Next Tuesday, November 6th, is Election Day in America. It’s our day to go to the ballot box and exercise our most important freedom: Voting.
Our country was founded on the belief that people can govern themselves and that our government should be “of, for, and by the People.” In order to bring this to fruition it’s important that each of us express our desires via our vote.
Most of us work in the public-sector which means, not only are we electing our representatives at multiple levels of government, we are electing people who will shape policies that have a direct impact on our profession and our economic lives going forward. From the hiring of our department leaders, to the wages and benefits you receive, to your pension and overall right to bargain, there are very few aspects of your job that re not influenced by elected leaders.
Add to this mix that as public-sector union workers we are a shrinking constituency. Since the height of unionisms heyday in the 1960’s there has been a precipitous drop in union membership and the benefits that union shops bring to their workers. In the last 40 years, workers have seen their right to collectively bargain taken away or weakened, jobs shipped to countries with low wages, defined-benefit retirement plans disappear, and cost of healthcare skyrocket.
We have a lot at stake in this election and its important for us to hold the line for workers in this country. If we don’t advocate for ourselves, nobody will.
The MPFF has endorsed 20 candidates this election cycle. The list is attached to this this email. In order to receive endorsement a candidate must first request it in writing and be approved by a two-thirds vote of the MPFF executive board. We consider many factors when issuing political endorsements. If your favorite candidate is not listed among the 20 that we endorsed, the most likely reason is that they did not request an endorsement from us. Not all candidates covet support from Labor organizations and some campaigns simply aren’t savvy enough to seek support.
The MPFF evaluates candidates solely on where they stand, or will likely stand on our “basket of issues.” That basket includes, but is not limited to, the impact their policy positions will have on our members wages, benefits, working conditions and their ability to bargain for them. We do not consider a candidates stance on issues such as abortion, immigration, or whether or not they support the President.
Information on our endorsed candidates can be easily accessed on the internet. If you don’t know who is on the ballot in your area or where you go to vote you can access that information at www.sos.state.mn.us
Undoubtedly, there will be folks that will not be happy with some of the candidates that we have endorsed or some of the positions we have taken and that is ok, even healthy. We all bring with us our own set of values and those values drive our voting decisions. No matter which candidate earns your vote, the important thing is that you take part in the process and be heard. Our Republic and our Association depends on it!