Teamster leaders understand that when it comes to politics, we can’t afford to sit it out and watch from the sidelines. That’s why throughout the month of August, Rome Aloise travelled around Northern California to take this message directly to our members.
With stops in Stockton, Sacramento, Fresno, Modesto, and two in the Bay Area, Rome met with over 300 work site political coordinators, shop stewards, and union officers to lay out what’s at stake for us in the November election. People came to the meetings and left armed with information to take back to our members.
At each stop, Rome laid out the key races coming up in November and how members can get plugged in to the campaign.
Teamsters are very diverse in our party affiliation. But whether you’re Democrat, Republican, or Independent, Rome made it clear that this November we need to vote with our pocketbooks, not our party. That’s because Meg Whitman has publicly declared that unions are the enemy. Voting for her is like choosing to give your employer free reign to run the company.
Whitman wants to get rid of pensions and collective bargaining rights for public employees. Before Rome shared it, most of our members didn’t know that when he was Governor, Jerry Brown gave public employees the right to organize and collectively bargain in the first place!
(Photo by Randy Bayne)
On jobs, Whitman laid off employees and shipped jobs overseas whiles she was running eBay. She wants to lay off 40,000 state employees if she gets elected, while Brown created 1.9 million jobs when he was Governor.
When people heard about Whitman’s Wall Street connections and the $104 million of her own money she’s already spent to buy the Governor’s seat, they wondered if she’s doing it so she can make her corporate friends even richer.
We heard from members who came to the meetings with plans to vote for Whitman. Some liked her, and some didn’t like Jerry Brown. But armed with the facts, the difference in this race became crystal clear. We need to protect what we have.
Rome made it very clear that as bad as Meg Whitman is, Carly Fiorina is even worse. Barbara Boxer has a 100% voting record with the Teamsters and she just agreed to introduce our legislation in the Senate that would set aside legal challenges from the trucking industry toward our campaign to organize almost 100,000 truck drivers at ports around the country, including Oakland.
At every stop along the way, candidates we’re supporting for local races joined us to tell us about their campaigns and how they support the Teamsters. Rome understands that it’s important to hear from the people who represent us – and for them to hear from us – so we were joined by:
- Assembly Member Sandré Swanson
- Assembly Member Ellen Corbett
- San Leandro Mayor Tony Santos
- Former Senate Pro-Tem and Oakland Mayoral candidate Don Perata
- Stockton Mayor Anne Johnston
- San Joaquin County Supervisors Carlos Villapudua and Steve Bestalorides
- 3rd Congressional District candidate Dr. Ami Bera
- 5th Assembly District candidate Dr. Richard Pan
- 30th Assembly District candidate Fran Florez
- 16th Senate District candidate Michael Rubio
- Congressman Jim Costa
- Assembly Member Anna Caballero, candidate for the 12th Senate District
IBT representatives were on hand to sign-up members for our political action committee DRIVE (Democratic, Republican, Independent Voter Education).
Sixty members signed up for DRIVE, or 20% of the people that attended!
We also recruited volunteers for precinct walking and phone banking for October and November. 109 members signed commitment cards, or 30% of the people that attended!
Rome also shared plans to register voters and the importance of signing people up to vote by mail, or Permanent Absentee. Why wait in line, deal with parking, or miss your chance to vote because some crisis keeps you from getting to the polls. Over 50% of the people registered to vote by mail cast their votes. That’s because the ballot comes to your mailbox, you fill it out, and you stick it back in the mail. Nothing could be easier.
Joint Council 7 is hosting a voter registration contest now through October 18th. Members registering the most voters will win prizes!
1st place: a $1,000 Visa gift card
2nd place: a $500 Costco card
3rd place: a leather-sleeved Teamsters wool jacket
If you want voter registration cards, please contact Marsi Newman at the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council (CTPAC) at 916-446-0291.