As Election Day approaches, UFCW members throughout the country have been mobilized to get out the vote and help make the voices of our members heard at the polls.
Connecting with members in Georgia.
This year, getting out the vote has been a top priority for members of UFCW Local 1996.
“Reaching out to fellow members to engage in meaningful dialogue around voting and the things that matter to them this year has been empowering,” said Debbie D. Whipple, who works for a Kroger store in Fayetteville, Ga., and has been a member of our union family for over 40 years. “With each call, being able to gather and share information about the candidates this year and offer assistance with voter registration, early voting requirements, voting dates to remember, and mail-in voting allows me to have a finger on the pulse of our union’s voices. The union is stronger than ever and I’m so excited to be part of it all and the programs in place to get out the vote!”
“Every election is important, but this one surpasses any that we have had in the past,” said Tiosha Adams, who works at a Kroger store outside Atlanta. “In this election, we have everything on the line from democracy itself to our lives. America has never been ‘great’ to people of color. In 2016, so many people decided not to vote because they thought their vote didn’t matter. To be silent during times of oppression is to side with the oppressors. It is important to me to reach as many people as I can to let them know their vote is their voice.”
Spreading the word about the importance of voting in Ohio and Kentucky.
Members of UFCW Local 75 have been working diligently to reach out to their colleagues about the importance of exercising their right to vote.
“I want to participate in the UFCW 2020 Political Action Program because I know it is important to inform my colleagues the value of the vote,” said Alassane Sow, who is a produce manager at a Kroger store in Cincinnati and a UFCW Local 75 steward. “I also want to have more knowledge on different political views so I can explain things a little better to those who may not understand what’s going on.”
“I would like to help my coworkers access true information so that they can make informed decisions when they vote,” said Cherie Lyn, who is a grocery clerk at a Kroger store in St. Marys, Ohio, and a UFCW Local 75 steward.
“2020 truly will be a historic presidential and down ballot election!” added Bill Finnegan, who works at a Campbell’s Soup plant in Napoleon, Ohio.
“It is extremely important for voters to understand policies and politicians to get people active in voting,” said James McNeil, who is an assistant produce manager at a Kroger store in Hamilton, Ohio. “People have busy lives and it is up to us to inform them as best we can. We must encourage and support their ability to vote with confidence.”
“We need to make sure our fellow union members have the information and resources they need to make an informed decision and ensure their vote counts,” said Steven Fightmaster, who is a deli manager at a Kroger store in Erlanger, Ky., and a UFCW Local 75 steward.
Reaching out to fellow meatpacking workers in Kansas.
Cristian Palomares, a member of UFCW Local 2 who works at a Cargill plant in Dodge City, Kansas, has worked alongside the UFCW International Union in the 2020 Election Program. Palomares is involved in voter registration, voter recruitment phone banks and other get out the vote efforts in Kansas. He recently attended UFCW Local 2’s endorsement event for Dr. Barbara Bollier for U.S Senate.
“Every election is important, but this one in particular is probably the most important of our lives,” said Palomares. “Literally every issue will be impacted by the outcome of this election, including one that many of us never thought we would face– and that is a pandemic. We need an educated, caring and honest leader that will guide us through these uncertain times. We need to elect a leader that will not use us as simple political currency.”
Building power at the polls in Arizona.
Members of UFCW Local 99 in Arizona are phone banking and holding member-to-member conversations about the importance of making our voices heard at the polls.
“We need drastic change not just in Arizona, but in this country,” said Carli Schaan, who works at a Safeway store in Phoenix. “The rights of women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community are being crushed right before our eyes by this administration. If the work of our member organizers can elect candidates like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, they will be a steward for the marginalized. I will do everything in my power and make every phone call.”
“Why am I involved in this election? I am a role model for my generation and for people in my family,” said Sandra Woods-Muldrew, who works at a Fry’s store in Scottsdale, Ariz. “I set an example for generations coming after me. My vote is my voice in this country!”
“I hope to do my part in making my community safer and more supportive of all its members,” added Bret Dibble, who works at a Fry’s store in Tempe, Ariz.