November 09, 2022

Big wins for workers in 2022 election

When our union supports candidates for political office, we look at what they have done or pledge to do for public service workers and retirees in our state.


And yesterday, workers and retirees won big in Illinois—with a Green AFSCME Wave cresting from Cairo to Chicago, Anna to Rock Island and everywhere in between. Union-backed candidates and causes won in nearly every state and federal race, and in a majority of county contests, too.


First and foremost, voters approved the Workers’ Rights Amendment! With two ways for a constitutional amendment to be passed—either with 60% of those voting on the question or 50% plus one vote of all ballots cast—the WRA has a 58.7% YES tally at the time of this writing. When every vote is counted that will be more than enough to clear the 50%-plus-one threshold and enshrine the right to a union in the Illinois Constitution for every worker now and in the future.


We overcame the anti-worker front groups like the Illinois Policy Institute and the union-hating billionaires who fund them. They wanted nothing more than to defeat the Workers’ Rights Amendment, and in their desperation, they were willing to lie about property taxes and slander child protection workers. But voters saw through their disinformation and came down strongly on the side of Illinois workers.


And that’s not all—far from it. Together we elected pro-worker, pro-union candidates from Congress to county boards.  We even elected some of our very own, including former longtime AFSCME local president Gregg Johnson to the Illinois House of Representatives, and AFSCME Retirees member Doris Turner, who was returned to the Illinois Senate.


We overcame mega-bucks from billionaires Ken Griffin and Dick Uihlein to elect two experienced judges, Mary K. O’Brien and Elizabeth Rochford, to key seats on the Illinois Supreme Court, making sure our state’s high court has justices who won’t try to strip us of the pensions we’ve earned.

In all, with some races not yet called, one thing is clear: more than 170 of our recommended candidates won their elections, while only a few fell short. Click here to see the results in more detail.

None of this would have been possible without the grassroots activism of AFSCME members. However you did your part—whether by knocking on doors, making phone calls or sending texts; educating coworkers, family and friends; or simply casting your vote—we all helped secure these victories and we can all take pride in what we accomplished.

Yesterday, in races across Illinois, our rights were on the ballot—and, riding that Green Wave, we won.

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