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Texas AFL-CIO Launches Union Candidate Training

Ed Sills
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The Texas AFL-CIO toolkit grew Saturday with a successful Union Candidate Training workshop, at a time when union candidates who support a fair shot agenda for working families are seeing prime opportunities to enter politics.

Texas AFL-CIO Campaigns Director Jeff Rotkoff, who coordinated the day-long training, reports participants included members of the Fire Fighters, Elevator Constructors, State Employees, Government Employees, Plumbers, Letter Carriers, Electrical Workers and Working America, along with representatives from the Central Texas Central Labor Council and Galveston County Labor Assembly.

A team of trainers form the Texas AFL-CIO, national AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, Service Employees, Dallas AFL-CIO and Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation presented the topics, including: how to decide if running is right for you, nuts and bolts of building a campaign apparatus, learning the issues, fundraising, and how to navigate the AFL-CIO endorsement process.

Among the special guests: AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre and Guillermo Vazquez, Western Regional Field Director of the AFL-CIO. And, of course, Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay participated.

The union member who showed up for the first of these workshops came away with a clearer understanding of what lies ahead when they seek public office. As the AFL-CIO has suggested repeatedly, labor’s goals get closer to the finish line when union members participate as fully as they can in the political process.