This gigantic election battle is about our future. It is about building the broad, all peoples’ movement standing up for democratic rights against the ruthless greed, racism and hate of the tea party and corporate America. It is about our stories, our lives. The super wealthy seek to buy this election for the 1% with a flood of negative ads filled with lies and distortions. They are attempting to keep voters away from the polls. This election will be determined by voter turnout. In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to “the fierce urgency of now,” there is something that everyone can do. The time is now to join with the labor movement and others who are organizing so voters everywhere will understand the choice before them, get registered to vote, and be fired up and ready to turn out on election day and stay involved after. Who have you spoken with today?
A Choice, Not an Echo
At the Democratic National Convention the inclusive Obama coalition of labor, women, youth, Black, Latino, Asian and white united presented a stark contrast to the GOP’s own gathering last month of so-called ‘white nationalists’, religious extremists, and adherents of militia groups combined with the traditional Republican constituency of country club 1%ers. The message emanating from Charlotte stuck a much different tone than the ultra-right message of unrestrained greed and endless war, which came from the hall in Tampa. The working class is now poised to make a choice regarding its survival.
Going Paperless to the Polls
This year the ultra-right and its tea party allies have been working overtime to keep workers away from the polling place and a fierce fight-back is taking place. In Wisconsin the Governor, Legislature and the Attorney General have pulled every trick in the book, and even invented a few new ones, but most of their proposals have fallen flat – including the requirement of a photo ID. Students in Wisconsin have now led a successful campaign to allow the use of electronic versions of documents (displayed by smart phone or ipad) to qualify when poll workers request proof of residency. A mass campaign to register students is underway and this new ruling, which brings voting in line with 21st century technology means that a students proof of residency will only be a click away. Now nothing stands in the way of a youth turnout in record numbers in this key battleground state. The only thing about Wisconsin that will be red on Election Day is the face of VP nominee Paul Ryan.
Food for Thought
Presidential campaigns often attract celebrities, and this year is no exception. One however, actor Jeff Bridges, went beyond the normal political activity and attended both the GOP and Democratic national conventions. What motivated him to take this unusual tact? Bridges was on hand to promote the documentary ‘Hunger Hits Home’ which he narrates. The film documents the struggles of the 16 million American children who go hungry each day. As the tea-party rails against any government program with a price tag and the ultra-right wastes it’s breath on debates over birth control, Bridges sought to remind politicians of both parties that one in five children in this nation go to bed hungry. Meanwhile, the Nuns on the Bus spoke out in opposition to the negative impact Paul Ryan’s budget would have on the poor and those who need help most. When they next go to the polls Americans must ask themselves which candidates on the ballot are more likely to address this life and death issue.
Take Action – Register to Vote/Voter Protection
- State by state voter protection information or Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683)
- Voter registration information in English at www.gottavote.com or in Spanish at www.votemostodos.com
Help Mobilize and Get Out the Vote
- Labor 2012 is mobilizing for labor walks with Working America, http://e2.ma/click/d9o3e/9l4k3e/thi89the AFL-CIO community affiliate
- Call into swing states with MoveOn and Workers Voice
The Debates and the Issues
- Schedule of Debates. Host a house party!
- Meet Mr. 1% and other AFL-CIO resources
- National Priorities Projectone-stop shop for all the facts and budget basics about what’s at stake in 2012 as well as an Election 2012: The Voter Guide, with one-page fact sheets and a side-by-side comparison of President Obama and Governor Romney in 12 key areas, including job creation, tax loopholes, and Medicare.
Handouts to Share in Your Community
This pamphlet by People’s World Ohio Bureau Chief Rick Nagin can be used as a voter education and mobilization tool in the labor and people’s movements around the country. The pamphlet seeks to provide union and other progressive activists with basic information about the U.S. economy, the 2008 meltdown, the grave danger of right-wing extremism and the crucial, turning point nature of the November elections. It is a great tool for union leaders and stewards, political coordinators, grassroots activists or personal use. To order printed copies, visit peoplesworld.org.
Reports from National Committee Meetings
It’s up to us by Joelle Fishman, chair Political Action Commission
For more information