The Stand

AFL-CIO launches ‘largest organizing drive in history’ to mobilize workers for elections

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The following is from the AFL-CIO:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 2, 2022) — The AFL-CIO today kicked off a massive voter mobilization to elect pro-worker candidates in November, aiming to empower working people to make the difference in scores of close races around the country. The 2022 mobilization kicks into high gear at a time when labor unions enjoy their highest approval rating in more than five decades, according to a Gallup survey released this week.

This effort is focused on hyper-local one-on-one organizing. From the picket lines to worksites to workers’ homes, volunteers will connect with union members to ensure these members receive truthful and accurate information on ballot measures and candidates from people they trust. This program also will include peer-to-peer texting, phone calls, targeted digital communication, and mail to reach workers multiple times between now and Election Day.

“Working people are fired up and ready to mobilize like never before to restore America’s promise,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “We’ve launched the largest organizing drive in history to empower workers who for far too long have been ignored and taken for granted by a political system designed to benefit the wealthy and well-connected. This mobilization’s focus on personal connections to engage working people on issues that have a real impact on our families and communities will cut through the political noise to make a critical difference locally and nationally this November and beyond.”

The 2022 mobilization is unlike any other election initiative in the history of the labor movement. All told, more than 100,000 volunteers will reach at least 7.7 million working people between now and Election Day. This organizing drive will not end with this year’s midterm elections. The AFL-CIO and affiliate unions built the infrastructure to sustain worker outreach and electoral organizing beyond November through 2024, to give working people a powerful voice in the statehouses, the U.S. Congress and the 2024 presidential election.

By treating the mobilization as an organizing drive that does not end on Election Day, America’s labor movement harnesses the energy created by the wave of worker organizing that’s happening across the country and the historically high popularity of unions to build a sustainable campaign that engages working people on the issues and creates a feedback loop that informs future conversations. Research shows that when voters are contacted in person by trusted sources, it’s 10-fold more powerful in engaging them in elections than other forms of communication, including TV ads.

“Personal connection is the heart and soul of organizing,” said AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond. “We know that when workers organize, we win. We’re seeing it every day as more workers organize unions in industries once thought to be immune to working people having a voice. This new approach allows for a 365-day-a-year organizing that will deliver victories in the workplace, in state legislatures, at the Capitol and at the ballot box.”

While the AFL-CIO’s ground game will span across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the federation’s leaders identified nine targeted states where recent elections have been decided by razor-thin margins. 2022 AFL-CIO Battleground States: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The AFL-CIO and affiliate unions will not only focus our attention on union members, we will also reach out to working people who are not yet in a union but share union values. A significant focus will be placed on engagement with demographics that have lower voter turnout, including young workers, people of color, women and others.

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