Executive Council Statement

Union Members Will Drive 2020 Presidential Endorsement

Ahead of the 2020 presidential election cycle, the AFL-CIO’s affiliate unions have undertaken a robust political engagement effort to ensure members have the opportunity to meet and assess candidates. This member-driven process is at the heart of each affiliate’s endorsement decision⁠—and will ultimately be reflected in the federation’s endorsement.

The AFL-CIO also has distributed to each campaign a candidate questionnaire requesting answers on a range of issues important to working people.

Due to the size of the presidential field and the variety of issues our members care about, we expect the vetting process to take some time. We also expect that many affiliates may choose not to make endorsements before the first primaries and caucuses in February.

We therefore commit to the following timeline and process for any federation endorsement:

  • The AFL-CIO will undertake a review of all completed questionnaires in the fall of 2019 and share any relevant analysis of candidate answers as they relate to the federation’s policy positions. Completed questionnaires will also be shared with affiliates for their review.
  • The AFL-CIO will host a candidate forum in the spring of 2020. Candidates must complete a questionnaire this fall in order to participate.
  • Following the candidate forum, the AFL-CIO Political Committee will convene to discuss the possibility of an endorsement.
  • At any time, once a recommendation for a candidate endorsement has been made, the AFL-CIO General Board will be convened, upon the call of the federation president, in order to consider the recommendation. An endorsement by the General Board will require a two-thirds per capita membership vote.