Who We Are
The UAW 4121 Political Workgroup is a group of members that meet regularly to discuss politics in the state of Washington. We recognize that there is power in numbers, and together we can better advocate for each other. Our bargaining efforts do not take place in a vacuum. Our power as workers and the UW’s power as employer are influenced by federal and state laws, the compositions of regulatory bodies, and the attitudes of individual lawmakers towards our union specifically and the labor movement generally. UW Administration understands this power dynamic and hires lobbyists, therefore we see it as our duty to engage in the electoral process both to directly benefit our union, and to build larger social movements like the $15 minimum wage that will improve the welfare of the working class in Seattle, Washington state, and the USA.
What We Do
Our goal is to weigh what is happening across Washington State each election cycle to focus our time and resources as union members. We do this by:
- Researching ballot initiatives
- Research electoral campaigns and their finances
- Issuing candidate questionnaires
- Conducting interviews
- Contributing funds from VCAP (collected separately from union dues) to a candidate’s campaign.
- Directly encouraging members to vote for endorsed candidates.
- Organize volunteer actions such as
- Phone banking
- Text banking
- Meet and Greets with candidates
Rarely, we find candidates that are perfectly ideal, but each election it is the political work group’s goal to work on electing a senate, legislature, city council, or county council that is more likely to vote for the legislation that supports our workers.
Our endorsement means that the candidate has a history of working with our local or on the issues our membership democratically supports. This process allows us to build relationships with candidates letting them get to know us better before we go knocking on their doors in Seattle, Olympia, or wherever they are. We weigh heavily the endorsement decisions of our sibling unions, the King Co. Labor Council, and the WA State Labor Council. We are also a union known to hold incumbents accountable.
We make our recommendations for endorsements to the UAW 4121 executive board and to UAW Western States. These endorsements and brief explanations are communicated to members via e-mail around the time Washington’s mail ballots drop and are then made available here at the top of the page!
At any point our members can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for resources on the candidates and the matrix we use to make the endorsement suggestions.
Each meeting the agenda and meeting location are available on the UAW 4121 calendar. If you’re interested in joining our e-mail list or in helping work to elect endorsed candidates, please e-mail email@example.com.
The political process only works as much as we work on it. Whether or not you are registered to vote in Washington, you can be talking to those elected to represent where you live and work. Stay on the lookout for information in weekly emails about lobby days and other things happening you may want to contact your reps about.
Canvassing with Seattle City Council Rep Tammy Morales