There’s an election going on right now. I doubt any of us can escape it right now. But it’s gotten me thinking about what we do from here on out in terms of reaching out to brothers and sisters in the movement to not only tell them about their benefits (um, you have many that you aren’t using from travel to dental, they’re your benefits, use them) to how to make sure that we have both a Democrat in the White House and a solid majority in the Senate and House.
So, as I’m thinking about this, I ran across an AFL-CIO story on Diane Hansen:
“When we started the political action committee a few years ago, I'd like to say that I felt about it the way I do now—that I'm doing it because I want to give something back to the union and community—but I didn't come to that realization until I'd be involved and saw how important it was,” she says.
Hansen, 42, became involved in political action in a 2002 county supervisor campaign and by the time 2004 elections rolled around, she had learned some of the nuts and bolts of political mobilizing.
“We had three main goals: implementing a voter registration program, enacting and following the AFL-CIO's 10 Point Political Action Plan and plugging into AFL-CIO GOTV [Get Out The Vote] program,” she says
Hansen, who continued her full-time job throughout the campaign, spent an additional 30 hours a week leafleting worksites, recruiting members for phone banks and taking part in door-to-door walks to talk with union members about issues critical to working families.
Hanson says her experience demonstrated how one-on-one communication with members is “one of the most effective means of communication” and “should be the cornerstone in all campaigns.” She credits the work of all the unions working together with the unprecedented member mobilization in the 2004 elections.
“Union teamwork produced solidarity. I don't think we'd ever seen such a strong coming together of unions for a common cause,” she says.
And what this little story about activism inspired in me was the concept that we need to not only work on membership but we also have to bring everyone else along in our fight for worker’s rights. And this of course, reminded me of the McCain Revealed campaign which succinctly breaks down why American Workers and Unions can’t afford 4 more years of this hell.
Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves that 4 more years of this just isn’t acceptable. I know it hasn’t worked for me, and I’d be willing to guess it hasn’t for most of you.
So, I’m willing to do this year what Diane Hansen has done, I’m getting more active. Way, way more active. I don’t want to look back a year from now and regret not wearing out a pair of shoes canvassing. I want to know that we’ve put the right person into the White House, and in no way, shape, or form is that person John McCain.
Thank you Diane.