Phone banking gets a bum rap, often for good reason. The term conjures up images of stressed telemarketers squeezed into cubicles selling Aruba timeshares to unsuspecting retirees.
But phone banking can actually be a lot of fun, especially when you’re a Teamster. After all, it’s not every day that you get to hang out in the back of a semi, munching on pizza with a couple of decorated veterans, talking to voters about how Teamster-endorsed candidates can bring positive change to their communities.
On Tuesday night, a group of ten Local 117 volunteers did just that. The group stumped for two candidates, Brad Waddell, who is running for Monroe City Council, and Michael Boe, who is vying for a seat on the Lake Stevens City Council.
Both men are Correctional Sergeants at the Monroe Correctional Complex, both are veterans of over 20 years – Waddell with the Army and Boe with the Air Force – and both are diehard Local 117 members.
“Our union has supported us, endorsed us and contributed to our campaigns,” Boe said. “Our brothers and sisters are standing up for us. That means an awful lot to us. It really does.”
Stating his reasons for pursuing public office, Boe said: “I want to give back to my community. I have a 13-year old daughter, and I want to make sure that LakeStevens is a safe place for her. I also want to work on relieving traffic congestion in the city.”
As for Waddell, he also wants to improve traffic flow and public safety, and he’s committed to bringing good jobs to the City of Monroe. “I want to make sure that our public is safe, and make sure that we have good jobs in our community with livable wages,” he said.
Talking to voters about the candidates is easy – both Boe and Waddell have impeccable character and will make excellent city councilmen. It’s also a lot of fun, especially when operating out of the Teamster Action Truck (TAT). And if you haven’t experienced the TAT, it’s not to be missed.
During election season, the Teamster semi is transformed into a mobile phone bank, fully equipped with laptops displaying local voter rolls, headsets with predictive dialers, wireless Internet, and a portable generator humming outside.
There are snacks galore and friendly Teamster staff, like Local 117 Political Action Coordinator Dustin Lambro, Legislative Affairs Coordinator Teresita Torres, and Joint Council 28 Political Director Lily Wilson-Codega to help you get set up and to keep you entertained. There’s a straightforward script to follow. Best of all, if voters have questions you can’t answer, the candidates are sitting right there to jump on the call.
The TAT will be parked outside of the Monroe Correctional Complex for one more night, as volunteers spread the good word about Local 117 members running for office. Next week the truck will roll on, serving as a campaign headquarters on wheels, working to elect candidates who are committed to improving the lives of working families.
If you’re interested in checking out the Teamster Action Truck, there are lots of opportunities to get involved. Contact Dustin Lambro at 206-441-4860 ext. 1262 or visit the calendar of election activities on the Local 117 website at www.teamsters117.org for more information.
If you do help out, the candidates will be eternally grateful. As Boe said, “The people who showed up tonight and are helping us with the phone banking – we love them all.”