On November 15th, all British Columbians will have the opportunity to vote in their local elections for councils and boards of education. CUPE BC’s Political Action Committee is working to involve members in the upcoming elections, and help elect progressive candidates in communities across BC.
Workers of BC’s municipalities and school districts know the challenges faced by communities firsthand. CUPE BC’s Political Action Committee is examining new ways to reach out to members and mobilize voters. With land line phone numbers quickly becoming a thing of past, CUPE is seeking innovative solutions to managing data and refining electronic communications. However, old tried and true techniques still work best - getting out the vote door-to-door, member to member.
There is a lot at stake in the upcoming community elections. Municipal workers have faced challenges of so-called ‘Core Reviews’ which have translated to not only threats of cuts, but privatization and contracting out of CUPE work. In the K-12 sector, continued cuts to BC schools mean that it is essential to have strong defenders of public education push back, and demand needed funding.
CUPE members also live in the communities they work in, and care about all their neighbours affected by local government decisions. Everything from environmental sustainability, to compassionate housing policy, to zoning that impacts the local economy, CUPE workers know that the upcoming community elections are crucial in building strong communities.
Even though local governments and boards of education are closest to voters and make decisions that directly impact the lives of citizens, voter turnouts in community elections are traditionally lower than general federal or provincial votes. While this lower level of civic engagement may be disheartening, it also demonstrates how an effective get out the vote strategy can make a big impact in making sure progressive minded mayors, councillors and trustees are elected to protect vital public services BC families depends on.
The most important part of CUPE’s voter mobilization strategy is the membership. Between now and Election Day CUPE Locals will be encouraging members to take part in their local elections make sure BC communities are strong. A big opportunity to do that will be the CUPE BC Political Action Conference happening May 28-30, 2014.
Interested in getting involved? Contact the committee at [email protected].
This committee provides members with information about political choices and encourages them to participate in the political process. The committee also organizes training sessions and ensures CUPE’s voice is heard on elected bodies at all levels.