Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and the fundamental right upon which all our civil liberties rest. Voting gives us a voice. It’s the great equalizer to money and power. Our seat at the table comes from making our voices heard on Election Day.
In an age of negative advertising blitzes in election campaigns, personal contact is still king. That’s our focus. That’s how we elect candidates who will stand up for workers and stand up against the corporate elite.
Historically, unions have accomplished many things for all working people that we now take for granted. Things like the eight-hour work day, minimum wage, child labor laws, unemployment insurance, Social Security and worker health and safety laws all were the direct result of union advocacy. Even Labor Day was created by unions.
But union accomplishments aren’t just a thing of the past. Today, labor unions are at the forefront of electing progressive candidates, who support working family issues, of defending workers’ rights and creating opportunities for workers to pursue the American Dream. Always adapting to the challenges of our nation’s evolving workforce, unions are meeting the needs of workers in today’s flexible and nontraditional work environments. Because no matter what type of job workers are in, by building power in unions, they can speak out for fairness for all working people in their communities and create better standards and a strong middle class across the country.
One way the Sacramento Central Labor Council advocates for Labor's issues is by participating in electoral politics. Union members and their families mobilize to elect public officials, and support initiatives that further our working families' agenda. The Labor Council's 171,000 unions members represent a significant block of voters throughout our six county region. Through political organizing, campaign strategy and the ability to “Get-Out-The-Vote”, the Council is able to elect, and hold elected officials, accountable to workers needs.
“C.O.P.E” is the Committee On Political Education and it is the political arm of the Council. Through the COPE Committee, delegates and members appointed by their union, have the opportunity to interview candidates for office and recommend whether they deserve Labor’s endorsement. Council delegates vote on all endorsements of candidates and ballot measures. Once a candidate or ballot measure is endorsed by the COPE Committee and the endorsement is ratified by the delegate body, the Council organizes political campaign activities such as phone banks, mailings, precinct walks, and “Get-Out-The-Vote” efforts to inform fellow union members on the election, our supported candidates and measures and to campaign activities to drive our workers to the polls to vote.