Unions ready for elections

By Sheri Williams

The Sacramento Central Labor Council has kicked off its election program for the June primaries, knocking on doors and canvassing neighborhoods to ensure that Labor-friendly candidates and issues are at the forefront of voters’ minds.

“There is so much at stake in both our local and national elections,” said Sacramento Central Labor Council executive director Fabrizio Sasso. “From our school boards to Congress, we need to make sure that we elect candidates who share our values and will stand with us to fight for what is right and fair.”

Dozens of union members turned out for a kickoff event in April, when volunteers canvassed South Sacramento on behalf of endorsed candidates including Alana Mathews for District Attorney, Caity Maple for City Council, Eric Guerra for Assembly, Karina Talamantes for City Council and Jaclyn Moreno for Board of Supervisors.

“So excited to join Sacramento Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO for the official labor primary campaign kickoff this morning in South Sacramento!” Moreno said on Facebook. “When we fight, we win—let’s do this.”

The Sacramento Central Labor Council and the Sacramento-Sierra’s Building and Construction Trades Council have issued endorsement lists, and both organizations are marshalling volunteers. On a weekly basis, union members have been walking key neighborhoods, bundling mailings and phone banking in support of Labor-endorsed candidates.

The primary takes place on June 7, but voters will be able to vote by mail and at specified polling centers weeks before election day. The deadline to register to vote is May 23.

The Sacramento Central Labor Council will also hold its “Issues & Eggs” legislative lobby breakfast on May 17, an opportunity for union members to hear about local Labor goals and priorities, along with hearing from legislators about their work. Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry and Jim Cooper will be present, along with Senators Richard Pan and others.

“Now more than ever, we need to make sure our voices are heard by our elected leaders,” said Sasso. “We all see our country being pulled in directions that are not about democracy and fairness. But at the same time, we see the power of unions and workers growing. This election is a chance for us to show we are dedicated to the values we hold, and that we’ll show up to make sure the leaders we believe in are in office.”