Local 117 members gather on the Capitol steps in Olympia during our 2017 Lobby Day.
As a part of our strategic planning process, we surveyed Local 117 members at the end of 2016 asking what priorities our union should focus on, in addition to bargaining strong contracts.
One priority that came through loud and clear was the need to “hold politicians accountable.” Elected officials make decisions that affect our pay, our benefits, and our right to collectively bargain. We need to make sure that we’re holding their feet to the fire.
To work toward that goal and to ensure that our endorsement process is member-driven, we created a Statewide Political Advisory Committee. Our committee this year consisted of nine rank-and-file members from each of our divisions in the union (public sector, private sector, and the DOC).
This committee is the decision-making body to determine whether a candidate for office receives our endorsement, or not.
If a candidate wants our support, here’s the process that person must go through:
- The candidate must fill out a questionnaire, which was written by our committee. The questionnaire asks for a candidate’s positions on labor and community standards, and where the candidate stands on promoting fair pay and benefits for workers.
- Once we receive the completed questionnaire, we schedule the candidate for an interview with our Statewide Political Advisory Committee. These half-hour interviews are an opportunity for members to ask more specific questions about where the candidate stands on issues like wages, health care, and retirement security for working families.
- Once the interviews are completed for a given race, we then make an advisory recommendation to our elected Executive Board, which has the final say on whether to endorse a candidate or not. We don’t typically endorse or contribute to a candidate unless they go through this process.
Once candidates are elected to office, we don’t stop there. We make sure that they are holding true to the policy positions and pledges made during the member interview process.
We are incredibly proud of our Statewide Advisory Committee and the outstanding work they have done this year. For the 2017-2018 election cycle, you can view our endorsements online.
If you’d like to get involved with this committee, please reach out to our union’s Political Coordinator, Dustin Lambro, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-441-4860 x1262.