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Labor 2020 campaign will be like no other, as pandemic limits doorknocks

Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, August 21, 2020

By Steve Share,
Minneapolis Labor Review editor

MINNEAPOLIS — For many years, by this time in the election cycle, the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO would have been fielding teams of canvassers out doorknocking on the homes of union members for several weeks or even months. Not this year.

COVID-19 precautions — at least for now — have put the kibosh on doorknocking.

That’s creating a challenge, because those face-to-face, union member-to-union member conversations have proven to be very effective to solicit union member concerns, provide information about where candidates stand, and turn out the vote for labor-endorsed candidates.

Without doorknocking, “it’s going to be a very different program,” said Casey Hudek, MRLF campaigns manager and organizing director. “We’re behind; It’s still not really clear what we’re going to be doing.”

“We’ve already started a summer voter contact program,” he reported. “It’s a virtual phone bank that we’ll be scaling up as we move forward into the fall.”

“People can call from the comfort of their homes,” he said. “There will be a big emphasis on phoning.”

The MRLF also will be putting a big emphasis on reaching union members at their worksites, he said, a strategy which was planned even before the COVID-19 outbreak.

With President Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic, and the resulting economic slowdown, “it’s pretty unimaginable what’s going on,” Hudek said. “I think members understand what’s at stake… and will come together to build what we really need.”

To get involved with the MRLF’s Labor 2020 political program, contact Hudek at casey@minneapolisunions.org or 612-913-6743.

To join the MRLF’s virtual phonebanks, send an e-mail to Joanna DeLaune at joanna@minneapolisunions.org.

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