our kids on union wages and know what kind of perseverance a union offers in terms of wages and benefits," she said. “We’re were grateful for that support, and it’s had a major impact on our lives.”
THE VITAL RACE FOR STATE SENATE
Zerr, who is seeking her party’s nomination for Senate District 23 in the Aug. 2 primary election, is challenging a candidate receiving support from union-hater David Humphreys, owner of Joplin-based TAMKO Building Products.
Humphreys has made it his mission to defeat worker-friendly Republicans in the primary election, paying for commercials and contributing to the campaigns of their opponents.
Zerr, who stood with working families on last year’s right-to-work legislation, was one of 20 Republicans attacked for their vote in a series of vicious ads in paid for by a committee funded by the Humphreys family.
Zerr has received the Missouri AFL-CIO’s COPE endorsement and has pledged to continue to stand with Organized Labor. “I’ll do whatever it takes to help working families, just as I have done in the past,” she said.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are two ways the 8,000 union households in the 23rd District can help Zerr win the Republican nomination:
Take a Republican ballot at the Aug. 2 primary and vote for Zerr. “It’s not about pulling a Republican ticket,” said Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Building Trades Council. “It’s not about a Democratic ticket. It’s a Labor ticket.”
Volunteer to canvass for Zerr. The following canvassing, phone-banking and Get Out the Vote (GOTV) opportunities have been scheduled for Zerr. For all dates, volunteers should meet at Tri-County Labor Legislative Club, 10 Droeste Square in St. Charles (behind the bowling alley).
- Tuesday, July 26, 5:30 – 8 p.m., GOTV
- Thursday, July 28, 5:30 – 8 p.m., GOTV
- Friday, July 29, 5:30 – 8 p.m., GOTV
- Saturday, July 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., GOTV
- Sunday July 31, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., GOTV
- Monday, Aug. 1, 5:30 – 8 p.m., GOTV
To RSVP or for more information, contact Missouri AFL-CIO Political Director Merri Berry at 314-420-8095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.