Monday, November 17, 2008

Vote Jordan in Mayoral Runoff

We have endorsed Lioneld Jordan for Mayor of Fayetteville, and we encourage our members and all friends of working families to return to the polls to support him in the runoff election.

Early voting at the Courthouse starts tomorrow, Tuesday, November 18th, from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm, on weekdays. The election is Tuesday, November 25th, at the same polling places for the general election earlier this month, from 7:30 am until 7:30 pm.

Please make sure that your friends and family members in Fayetteville return to the polls to vote for Lioneld Jordan.

We are pleased that AFSCME 965 endorsed candidates Marilyn Edwards (Washington County Judge), Candy Clark (JP District 5), Jim Nickels (Arkansas House District 43), and Jim House (Arkansas House District 89) were all elected on November 4th. Lindsley Smith (House District 92) and Barbara Fitzpatrick (JP District 7) were elected without opposition.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mayor Coody's Dishonest Campaign

Old-fashioned attacks and fear-mongering have entered the campaign for Fayetteville mayor. The Northwest Arkansas Times has an article today about two former mayoral candidates and a state legislator endorsing Alderman Lioneld Jordan for Mayor in the November 25 run off election. They give more column inches to incumbent Mayor Dan Coody fabricating fears than to the endorsements.

Here's the section on Coody's attacks:

“I know Lioneld would make a radical change in direction that I don’t think would be positive for the city,” he said. Coody said he thinks the city’s fire and police departments will likely become unionized if Jordan is elected. The city of Fayetteville must maintain control of its own taxes, revenue and budget, he said.

“If police and fire unionize, they’ll have the ability to do collective bargaining,” he said. “It would eventually have to extend to all 730 city employees. We don’t want to take the lead of so many other cities that are declaring bankruptcy to meet union demands.”

Jordan refuted the mayor’s claims, saying he has no intention of unionizing the city.

“I’ve been on City Council for eight years. I’ve never brought any labor legislation forward, and I don’t intend to,” he said. “I’m not running for mayor to unionize the city; I’m running for mayor to properly manage the city, which is what it needs right now.”

Earlier Alderman Jordan told the Fayetteville Flyer blog, "It is unfortunate that campaigns are sometimes mired by unfounded rumors and negative attacks. Even good people say foolish things when they become desperate in political campaigns, and that is not limited to some of the wild charges being made in the presidential campaign....

"After I was endorsed by the Fayetteville Firefighters Association and the Fayetteville Fraternal Order of Police, one of the candidates started saying that I had made some secret promises and was plotting a union takeover of city government. That is ridiculous. I am proud to have been a member and officer of my union at the University of Arkansas for more than a decade. During my eight years on the City Council, I have always been an advocate for the interests of working families, and I will continue to be when I am mayor. You can count on it. But never have I made any attempt as an Alderman to unionize city employees, because I do not think it is appropriate for elected public officials either to encourage or discourage public employees from exercising their constitutional rights to join a union if they choose. Our dedicated city employees deserve fair treatment and fair pay, and I will always listen to the ideas, concerns, and suggestions of all employees and deal with them in good faith."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

AFSCME Says "Yes We Did!"

Statement of AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee on the 2008 Election

— Throughout this extraordinary campaign, Barack Obama challenged us to believe that we have the power to change America, and to change the world. On Election Day, America responded to his challenge with a resounding “Yes We Can.” As a result, we can now begin the urgent work of rebuilding the middle class at home; restoring America’s reputation in the world; and transforming our government into a vibrant force that solves problems, stands with American families and empowers people and communities to improve their lives.

Americans voted for a new direction because this country is in crisis: Two wars that are costing lives and draining the treasury of badly needed resources; an American middle class at risk in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression; a broken health care system that wreaks havoc on families, overwhelms government budgets and makes businesses uncompetitive; retirement security gone by the wayside; and a state and local fiscal crisis that is crippling the ability of government to meet the ever-increasing demand for vital services.

This election was about hope and unity. In response to an Administration that has told Americans “You’re on your own” for the last eight years, voters have said “No we’re not. We’re in this together.” Americans have voted for a president and a Congress that will rebuild government in the public interest and make it a force for creating opportunity and prosperity, supporting and protecting our families, and strengthening our communities.

With Barack Obama, we will have a president who values the workers who make America happen at home and defend it abroad. Along with a Congress that supports us and with historic gains at the state and local level, we have the opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of America’s working families.

With Barack Obama and Joe Biden, we will have a team of proven fighters committed to providing state and local fiscal relief, fully funding and supporting public services and the workers who provide them, and guaranteeing that everyone in our country has quality, affordable health care they can count on.

Over the past year, as I met with working families across the country, one could see that people were yearning for change. I can’t begin to describe all the disappointments they’ve had over the last eight years of a rigged economy that has favored the privileged and left the rest of us behind.

What they experienced, however, didn’t destroy them. It motivated them to work like never before for change. More people than ever got involved through the AFL-CIO’s political program, the smartest, biggest and broadest effort we’ve ever run. We put 250,000 union volunteers into action, combining cutting-edge voter communications with massive grassroots strength. Our people created the largest, most efficient independent voter mobilization initiative in American history.

We knocked on 10 million doors, made 70 million phone calls, and distributed more than 27 million workplace flyers focusing on economic issues. AFSCME alone spent $67 million on political activities, including our aggressive independent expenditure campaign which played a key role in the most competitive House and Senate races. Forty-thousand AFSCME members volunteered along with more than 500 staff because we all knew we could not afford four more years like the last eight.

Among union households in battleground states, there was clear momentum for Obama on the eve of the election. What moved people? The issues, and talking to workers one-on-one. For example, in Pennsylvania, polls showed Barack Obama gained 22 percent since August for a 63% - 27% advantage going into Election Day.

Tuesday’s election was a mandate for building an America that lives up to its ideals, an event that has broken down old barriers and opened up new doors. As we celebrate this victory, we also face monumental challenges as a country. Working families are ready to join with President-elect Obama to meet these challenges and enact a bold agenda for change.

Related: AFSCME Campaign 2008 By the Numbers