Nene Diallo has been knocking on doors for hours already, but she approaches each new home with fresh enthusiasm.
Every time someone opens the door, she explains that she is negotiating with Unite Here, a union representing Diallo and 300,000 other workers in the hospitality industry. She encourages voters to consider supporting Democrats in Pennsylvania, especially Gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro and Senate candidate. John Fettermanin the next midterm elections.
Diallo repeated this process dozens of times on a thankfully sunny October morning in the working-class suburb of Upper Derby. Philadelphia Has a large immigrant community.
An immigrant from the West African country of Guinea who became a US citizen in 2019, Diallo is a great fit for her job. At one point, she switched seamlessly from English to French to ask Haitian men how they were going to vote.Vous allez en personne ou par mail?she asks.
Diallo is located in Arizona, Nevada, and pennsylvania, the largest such operation in each battleground state. Those three states, where he could determine control of the Senate in November, are home to House elections that are key to Democrats’ hopes of retaining a majority in the House.
After providing Democratic Party With some significant backing in 2020, Unite Here’s campaigners are back on the ground knocking on doors for their party’s candidates. They hope that face-to-face conversations with neighbors, colleagues and friends will help Democrats avoid the widespread losses typical of a president’s party in midterm elections, and by Nov. I am determined to knock on every door possible.
The leaders of Unite Here have already proven themselves adept at planning and executing thoughtful campaigns to enhance Democratic election prospects.
In 2020, at a time when Joe Biden’s campaign and many other prominent Democratic organizations were wary of knocking on doors due to the pandemic, Unite Here worked with epidemiologists to implement contactless conversations. We have developed a safety protocol that allows
By the time voting closes on Election Day 2020, Unite Here organizers have knocked on 3 million doors in four battleground states. In Nevada and Arizona, the number of infrequent voters who didn’t vote in 2016, identified by Unite Here, exceeded Biden’s margin of victory, unions said Democrats won in his two states. I am proud of myself.
Unite Here’s Nevada culinary union has long been a political force, but large-scale campaigns in states such as Pennsylvania are a recent breakthrough. Roslyn Ucinich, president of Unite Here Local 274 and her campaign director for Philadelphia’s “Workers to the Front” campaign, said that in the 2016 election, Donald He wanted Trump to lead Pennsylvania. After witnessing it, she and her colleagues said they were compelled to take action.
“After seeing the hotel and casino owners win our state, we were determined never to let this happen again,” Ucinich said in the backyard of his Philadelphia home. So when the opportunity presented itself in 2020 for a major operation, we jumped at it.”
Even with Biden in office and Democrats in control of the House and Senate, Ucinich and her fellow Unite Here members are knocking on doors six days a week in the month leading up to Election Day, taking it for granted. I’m not thinking about anything.
The Philadelphia team recently celebrated over 10,000 door knocks in one day, their best day in the campaign to date. Nevada organizers have already knocked on more doors this season than they did in 2020, a remarkable feat considering midterm elections generally get less attention than presidential elections.
Timothy Freeman, a 12-year member of Unite Here and Philadelphia campaigner, insists he and other organizers emphasize the importance of the upcoming election when speaking to voters. said it does.
“They may not know. They only think about the presidential election,” Freeman said after a morning rally in Upper Derby. It’s connected, so we need to be there to let them know how important it is.”
But the upcoming election isn’t the only thing Unite Here’s campaigners are talking to voters about.
While knocking on Upper Darby’s door, Diallo asked voters if they would be interested in joining the Unite Here’s Hospitality Academy, a two-week program that guarantees a union job for participants upon completion. A woman, an immigrant from the West African country of Togo, chatted excitedly with Diallo and her recruiting partner as they filled out an interest form for the academy.
“We don’t want voters to feel like we’re just here to get your vote. said to
The opportunity to get a union job could be particularly reverberating this year, when inflation hits record levels and concerns about the cost of living creep in.a CNN poll According to this month’s survey, the economy and inflation rank as the top concerns for voters in three battleground states, with 44% of respondents calling it a top priority in Pennsylvania.
Those concerns have led to Mr. Biden’s approval ratings plummeting (which have been sluggish for more than a year), and voters’ economic frustration threatens to drag candidates like Fetterman and Shapiro down. be.
Speaking to working families concerned about everything from rising prices to gun violence to access to abortion, Hollis explains how she can be acutely sympathetic to their struggles.
“A lot of the people I talk to have the same background as I do, so telling your story will reflect on them and get people to vote,” Hollis said. “Then they tell their story, and then find themselves sitting and standing on someone’s porch for 20 to 30 minutes.”
Asked what he’s telling voters who criticize Democrats about the economic situation, Hollis said: Things won’t get better until we start voting and electing the right people. ”
The personal, long-lasting connections that Hollis and other organizers forge with voters are key to Unite Here’s success, both as a union and as a political organisation, the leaders say. Progressives have previously criticized Democratic leadership for failing to meet the needs of some of its supporters, particularly the low-income communities of color that are the focus of Unite Here’s campaign.
“Most of the communities we survey have experienced severe investment failures, and many feel abandoned by governments and political systems, both nationally and locally.” said Wuchinich. “What national groups need to learn is that the best way to get people involved in the political process is to talk to people who come from the same or similar communities, and to understand the problems people have. I mean, you have to ask, not just who to vote for,
Cohesion Here, attention to the specific needs of voters could help insulate Democratic candidates in Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania from a national environment that would seem very favorable to Republicans. In Pennsylvania, Uchinich and her colleagues have reason to be optimistic.
“I’m enthusiastic. We’re going to win,” Hollis said with a smile. “I’m knocking on your door so I can bring this in for Josh Shapiro and Jon Fetterman. We’re going to bring it in for them.”
With the pain of Trump’s 2016 victory still in her memory, Wuchinic is more cautious about her expectations. But her fear only made her more determined to speak to as many voters as possible before Nov. 8.
“When I get nervous, I remember not doing this in 2016,” Wuchinich said. It is an organized force that will fight back.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/29/unite-here-voter-drive-democrats-us-midterms-arizona-nevada-pennsylvania ‘We’re Going to Win’: Unions Fight for Democratic Vote During US Midterm Elections | 2022 US Midterm Elections