On Jan. 6, the UFCW applauded the election of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia, calling it a victory for working families.
“Georgia voters delivered a powerful message with the election of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, declaring that hard-working men and women, and their concerns and issues, must come first,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “Over a million hard-working UFCW members have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, bravely putting their own health at risk in grocery stores, pharmacies, senior care facilities, and meatpacking plants to ensure that America’s families have the food and care they need during this crisis.”
“As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across this nation, there has never been a more important time for new leaders who will finally put frontline workers first and stand up for the health care, hazard pay, and vital safety protections they need,” Perrone added. “UFCW members across Georgia and every state were proud to help get out the vote and are ready to work with the new Democratic majority and Senators-elect Warnock and Ossoff to deliver the positive and real change our country and families need.”
Our union represents over 20,000 hard-working men and women in the state of Georgia, many of whom are essential workers on the frontlines of this pandemic. Our members, who are represented by UFCW Local 1996, played an important role in this election and helped to get out the vote through member to member outreach and phone banking. UFCW Local 1996 also worked with Ossoff to call for more protections for Georgia’s essential workers leading up to the election.
Our member-to-member program that has been built on years of engagement made over 40,000 phone calls to members and had over 3,000 conversations. We were able to get hundreds of members who did not vote in the 2020 general election to vote early for the runoff races. With the data available to date, we estimate that 40 percent of the eligible membership voted early in the runoffs. Final data will not be available until around spring of this year to know the final turnout in both the November general election and January runoff election.
To reach members, we utilized phone banking, Hustle banks, mail, digital ads, vote tripling, hand-written postcards and also engaged members with 300 organic social media shares by fellow members. We also produced videos with both candidates, like this one with Warnock, and hustled them out to members.
We would like to thank the staff from UFCW Local 7R and 367, who joined staff from the International and were on the ground with the New Georgia Project.
International Vice President and Director of the Legislative and Political Action Department Ademola Oyefeso summed up the work in Georgia, emphasizing the UFCW’s long-term engagement in the state. “Our collective work in Georgia puts working people on a level playing field with corporate interests for the first time in over a decade in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “The work we did with progressive partners in Georgia did not start on November 4, 2020. This has been over a decade in the making of a plan to change Georgia’s electoral landscape by consistently engaging black voters and new Americans. In November 2020 and January 2021, we saw the fruit of our collective labor. Make no mistake, collective change in any state takes real resources, collaboration, compromise and dedication. The years of work with our membership and growing ABC contributions is what helped the UFCW be a real partner in the 2020 and 2021 victories in Georgia.”