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Commentary
The whole world is watching… and, acting locally, we can win

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, October 28, 2016

By Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou, President,
Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

As we head to the polls Tuesday, November 8, the entire world will be watching who we elect as the next President of the United States. This election will have such a vast impact on this country and the world as a whole  — it is also very deeply personal for me and many, many other women across this country.

Entering the voting booth to vote for the first woman President is not going to be phenomenal because her opponent has no regard for the rights of anyone who doesn’t look like him. 

It’s going to be phenomenal because I will be voting for a woman who is a strong, competent leader.

I will be voting for a woman who celebrates our diversity.

I will be voting for a woman who will advance an agenda to benefit workers and working families across this country.

While social media and traditional media cover every twist and turn of the presidential race with feverish detail, an unwritten story is just as important and impactul: our local races.


In a powerful moment in the final presidential debate, Clinton contrasted Trump’s career of self-promotion with how she spent her life. As an advocate for children and families, Clinton devoted her life to public service, including two terms in the U.S. Senate and four years in the highest level of U.S. government as Secretary of State.

That record is why Hillary Clinton earned the endorsement of the AFL-CIO.

That record is why Hillary Clinton merits your support November 8.

Come November 8, much more than the presidential race will be at stake.

While social media and traditional media cover every twist and turn of the presidential race with feverish detail, an unwritten story is just as important and impactful: our local races.

Our local elected officials hold power and influence in their communities. From negotiating contracts to creating policy to driving economic development, local officials make decisions every day that impact workers and our unions. For every law, policy and program implemented at the national level, school districts, cities and counties are implementing many more. 

I could not be more excited about some of our great candidates running for local office this year — many of whom are highlighted in the pages of this Labor Review.
Together with our endorsed candidates we have big ideas.  We have a vision for lifting up workers’ rights in Brooklyn Park. We have a vision for better transportation and improved government services in Anoka County. We are excited about more inclusive leadership in Richfield. We want school boards that unequivocally believe in public education in Minneapolis and throughout our suburbs. Cities like Crystal have the opportunity to embrace light rail transportation, not run from it. In Hennepin County, we can adapt our workforce development to meet the needs of our diversifying communities.

These ideas can create a tremendous foundation for policy that will impact working families — if we can win.

As employers continue to distance themselves from the responsibility of workplace conditions, cities and counties can hold them accountable. In order to do this, we need a team of elected officials and workers in every neighborhood and every community planning, advocating and demanding better for our families.

Our local elected officials also will need partners at the state legislature. That’s why maintaining a labor-friendly majority in the Minnesota Senate and sending a new labor-friendly majority to the Minnesota House also is vitally important.

We can make our voice heard at the national, state and local level to create an economy that will work for all. We can elect Hillary Clinton. We can win a legislative majority for Governor Dayton. And we can win in school boards, city councils and county boards across our seven-county region.

Those wins won’t happen on their own. Vote — but also do more. Set aside part of a day to make phone calls and knock on doors as part of our Labor 2016 Get-Out-The-Vote effort. To volunteer, click here.

Contact MRLF president Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou at 612-321-5670 or chelsie@minneapolisunions.org.

 



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