July 26, 2010

Posted on July 23, 2010 at 19:46 PM

Brothers and Sisters, it’s that time again because it’s nearly time – to do that thing where we, as American citizens, exercise the most sacred of democratic practices: the vote. Currently, only free citizens, of a certain age, who are legally registered to do so, and not prohibited by certain legal conditions, are allowed to take part in this celebration of democracy… So it’s a pretty big deal. We Union people take the idea pretty seriously, and our numbers, at around 83% member turn-out at the polls, speak for themselves. While this could be 17% better, which we’re working on, it’s pretty darn good (especially when compared to the national average or, even, your own Local’s elections.) We get it done, here, in Colorado, been getting it done, not just because somebody has to but also because there is always so much at stake – as usual, this time, everything…

There’s a lot of disappointment, unemployment and general frustration out there – even amongst our members. I know. Add that to the fact that voter turn-out is always lower in nonpresidential elections, and we’ve really got our work cut out for us in November.

But when do we ever let hard work discourage us? When do we back down from a fight that is just in cause? We don’t. Still, it takes an enormous amount of hard work and activism, from all of our affiliated Local Unions, to make winning the fight even remotely possible.

Because having a fight plan, to organize the voice of Labor at the polls, is also a good idea, the AFL-CIO’s Labor 2010 Campaign is already under way. Working America (the affiliated organization that allows the AFL-CIO to legally communicate with nonunion members who share our concerns) has continued to grow, and will also be involved in the effort – to educate, agitate and motivate… The plan is simple. It goes something like this: When the people from the Labor 2010 Campaign reach out to you (and they will – by mail, by phone, in person…) just give them the respect they deserve and listen to what they have to say. Be polite and allow them to do their job. The strategy is put together, exclusively, to serve the needs of working people. The endorsement process is not taken lightly, nor is it based upon anything but performance and Union friendliness. The positions taken on amendments and propositions are based upon nothing but the possible effects on working families. If you can do anything to help, the more the merrier… Get involved. Simple.

I could go on about individual candidates and issues that we are going to be given the privilege of voting on this November. But you’ll be hearing enough about all that in the next three months. The key is also to spread the word to anyone you can, especially your nonunion friends and neighbors. Honestly, they do so much better a job at it than me (paraphrasing) that this is one of those times when I would just encourage people to visit the Colorado State AFL-CIO website (www.coaflcio.org/) to get all the details for Labor’s 2010’s strategy, goals and calendar. (Sometimes, you just have to take the easy way out.) This will sure make things easier for the staff Labor 2010. I’ll just give you a teaser… No on Amendments 60 and 61; No on Proposition 101; No on proposed Initiative 45; a huge No to Scott McInnis, which reminds me that I would like to mention something about one of the candidates… I saw a presentation that showed some possible scenarios involving a Scott McInnis governorship. The one that stood out was a picture of a giant, doomsday-type meteor, headed straight toward the earth. Respect this metaphor. He has never been a friend to Labor and is already talking about how he can’t wait to sign Right-to-Work (for less) legislation. With unemployment as high as it is, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of takers, for that line of crap, in the ever-expanding ranks of the uninformed and misinformed. Besides that, Scott’s a plagiarizer. (Plagiarism’s what they call it when you steal someone else’s written work, and make $300,000 by presenting it as the gift of your own genius. I do it all the time – make $300,000, per article, but the difference is that all the stuff I steal is from really obscure sources. Sometimes, depending on how pressed I am for time, I’ll at least make an effort to paraphrase…)

As long as I decided not to keep my word about candidates, I would also like to give a special shout out to a guy who should have the vote of every Union member in El Paso County – Thomas Mowle. Sure, he only running for El Paso County Clerk and Recorder but, in the future, it sure would be nice to be able to take some things, here, for granted – like fair elections. Tom’s scary smart and he gets it. (He even went to a Union printer without being told to.) If you need more information on Tom, he also has a website, a Facebook page and even uses the Twitter. He would love to speak to anybody’s membership, in person, and you can get with me to make that happen.

And remember, if it seems like it was just that time, like the month before last, maybe it’s because Election Day, in America, is a bigger deal than many national holidays (like Labor Day and the Feast of Little Saint Anthony…)

Big corporations have sure done a tremendous job of causing Big Labor to use a pretty substantial part, of its budget and resources to fend off fascism on a bi-annual basis…

United, we stand. Divided, we beg…

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