Anna’s political action with 32BJ started 6 years ago when she became a member. She’s a shop steward and in 2008 she was an MPO who went to Ohio to campaign for President Obama. This year she was very active in New York—where she phone banked and canvassed for President Obama’s re-election and worked to elect other candidates who support working families.
I started getting active in politics when I joined the union because my coworkers in the union showed me why politics was important. My involvement in politics allows me to express myself and my opinion and ensure that workers have a voice on the job. I tell members that politicians make decisions every day that affect our lives. We need to elect officials who are going to help working people and stay strong on our agenda.
Anna says that the American Dream Fund concentrates the power of workers to fight for the middle class.
Because of the money we contribute we can elect leaders who care about our issues and working families. We can win strong contracts. We are pooling the strength of working families and the middle class to fight back against the power and political pressure of the wealthy. We’re supporting our goals: like the prevailing wage law and displaced workers law in New York. We are not fighting just for ourselves but we’re fighting for all working families. A lot of hard-working families have jobs that only pay minimum wage and you can’t live on 7.25 an hour in New York. We have to change the laws that hurt working families. We need elected leaders who will support us. We support them and they support us when we’re at the bargaining table. It’s important to keep supporting candidates like that for the next contract fight and the one after that.
So, how did she sign up so many contributors?
I told them the truth. We’re supporting politicians so that they’re on our side when we need their help. Without elected officials we’re not going to win. We’re only strong when we’re together and we have elected officials with us. I explained to them our political program and then they wanted to sign up. If you just give 2 dollars a week, it’s not even coffee and a bagel and it’s really helping our union. Even that small amount is important for the union.