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Candidate Recruitment, Screening and Training

WHEREAS:

            The expansion and maintenance of our rights, privileges and standards of living and the protection of the public services we provide requires working women, men and families to remain active participants in the American political system; and

WHEREAS:

            Anti-worker elected officials and the interested parties who sponsor their candidacies are bringing more frequent and increasingly brutal attacks on working families, our allies and the services we provide; and

WHEREAS:

            AFSCME has the capability to protect our common interests, expand common ground with each other and allies, restore respect for workers and bring civility and decency back to American political discourse; and

WHEREAS:

            American workers – regardless of political ideology, partisan preference or previous inclination of involvement – must become politically active at an unprecedented level through their active support of candidates for public office who demonstrate an affinity for working families and the ability to govern effectively; and

WHEREAS:

            The women, men and families of AFSCME possess the ability to recruit candidates for elected office, and raise the consciousness of elected officials, candidates for elected office and the community at large; and

WHEREAS:

            Since the founding of our union we have recognized the extraordinary potential of our own power.  We have mobilized on picket lines and in workplaces for fair contracts and our broader economic, social and human rights.  We are the overwhelming majority.  We have potential power in our numbers and in the skills and talents within our ranks, to not only make society run, but make the decisions on how the society should be governed; and

WHEREAS:

            We are not strangers to the power of independent political action, as we take on employers in the work place, and engage in strikes for a fair contract.  We mobilize “truth squads” to expose the lies of politicians and attack the inadequate solutions they offer, as well as the draconian measures being passed and proposed to destroy our power altogether.  Our protests have included mobilizations against ALEC, massive lobbying days in state capitals, camping out in legislative offices, and more.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME – guided in mission and task by principles of fairness, justice, shared sacrifice and equal access to resources – redouble our efforts to identify, recruit and support candidates for public office who share our mission; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That candidates who share AFSCME’s vision be bolstered in their efforts through our issue orientation and education programs, and candidate skills and preparedness training programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME’s candidate recruitment, training and retention programs, when feasible and practical, focus on workers and members of their families who wish to seek elected public office; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That we in AFSCME, through our PEOPLE Program and in our local work, begin to explore opportunities to support more candidates who decide to run independent electoral campaigns, and who are willing and able to champion the causes of labor and to fight for passage of, and full implementation of, the policies we support; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That within our PEOPLE Program, and through our AFSCME organization, we seriously explore the opportunities to run our own candidates, selected from the ranks of labor and bringing forward decades of recognized leadership within the labor movement and struggles for social justice.  Such union leaders, running for elected political office, could galvanize the hopes and willingness to fight back by those who have been betrayed and abandoned by the existing system and both major parties.  The ranks of labor and all oppressed would welcome and be rallied around our leadership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME increase efforts to involve rank-and-file members in candidate screening, recruitment and election programs—particularly those members falling directly within the scope of authority of the office to which particular candidates seek election or re-election; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

            That AFSCME formally renews its commitment to vigorous political activity as both the path to victory in challenges we face and toward the electoral demise of those who oppose us; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:

            That the full, unwavering participation and cooperation of AFSCME’s leaders, members and allies be enlisted to act in solidarity within the American political system to restore rights and

protections we have lost, enhance those which remain and secure a future that working families justly deserve and demand.

 

 

SUBMITTED BY:     JoAnn Johntony, President and Delegate

                                    Sandra Wheeler, Secretary and Delegate

                                    OAPSE/AFSCME Local 4

                                    Ohio

                                   

                                    Ellen Larrimore, President and Delegate

                                                Diane Rumsfield, Recording Secretary

                                    Patricia Johnson, Treasurer and Delegate

                                    Vladimir Fernandez, Trustee and Delegate

                                    Jeanette Hernandez, Executive Board Member

                                    Linda Loew, Executive Board Member

                                    AFSCME Local 1989, Council 31,

                                    Illinois

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