District Council 57

Political and Legislative Program Update, December 2009

This fall, AFSCME Council 57’s Political and Legislative Department took several steps to build our political strength and capacity. Council 57 re-established its Political Action Committee (PAC) and asked each of the Council’s 57 Local Presidents to appoint a representative. Council 57’s Political and Legislative Director will work with the PAC and E-Board to set the direction, priorities and policies of the work.

In November, the E-Board approved a new endorsement process for the Council which will be implemented for the June primary and evaluated by the Locals and PAC to see how to make it work better in the future. To be considered for the Council’s endorsement, a recommendation will need to come from a Local that has followed a recommended Local endorsement process that includes asking a candidate to fill out a questionnaire and involving members in reviewing the answers and interviewing candidates. The Council process strives for Locals to coordinate screening and interviews and use consensus to make decisions where several Locals have a direct interest in the race. Council 57’s PAC will discuss recommendations from Locals; final endorsements will come from the E-Board and Delegates per Council 57’s constitution. The next topics that the PAC will take on will be developing candidate questionnaires, planning and coordinating candidate interviews among Locals, setting an endorsement calendar, and creating a plan for voter registration, get out the vote activities, and fundraising for political action.

2010 will be a critical year for us to involve our members in taking action and building AFSCME’s power from the grassroots level up, by organizing rallies and legislative visits, working on local and state elections, and changing the public debate about the benefit of public programs and the work we do. In late 2009 and early 2010, Council 57’s Political Director will be working with interested Locals and the Council PAC, E-Board, and staff to help develop strategic political action plans for the coming year. The major elements of these plans are:

1.Educating Members about the Importance of Political and Legislative Action
2.Registering Members to Vote
3. Get Out The Vote Activities
4. Recruiting, Educating, and Endorsing Candidates
5. Recruiting PEOPLE Participation
6. Establishing a Local Political Action Committee and participating in Council 57’s PAC
7. Participating in Central Labor Councils
8. Holding Elected Officials Accountable
9. Introducing Policy Proposals or Legislation
10. Organizing a Member Action structure
11. Developing and Delivering an Effective Message

For more information about Council 57’s new endorsement process, political action planning for 2010 or Council 57’s Political Action Committee, contact the Council’s Political Director at 510-436-2254 or by email.

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