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Dont assume you have to be an expert on politics to get involved. Most MPs arent experts on politics, either. Your experience as a public employee qualifies you to get involved, as does the very fact you live in this society.

One person can make a difference. Remember the senior citizen who stood up to Brian Mulroney outside the House of Commons? Mulroney wanted to de-index pensions. The seniors words captured the media spotlight when she told him that if cut her pension, it was “good-bye Charlie Brown.” That oft-repeated news clip rallied others and was instrumental at getting the federal government to back down.

Elections do matter. Voting does matter. And electing labour-friendly candidates is an important step in building the society we want and the respect we deserve. Working in an election campaign is a great way to meet new people and you dont have to work every day. Any time you can spare would be appreciated by the candidate you choose to support.

The work of many of our CUPE members is affected by local decision-makers: school board trustees, city councillors, provincial officials. Its often easier to get involved at these levels.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Talk to your friends, neighbours and co-workers about the issues.

  2. Contact your local labour-friendly candidates and ask how you can help. (If youre not sure who is labour-friendly, call your local CUPE district council, labour council or division.)

  3. Put up a sign of support on your lawn or in your window.

  4. Canvass (knock on doors) with your friends promoting the candidate. Or, get on the phone and follow the script that will be provided by the campaign.

  5. Find out if any CUPE members are running and give them your support.

  6. Draft an action plan with your CUPE political action committee and then do it.

  7. Get out and vote!

  8. Make sure your co-workers vote!

  9. Stay informed between elections.

  10. Track your local candidates and their record on the issues. Actively lobby them.

  11. Think of politics as more than just something that happens at election time.