by Clyde Weiss | June 05, 2012
Over 36,000 volunteers knocked on nearly two million doors and made more than one million phone calls during the campaign to replace Walker. (Photo by Greg Dixon)
Gov. Scott Walker, whose actions against labor set off a firestorm of protest that led to this recall campaign, came out on top. But an outpouring of support for his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, demonstrated that that the state’s working families were willing to stand up and fight back.
An army of 36,000 We Are Wisconsin volunteers – including members of AFSCME’s three Wisconsin affiliates (Council 24, Council 40, and Council 48) worked together to support the campaign to replace Walker. They knocked on nearly two million doors during the course of this campaign. They also made more than one million phone calls.
It was a grassroots “boots on the ground” campaign that competed with the huge financial advantage that Governor Walker had in this race. More than $55 million in outside money poured in from corporate interests to prop up Walker’s campaign.
By door knocking, phonebanking, texting, tweeting, turning to their friends on Facebook and talking directly to their family and neighbors, these dedicated volunteers fought a corporate-driven assault on workers’ rights that began here in February 2011 when Walker first introduced his bill to destroy collective bargaining.
The protests that started in the statehouse in Madison spread nationwide. That petition drive that followed last summer resulted in the first recall vote for a Wisconsin governor and it was only the third time in history that any governor in the nation has faced that fate.
The election united public and private sector workers, students, retirees, Democrats and Republicans alike in the belief that the right to collective bargaining is a fundamental American right – one that’s worth fighting for.
Wisconsin voters who fought to recall Walker demonstrate that they were willing to defend the American Dream against those, like Walker, who want to divide and conquer workers in order to carry out their union-busting schemes. The fight will continue – and next time, we’ll be even stronger.