District One Mobilizes to Support Pro-Worker Candidates
Oct 20, 2010
As the temperature drops and the leaves start turning red and orange, CWA members across the northeast are mobilizing to elect pro-worker candidates in critical state and federal elections.
In New York, political activists are especially focused on electing the Democratic slate of Andrew Cuomo for Governor, Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General and Tom DiNapoli for Comptroller—all by turning out votes on the Working Families Party line. (See related story).
The political situation we face is critical. Right-wing, corporate and anti-union forces are resurgent, fueled by widespread economic anxiety arising from the worst Recession in 70 years, and buttressed by huge investments of corporate cash aimed at rolling back regulations and further tax cuts for the rich.
With just two weeks to go before Election Day, the stakes couldn’t be higher: Democratic control of the US House and Senate hangs in the balance, and along with it any hope of national pro-worker legislation. In New York State, in addition to the hotly contested statewide elections, CWA is fighting to help Democrats retain control of the New York State Senate. When the Republicans were in charge, as they have been for all but three of the last 100 years, Verizon would say “jump” and the Republican leadership would say “how high?”
But CWAers are fighting back. This past Saturday in Peekskill 50 volunteers from Locals 1103 and 1180 spent the morning knocking on the doors of nearly 2000 AFL-CIO union members for Rep. John Hall. Since we helped to elect Hall to Congress in 2006, he has compiled a 99% pro-labor voting record. In contrast, his opponent is a right-wing extremist who wants to replace Social Security with risky Wall Street investment accounts, slash Medicare, and continue tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans.
In Suffolk County, a dozen CWAers from CWA Locals 1108 and 1004 turned out to knock on doors for State Senator Brian Foley, who is facing an extremely tough re-election fight against a far-right opponent. Foley has been the prime sponsor of CWA’s bill to strengthen the public interest standards the NY PSC must address in the event of a telecommunications merger or line sale.
In the Trenton suburbs, NJ CWAers continued to mobilize to support for Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, who is running in the 14th State Senate District. About 50 activists from Locals 1032 and 1036 turned out to knock on doors in Middlesex County and another dozen, from Locals 1037 and 1082, turned out in Middlesex.
And on Monday, October 18th in Vermont, Local 1400 endorsed Senate President Peter Shumlin’s Democrat-Working Families candidacy for Governor. As leader of the State Senate, Shumlin has compiled a strong pro-labor record.
In addition to weekend labor walks, our political activists—members of our Legislative and Political Action Teams (LPATs)—are distributing tens of thousands of flyers in workplaces, and making tens of thousands of phone calls to educate the rank and file about the key issues in the November 2nd election.
Many of us are disappointed that the high hopes inspired by the Obama election two years ago have gone at least partially unfulfilled. But things can get worse—much worse. Just ask CWA members in New Jersey who have seen the difference in the last year between a disappointing Governor Corzine and a devastating Governor Christie. Furthermore, the Tea Party forces running wild in the country today oppose virtually everything the labor movement stands for—and they must be stopped. Volunteer for a phone bank or a labor walk today. The future of our union and country is at stake.