from the Economic Justice Committee
Working America, the community arm of the AFL-CIO, has been working nationally for 15 years to engage workers in the electoral process. Now working in California, Working America locally is training volunteers to canvass areas such as Modesto, Tracy, and Turlock in hopes of getting working people engaged with choosing legislators who really represent their interests. Congressional District 10 in the Central Valley is the swing district closest to the Bay Area. District 10 voted for Clinton, but reelected their Republican Congressman by less than 3% of the votes.
Jeanne Finberg, EJC and Kehilla member, has been going out monthly with her husband, Bob, and finding the canvassing extremely effective, engaging and fascinating. Per Jeanne, “People out there don’t have many people knocking on their doors asking what is of interest to them. We have found many people opening their doors and being willing to talk to us. Some even tell us their stories about their lives, their decisions to not vote or just wanting change but not having accurate information. Most are working people wanting more secure and better jobs, stable, affordable health care and good education for their children. Despite everything, their voices haven’t been heard. We are trying to hear them and give them information to engage them in choosing legislators who will be responsive. We have been surprised and of course, thrilled, by the response. This method really works!”
While the EJC plans its more extensive workshop training for February, Working America is requesting anyone who is ready to be a part of this change action to contact them NOW!
Canvassing happens on weekday (per their schedule) evenings from 4pm to 8pm and Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm. For new volunteers, you will arrive an hour in advance for your first canvass for training. You will be trained on how to use their iPad and how to engage with people in a manner that draws out their concerns, and most important, to get them to sign up as a member so they will get more information from Working America in the future. After the primary, Working America will go back to the doors with information on the candidates’ positions on the issues of concern to working families – jobs and the economy, education, health care, retirement security, corporate accountability, and workers’ rights.
Please contact Fran Schreiberg or the Modesto Working America office, to sign up for a shift and get trained. Training is in Modesto, a 90-minute drive from Oakland. Links for carpooling are provided on the site. If you would like to talk with Jeanne about her experience, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN US IN THIS EFFORT TO MAKE A SIGNIFICANT LOCAL AND NATIONAL DIFFERENCE!!