In 2018, workers across the country are joining unions and growing the labor movement. We are fighting for our freedoms in the workplace despite unprecedented attacks. Workers are in motion because organizers in every neighborhood and in every workplace are finding their voice and sharing their story of hope and a vision for the future.
Now, most of us don’t even know we are organizers, especially at first. Organizers are the ones who connect the right people, think critically and empower others.
For many of us, our inherent life experiences are what make us organizers. We are constantly thinking about the world from a place of overcoming challenges and making things better — a world that is rooted in a real-life community.
In 2018, we don’t need more politicians, we need more organizers. That’s why, this November, I am very excited that we have an opportunity to not just elect a Governor, but to instead elect an Organizer-in-Chief.
Tim Walz — a high school teacher, a coach, a veteran, and a union member — will have the opportunity to embody the scrappy organizer in all of us as he runs as the AFL-CIO’s endorsed candidate for Governor of Minnesota this November.
In Tim Walz, we’ve got a shot to elect to the state’s highest office one of those natural organizers who didn’t even know they were an organizer.
Years ago, I first got to know Tim Walz when I attended high school in Mankato, before he was ever an elected official. You could tell he wasn’t just a teacher and a community volunteer; he had something else that drew people in and got them excited about school or about volunteering. Years later, when organizing for the labor movement in southeast Minnesota, I got to meet Congressman Tim Walz as he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with striking hotel workers.
Let’s be clear. The path to November is a challenging one. But Tim Walz is giving the labor movement in Minnesota the opportunity to be the best version of ourselves over the next three months.
With Tim Walz by our side, we are going to be organizing neighborhood by neighborhood and block by block. We’re going to be organizing to make sure workers have a voice in our workplaces and in our halls of government.
Tim Walz knows that politics alone isn’t the answer — that’s why he’s running his campaign with workers at the forefront and leading on the issues that cut across traditionally “safe” election topics.
We know the future of the labor movement in Minnesota is at stake in this election. And winning this Governor’s race alone isn’t enough. We must ensure that workers are a part of the campaign, a part of the voice and a part of the win every step of the way.
As we head into the fall, think about the future beyond November. Who are the organizers amongst us in our neighborhoods and in our workplaces? Who can be empowered to share their voice and their vision?
Who knows, maybe someday that worker ringing up your groceries or picking up your trash could be running for office, too.
I can’t wait to work with all of you to help elect an organizer, Tim Walz, for our next Governor!
Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou is president of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.