I joined Colorado WINS when it was formed about 7 years ago because I felt powerless to influence the decisions that were being made at the State Capitol that were adversely affecting my quality of life and work. I didn’t have any say or a way of amplifying my opinions and viewpoints to the government that was controlling my job.
As a union member, I now have a mechanism in place for addressing the Governor, the legislature, the Human Resources director. Having a line of dialogue to present our side of the story and make suggestions about how to improve the state workforce is an invaluable resource the union provides.
The next step for me was to get involved in the political process. I saw the country going backwards on civil liberties, social justice issues and fairness and equality. It was an attack on the American middle class and the American dream and I just could not sit back and watch that happen.
I decided to do what I can to support political candidates who have the best interests of the American people in mind and aren’t just pandering to corporations or millionaires trying to buy the political process.
If you’d like to join me, become a Political Action Volunteer today by filling our the form on the right.
Election years are always really busy for COPE (Committee on Political Education), of which I’m a member. I’ve also participated in Lobby Day, which makes the political process more tangible.
People think that politics is completely removed from the lives of everyday people and it’s actually absolutely the opposite. The people we elect listen to us, but they have to know that if they’re going to be supporting you at the state capitol that you’re going to help them stay in office. It’s that teamwork between us and the lawmakers that makes the whole process something we can positively influence.
Some people are worried that knocking doors for our endorsed candidates is hard or scary. But to me, it actually feels good. For every person that says “No, thank you,” you’re going to talk to ten people who are eager to tell you how they feel about certain issues.
As a Political Action Volunteer, you’re not there to preach to people, you’re there to ask them what’s important to them.
You’re asking them what they’re concerned about and letting them know how the candidate you are supporting feels about that issue. If you’re not sure, all you have to do is take note and the candidate will call them. I tell people that all the time. That’s what our local representatives and senators are here to do: they’re here to talk to the people of Colorado.
The candidates we support are working people just like us. These are not high dollar campaigns supported by corporate money. By helping them we create a relationship between working people in the workforce and the working people who are going to the state capitol to write our laws. That relationship, that process, is an important part of a democracy in today’s world.
If we don’t elect candidates who have promised to support state workers we’re at the whim of the opposing political viewpoint, which is that all government employees should be replaced with private sector workers and that public services are a waste of money. We need to elect people who know we do an important job, and who know that you can’t take a public service and improve it by adding a profit margin to it.
If you want to volunteer with candidates who understand how important the state workforce is join me as a Political Action Volunteer.
So far this year, I’ve gone out 4 times and I’m going to go out another 3 or 4 times. But the more of us are involved the better chance we can have of putting labor-friendly candidates in the state capitol. I can go out in one night and knock on 40 doors and if I do that 5 nights a week, that’s a couple hundred doors. If 10 of us do that, that’s a couple thousand doors. That’s a huge difference.
I’m hopeful about this next election. Traditionally, labor-friendly politicians don’t do well in midterms, but I think a lot of people are going to be in for a big surprise this November. We’ve got people out there, we’re reaching a lot of ears and hearts and we’re going to keep this movement going forward. We’re not going to back off and allow this country to start moving backwards again.
Instrument maker at Engineering College (CU-Boulder)
Colorado WINS member