With our nation in crisis, the labor movement is taking the lead to elect hundreds of union members up and down the ballot this year. In Massachusetts, we have already scored an important victory as Carol Doherty (NEA), an educator and union member, won a special election for the state House of Representatives on June 2. A former elementary public school teacher and president of the statewide Massachusetts Teachers Association-NEA (MTA-NEA), she is currently a member of the Taunton School Committee in southeastern Massachusetts.
“Our campaign was one for working families—powered by positivity, determination and the endless support of folks like you,” Doherty wrote in a message to her supporters. The local and statewide labor movement passionately backed her candidacy as she won the 3rd Bristol District’s special election with an impressive 57% of the vote, flipping a seat long held by an anti-worker representative.
“Everyone came together on this. Every single union got involved to support Carol’s campaign,” said Kevin Brousseau (OPEIU), political director of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “She ran a good grassroots campaign.”
The Massachusetts AFL-CIO has a history of not only encouraging union members to run, but also focusing the labor movement’s efforts and resources to make sure that they win. Members of the Plymouth-Bristol Central Labor Council, under the leadership of President Jim Pinkham (UWUA), coordinated dozens of union member volunteers to campaign in this special election.
“It’s important that we elect folks who don’t just understand our issues, but live our values every day,” Brousseau said. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO started a union member candidate recruitment and training program last year, which has already seen remarkable results.