Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Houston labor supports change

By Paul Hill

HOUSTON – I have been told that Houston has one of the most progressive Central Labor Council’s in the country. The Harris County AFL-CIO has been actively recruiting labor activists to serve as labor neighbor stewards in their neighborhoods. Labor activists have had no difficulty shifting gears from the picket line to election work.

The goals of the Labor Neighbor program are to make elections work for labor and to identify, educate and get out the vote of union members and their families.

Many labor neighbor stewards have been working non-stop to get out the vote in the March 4 primary. Stewards are calling union members and their families and educating them about the complicated Texas election process. They are block-walking to support local Harris County AFL-CIO endorsed candidates and providing information as to polling locations and the electoral process. They are placing yard signs for these candidates in strategic locations.

No one doubts that this monumental effort will affect the outcome of the election. No one doubts that labor’s efforts will result in progressive change. Union activists and leaders are serving as precinct chairs, poll workers and election judges and their contributions will be felt throughout the county. Union activists and leaders are facilitating the development of neighborhood clubs and helping to keep the focus on working people’s issues.

All of this effort cannot help but move Houston politics in a progressive direction. No doubt the ultra-right is feeling a sudden winter chill as the election nears. Progressives are looking forward to a hot summer when election activity will heat up after the final candidates are selected.

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