After blistering primary pace, Labor Neighbor ‘only just begun’

Michael Case (center) and Jason Benway (right), both of IBEW Local 73, visited the home of a fellow IBEW member in Wenatchee to talk about the key primary election races.

Volunteers for Labor Neighbor, the Washington State Labor Council’s member-to-member grassroots political education program, made nearly 128,000 phone calls and knocked on more than 5,000 doors in the primary season. These volunteers explained to fellow union members which candidates support strong working families, a secure middle class, and a better future for our children.

With more than 800 volunteer shifts, Labor Neighbor completed its primary phone plan and most of its walk plan in the targeted districts for the primary. This is four times the number of volunteer shifts conducted by this date in 2010.

“We are off to a good start, but we have only just begun,” said Lori Province, WSLC Field Mobilization Director. “We have not yet felt the effect of Citizens United. Every one of us needs to step up and take at least one shift to support our candidates that hold our values if we want to succeed against the corporate money that will be thrown into Washington state’s races.”

AUGUST VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVE — Labor Neighbor has scheduled phone banks for Aug. 20-31 in cities across the state to contact union members who aren’t registered to vote or need to update their voter registration. Download the schedule/volunteer form to sign up for a shift (or two) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays (depending on the locations) in Everett, Mt. Vernon, Olympia, Seattle,  Spokane, Tacoma and Vancouver — and hopefully in the Tri-Cities very soon.

Max Brown and Shaunie Saelee doorbell in Wenatchee’s 100-degree heat.

COMING SOON: SUPER WALKS! — After conducting a massive review of primary election efforts, Province says the Labor Neighbor program is making some changes in the fall volunteer calendar leading up to Election Day. The plan is to conduct fewer, but more intense “Super Walks” in each of the targeted districts. Those dates and venues are being selected now, so look for an updated Labor Neighbor calendar for the general election some time next week.

THANK YOU, WFSE LOCAL 443! — A special thanks goes to the Washington Federation of State Employees, Local 443.  The Federation has long supported the WSLC Labor Neighbor program, but already in 2012, Local 443 has dramatically stepped up its game. With more than 50 volunteer shifts during the primary election season, big thanks to the leadership and support WFSE 443  is giving to Labor Neighbor.

DEAR SELF… — A “Pledge to Vote” program is the newest piece of Labor Neighbor. Union members can sign the Pledge to Vote on Election Day cards at work or while being doorbelled during a Labor Neighbor walk. This is a great way for stewards and activists to help turn out the vote and ID members at work. For more information about Pledge to Vote, contact WSLC Political Intern Max Price at 206-972-3161.

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