The labor movement is no stranger to marching, rallying and protesting. They all are tactics we employ to raise the voice of workers. But if these tactics are not paired with meaningful gains, such as bargaining a contract or winning on a policy issue, they are just that, tactics. Over the course of this past year, we have seen many marches, rallies and protests pop up. This current political environment also has led to a phenomenal amount of online social media “activism.”
Popular marches and social media activity will only get working families so far. Now, it’s time to harness that energy for one of the most important marches since election night 2016: the march to the polls November 6. And we need everyone, and I mean everyone, to enthusiastically join us in that march.
We need you to show up and vote, whether that’s at your polling place November 6 or at an early vote center in your community. We need to you to mobilize and bring your neighbors, family and co-workers to the polls with you.
We at the MRLF are running our largest grassroots union member voter mobilization effort ever — and that doesn’t happen without the help of all of you. Each meaningful conversation we have about union values in the workplace or on the doors helps to cut through all the static, clutter and propaganda floating around on the TV and in our social media feeds.
This year, we have an amazing slate of endorsed candidates running from the top of the ticket all the way down to the very important bottom-of-page and back-of-ballot local races. Of course, the Governor’s race is our top priority: working to elect Tim Walz, a union member, to the state’s highest office.
We’ve also got union member and former Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Julie Blaha running statewide for State Auditor. Rounding out the races for the state’s constitutional offices we have proven working family champions in Keith Ellison running for Attorney General and Steve Simon running for Secretary of State.
Sometimes these state offices are passed over as not important, but if we lose any of these three critical offices, our rights will be at stake in the workplace, as consumers, and in the voting booth. The three candidates running against our AFL-CIO endorsed candidates in these statewide races have particularly strong fringe views and will put many of our gains in our workplaces and in the voting booth at risk.
While it can be hard to believe the drama unfolding in Washington, D.C. these days, we should be proud to know that our labor-endorsed candidates that we hope to send to D.C. are honorable, valued leaders from our community. We hope to send Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith back to the U.S. Senate and have them joined in the U.S. House by Angie Craig from CD 2, Dean Phillips from CD 3 and, of course, Ilhan Omar from CD 5.
Finally, look over this issue and the past few issues of the Labor Review to learn about the many great endorsed candidates we have running for local office. From first-time candidates to long-time elected leaders hoping to return, I couldn’t be prouder of the work we do in our local communities. Impacting these local races in favor of working families’ champions shows the true strength of our members who are active in every neighborhood and every community.
Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou is president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.