August 20, 2018

AFSCME members working to win in November

After more than three years of billionaire Bruce Rauner’s unrelenting assault on public employees, AFSCME members are ready to hit the pavement to defeat him in the November general election.

Hundreds of delegates from local unions across the state came together for the AFSCME PEOPLE Conference on August 18 to chart a pathway to victory for working families, starting with early voting which begins on September 27. Delegates made endorsements in key federal and statewide races and discussed campaign strategy by region.

The statewide conference capped a months-long grassroots process in which local union and retiree delegates in 11 PEOPLE regions across the state met to review legislative voting records and responses to the union’s candidate questionnaire, as well as conduct candidate interviews in state legislative races. The recommendations from those regional meetings were submitted to the statewide PEOPLE Executive Committee, which met on August 17 and unanimously voted to endorse all recommended state legislative candidates.

AFSCME Council 31 already endorsed J.B. Pritzker for governor and Juliana Stratton for lieutenant governor in April.

Click here for a complete list of Illinois AFSCME PEOPLE endorsements for the November general election.

Stratton was the keynote speaker at the conference and her energy and commitment to workers’ rights inspired the packed room of AFSCME members.

“Bruce Rauner walked out of negotiations with AFSCME in 2016 and he never returned,” Stratton said. “But J.B. and I strongly believe in the collective bargaining process and that our hardworking public employees deserve a fair contract.

“My mother was an AFSCME member,” she continued. “Public employees have been Bruce Rauner’s scapegoats for far too long. Together we can defeat him in November!”

Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch urged AFSCME members to work to get out the vote in their communities and usher Rauner out of office.

“Rauner’s goal when elected was to defeat us, but in every poll, labor unions are more popular than ever before and Rauner is the least popular governor in America,” Lynch said. “For three-and-a-half years AFSCME has blocked Bruce Rauner’s anti-union attacks at every turn. Now we need to vote him out in November.”

The election is a critical moment for the labor movement in Illinois and beyond, Lynch told the crowd. But the fight will not end in November.

“We cannot take our rights for granted—the fundamental right to unite, to unify, to come together as a union is something that must be fought for over and over again. We must rise up and keep on rising!”

Related News