Unionists occupy labor-state government

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New Jersey envied by other labor-states' political operatives

The Eagleton Institute of Politics hosted the 12th Annual Labor Candidates School of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO earlier this month. Twenty-two rank-and-file union members running for local office participated in interactive exercises and heard from leading experts on fundraising, election law, research, message development, public speaking, media relations, voter contact, volunteer recruitment, targeting and get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Labor Candidates School is the cornerstone of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s successful COPE program. After the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates program began in 1997, union members won 499 elections to public office. This year’s graduates will include the 500th union member elected to public office through the labor candidates program.

Says New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech:
The 499 rank-and-file union members elected to public office since 1997 through the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Program make improvements in the lives of working families every day, by ensuring that municipal properties are built and maintained by union labor through Project Labor Agreements and passing into law key legislation like Paid Family Leave and a first-in-the-nation check-check neutrality guarantee for public employees.
Further, says Wowkanech:
Our labor candidates program is the catalyst, which drives our progressive labor agenda here in New Jersey. We look forward to celebrating our 500th labor candidate’s election to office in New Jersey, who will have graduated from our Labor Candidates School.

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