There is no doubt that everyone knows how important the upcoming Presidential Election will be in the United States, and how close an election it is expected to be. The polls keep fluctuating one way or the other, but it appears that John Kerry is leading in most instances. But, polls aside, (because we never can really tell if we should believe them or not) we can not back down on the work at hand.
The Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts of the International and so many I.A. members throughout the country have been mobilized more than ever to get people registered, provide absentee ballots, conduct phone banking, and plan to help get people to the polls.
Following the lead of the AFL-CIO, much of the GOTV work is concentrated on the various battleground states, and the IATSE and its local union officers and members are out there in high numbers doing their part.
Florida – the state everyone has been watching since the 2000 election debacle, has nearly all I.A. locals in the state working to get the job done right this time around. The I.A. alone has helped to get hundreds of people registered and filling out absentee ballot requests. The Florida members are to be commended for their extraordinary efforts in light of the suffering of so many due to the damage left by all the hurricanes.
California – has a number of I.A. members working with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor of the AFL-CIO helping in any way they can, sending letters to union members urging voter registration, phone banking, etc. In addition, the Federation “adopted” the state of Nevada to which volunteers are traveling in droves to help get people to the vote.
New York – has the New York City Central Labor Council coordinating GOTV efforts. Similar to the LA County Federation in California, the New York Council has “adopted” Florida and Pennsylvania. With the Council and other affiliates, the I.A. is providing a bus to transport volunteers from New York City local unions to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (one of the key battleground states) to participate in phone banks and precinct walks. The locals are also participating in phone banks that are set up in New York to make phone calls to 250,000 union members in Florida!
Ohio – I.A. locals have volunteers out in herds at all the rallies in this important battleground state, and there has been a tremendous push on voter registration, with several hundred new voters registered to date. I.A. volunteers are in constant contact with the AFL-CIO field representatives and continue their tremendous efforts to help out at phone banks and precinct walks as well as other activities in this very important battleground state. Particular emphasis is put on areas such as Cleveland, Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus. (Kerry and Bush have so far been to Ohio nearly 75 times combined.)
Pennsylvania – Another very important battleground state, the Locals in Pennsylvania are really pulling together and pounding the pavement in the precinct walks, phone banking and various mailings to union members in the state. A substantial number of new voters have been registered and the number of absentee ballot requests is astonishing.
Arizona – I.A. locals and members are working hard with their central labor bodies to get people out on November 2nd, and, with signs in hand, the IATSE had a great showing at the 3rd and final Presidential Debate on October 13 at ASU campus in Tempe, and some I.A. signs even made it to the airwaves!
Every Vote Counts!
Cast YOUR Vote on November 2nd!
It may be the most important thing you do this year.