‘The Path to Power for Missouri Working Families’ will help union members run for office
By SHERI GASSAWAY
Former Missouri Democratic Chair Stephen Webber has been named coordinator of the Missouri AFL-CIO’s new union member candidate program called The Path to Power for Missouri Working Families.
Mike Louis, president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, says he is looking forward to the roll-out of the new AFL-CIO program, which helps state federations identify and prepare qualified union members to run for office and assists them after they are elected in delivering pro-worker legislation to help working families throughout the country.
GIVING WORKING FAMILIES A REAL VOICE
“It’s time to start the process for working families to have a real voice when it comes to politics,” Louis said. “Whether it is a school board, a fire district, a local municipality office or a state or federal office, we will be training candidates to fill these positions from the beginning of the campaign through the elections and helping them after they are elected.”
Louis said the federation is also excited to announce that it hired Stephen Webber, former chair of the Missouri Democratic Party and former member of the Missouri House of Representatives, as coordinator for the new program.
KNOWLEDGE OF MISSOURI POLITICS AN ABSOLUTE ASSET
“As a past member of the Missouri legislature, a political field director for AFSCME and many other credentials, Stephen’s knowledge of politics in Missouri will be an absolute asset to this organization and specifically this program,” Louis said.
Webber served as a Democratic member of the Missouri House of Representatives from 2009-2016, representing the 46th District in central Missouri. Before taking office, he served two tours of duty in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps.
FIGHTING FOR MISSOURI FAMILIES
“Unions are the most effective voice for working people, and I’m proud to be joining the team at the Missouri AFL-CIO to help continue that tradition,” Webber said on his Facebook page. “I’m thrilled to get to do my favorite thing in the world, fighting for the dignity of Missouri families, every single day!”
HOW THE AFL-CIO PROGRAM BEGAN
Recognizing that local governments have a tremendous influence over the lives of working people, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO developed a program that recruited and assisted union members to hold public office. Since the program began more than 20 years ago, union members have won more than 1,000 elections to New Jersey public office.
The program was replicated with great success in other states, and at the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention, delegates passed Resolution 10 to replicate, grow and support this important program across the country, leading to the passage of pro-worker legislation from coast to coast.
For the past two years, the AFL-CIO has worked with state federations and local Labor bodies to implement and expand the program, yielding many successes.
HOW IT WORKS
- The seeds of the Labor Movement’s political power can be found at the local level among union member activists.
- The union member candidate program helps state and local Labor bodies cultivate these union members to run for political office to represent workers’ interests.
- By identifying election opportunities, training prospective candidates and supporting campaigns, we are always lifting up union elected officials who champion, advance and promote pro-worker policies.
2018 MID-TERM ELECTIONS
In the 2018 midterms alone, 964 union members were elected to public office across the country at all levels of government. When union members hold public office, they champion Labor’s values and work hard to shift the balance of power for working people.
The AFL-CIO’s work to develop and elect union members to public office is just beginning. It is anticipating voters to elect even more true champions for working people in 2020.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on the program, visit unioncandidates.org or call the Missouri AFL-CIO at 573-634-2115.