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Commentary
Your work in the next few weeks
can win labor-friendly legislature

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, September 28, 2012

By Bill McCarthy, President, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

What’s on your calendar in the next few weeks? Fall chores? Football? A family hike or a drive to view the colorful leaves? That’s all good but I urge you to make time for something really important. Make time for something which will impact you, your job, your family’s future: set aside a couple of evenings or part of a weekend to volunteer for a phonebank or a doorknock to help elect a labor-friendly majority in the Minnesota legislature.

This past legislative session, we saw more than 100 anti-labor bills introduced in the Minnesota legislature and we narrowly stopped a “Right to Work” constitutional amendment from appearing on this November’s ballot.

Those defensive actions in the legislature took time, money, and energy.

We don’t want to fight those battles all over again come January 2013.

We want to move our state forward.

We need to elect a legislature which will work with Governor Mark Dayton, not against him, and invest in our state’s future.

The balance of power in the next legislature will be determined by the outcome of a few key races.

And the margin of victory in some of those races could be just a handful of votes.

In 2010,  a difference of 700 votes gave the Republicans control of the Minnesota House while a difference of 2,200 votes gave the Republicans control of the Minnesota Senate.

We can win back a labor-friendly majority in the legislature but the win won’t happen on its own. We need to earn it. Every phone call, every door knocked will be important. Every volunteer who is part of that effort will be making a difference.

During these few weeks, what we do — or what we fail to do — will determine who controls the Minnesota legislature.

To volunteer, contact MRLF organizer Adam Robinson at 612-321-5672 or e-mail adam@minneapolisunions.org

The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation is targeting seven legislative races where we believe our involvement can make a difference in the outcome.

We’re reaching out to union households in these seven districts to make sure they know how the candidates stand on the issues and which candidates support working families and our concerns.

This union member to union member contact is important because corporate-backed groups are sending a flood of mail into these same districts, attacking our labor-endorsed candidates and distorting the issues. We can’t let them get away with it. The best way we can counter this vicious mis-information campaign is with person-to-person contact.

You can make a difference by joining this work.

See stories this page and page 3 for a schedule of upcoming phonebanks and doorknocks.

If you’re an old hand at phonebanks or doorknocking, we welcome your experience.

If you’re new to this sort of grassroots political activity, we welcome your new energy. Don’t worry, you’ll get some training so your contacts with union voters will be effective.

The November 6 election is a little more than five weeks away from the publication date of this September 26 issue of the Labor Review.

During these few weeks, what we do — or what we fail to do — will determine who controls the Minnesota legislature in January. So let’s dig deep. Find that energy. Carve out that time. Talk with your union brothers and sisters and get them involved, too. We have so much to gain. We have too much to lose.

To volunteer, contact, MRLF organizer Adam Robinson at 612-321-5672 or adam@minneapolisunions.org.

Click here to see doorknock and phone bank schedule through October

 

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