Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
During the 2020 presidential election, working people organized with the understanding that everyone has the power to make a difference. There is no voter outreach effort too small. By Nov. 3, we saw these efforts unfold in real time. The union difference is real. In the state of Georgia, the final margin between Biden and Trump was just 12,000 votes. This is less than the amount of voters that union members from the AFL-CIO were reaching out to each day of the 2020 presidential election cycle.
Now, in the Georgia runoff elections, union members made the difference once again. We sent out more than 400,000 postcards to union and nonunion households. We made nearly 750,000 phone calls. And we organized dozens, if not hundreds, of virtual and in-person events across the state. The presidential election was decided by a small margin in Georgia. And the Senate runoff elections were decided in just the same way. The real difference occurs when people decide to step up.
Over the past month in Georgia, UNITE HERE mounted the largest door-to-door canvassing operation in its history. More than 1,000 union housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers and airport concessions workers canvassed every day. They knocked on 1.5 million doors as part of a historic, statewide effort to take back the Senate by electing Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock.
As the new senators-elect wrapped up their campaigns on Tuesday, Warnock made a special visit to Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 613’s union hall in Atlanta, where he thanked union members for going above and beyond to get out the vote. “Working families need somebody in Washington, D.C., who will be thinking about them,” Warnock said. “Somebody who understands health care is a human right, who knows workers are the ones who make America great and who will help us to pass the PRO Act.” The labor movement is confident that he and Ossoff are among the leaders we need to fight for economic opportunity and social justice.