11 Great Reasons to Vote

Liz Shuler

Liz Shuler Secretary-treasurer/Chief Financial Officer, AFL-CIO

11 Great Reasons to Vote

We’re just a few weeks away from an incredibly important election. The votes people cast Nov. 4 will shape our future and our children’s.

I’m sure you are planning to vote, but maybe you know people who are on the fence—who think elections in non-presidential years just aren’t that important. Not true!

Here are 11 great reasons you can share with them to get them to the polls:

11. Bad politicians aren’t just elected by people who vote for them. They’re also elected by people who don’t vote at all. Don’t help elect politicians who work against your interests.

10. You can elect leaders who will work to raise the minimum wage.

9. Your vote will help win—finally—equal pay for equal work.

8. It’s time to enact earned sick days laws and paid family leave, don’t you think?

7. Health care is your right—you and your doctor should make decisions about your body, not some politician.

6. Choosing to join a union to improve your job is your right, too. Cast your vote to protect that right.

5. All over the country politicians have been slashing public education budgets, increasing class sizes and forcing our children to do without education basics. At the federal level, some have blocked relief from the crushing burden of student debt. We can do better.

4. Tired of gridlock, crumbling bridges and unsafe roads? Elect leaders who will invest in our public infrastructure, including transportation and safe water systems. These investments save lives and create jobs, too.

3. In 29 states and at the national level, there are no laws barring job discrimination against LGBTQ workers. Let’s change that.

2. Possible trade deals would allow giant global corporations using secret courts to challenge our laws protecting the environment, our rights as workers and food safety. Let’s vote for fair trade that keeps us safe and healthy.

1. Go to the polls and proudly vote for candidates who will make the economy work for working families like ours, not just for rich CEOs and campaign donors.

I bet you have other reasons we should all vote this year. Let me know what you think—use the comment area below.

Thank you—see you at the polls!


Originally posted at MomsRising.

Liz Shuler is the secretary-treasurer/chief financial officer of the AFL-CIO, one of three top-level officers for the federation and the first-ever woman elected to the position. Coming from Portland, Ore., Liz has been at the forefront of such progressive labor initiatives as green jobs programs and the fight for workers’ rights for many years, starting as a political activist and an organizer at the local union level.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Powering America

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

Fierce thunderstorms, heavy snows and unusually powerful hurricanes ravaged America’s fragile power grid and plunged millions into darkness this year.

And even as these natural disasters wreaked havoc across the country, COVID-19 stay-at-home orders sparked a surge in residential electrical demand, placing new stress on a failing system.

A long-overdue overhaul of the nation’s electrical infrastructure would not only ensure America continues functioning during a crisis but help to reinvigorate the pandemic-shattered economy.

Built in the 1950s and 60s, most of America’s electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure lives on borrowed time. Engineers never designed it to withstand today’s increasingly frequent and catastrophic storms fueled by climate change, let alone the threats posed by hackers and terrorists.

To ensure a reliable power supply for homes, schools and businesses, America needs to invest in a more resilient, higher capacity grid.

That means either burying electrical lines or insulating above-ground wires and replacing wooden utility poles with structures made of steel or concrete. Other strategies include creating a battery-storage system to provide backup power, building coastal barriers to protect infrastructure against storm surge and further diversifying into wind and solar production.

Also, a shift toward more localized generation and distribution networks would limit the impact of any one power outage.

Making these upgrades with U.S.-made materials and labor will both stimulate the economy and protect national security. American steelworkers, tradespeople and manufacturing workers have the expertise to build a power grid strong enough to weather whatever storms come America’s way.

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Stronger Together