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Thank you, AFGE activists!!

AFGE activists, including both AFGE members and staff, worked tirelessly this election cycle in an effort to bring about the best election outcome for federal employees.  Their hard work paid off on Tuesday night when President Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States and when numerous candidates who support unions and federal employees won their races.

Activists, led by the AFGE political action team, were especially effective after Labor Day and campaigned on the ground and out of AFGE offices.  AFGE activists made over 75,000 phone calls to members in targeted states from phone banks at headquarters and across the country and walked doors in key battleground states.

The AFGE Political Action team sent over a half a million pieces of mail to AFGE members in targeted states and held TeleTown Halls with almost 5,000 AFGE activists in key states during the closing weeks of the election. They conducted an aggressive online program through home emails, Facebook and other social media outlets.  Close to two million emails were launched to the home emails of AFGE members since Labor Day. The AFGE team also produced 8 different videos to inform, inspire and mobilize members.

This was the most aggressive election mobilization AFGE and the political action team have ever undertaken and IT WORKED!

Great job AFGE members and staff!

President Cox Joins Union Volunteers in Labor Walk for Elizabeth Warren Campaign

IMPORTANT: You may view this post using your home email on your personal computer, smart phone, or other electronic device when not on government property. BUT, this information should not be downloaded using government equipment, read during duty time, or sent to others using government equipment, because it involves taking an election related action and could be a violation of the Hatch Act.

Calling the election of Elizabeth Warren vital to the strength of the federal workforce, J. David Cox  Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), was in Massachusetts Saturday to “walk, knock and talk” to help Warren in her bid for the U.S. Senate. Many other union staffers and volunteers from AFGE and the Greater Boston Labor Council joined President Cox.

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AFGE, DNC Chair Stage Counter-Rally Against Romney-Ryan

Members of the American Federation of Government Employee’s 5th District join DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz in a counter-rally against Mitt Romney. (DO NOT READ ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY)

As President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney geared up for last night’s debate, swing voters of the sunshine state were treated to another dose of political activism; not from talking heads or canvassers, but from federal employees.

Hundreds of members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) staged a powerful rally in support of President Obama outside of the Hilton Daytona Beach Ocean Front Resort in Daytona Beach, Fla., Friday. Florida Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz joined the rally with NASCAR ARCA Series driver Leilani Munter.

“As a federal employee, if you are looking for job security there’s only one choice and that’s President Obama”, said Everett Kelley, national vice president of AFGE’s 5th District. “Gov. Romney plans an immediate 10% cut in spending and once the Ryan Budget is implemented, medicare will be cut and healthcare reform will be repealed”, he said. However, the support isn’t based on party lines, says Kelley, but by looking at the everyday issues faced by government employees.

Kelley deemed the rally to be a huge success, despite initial push-back from the Secret Service and other security officials determined to prevent the protest from gaining momentum.

AFGE scheduled a leadership conference at the hotel months prior to the rally. Upon being informed of Mr. Romney’s arrival to the area, they took advantage of their location and launched a counter-rally in support of the candidate they know will fight for their jobs and security.

“We know we’d be on the chopping block as federal employees if Mr. Romney is elected president,” said Kelley in an interview with The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

“We want to rain on his parade,” he said.

Romney has pledged to cut approximately $5 Trillion from U.S. Government spending over the next 10 years and has been unclear on how he would do this specifically. Government employees, currently facing the threat of sequestration, aren’t sure what Romney is up to, but they are determined not to find out.

In addition, Rep. Wasserman-Shultz, who represents Florida’s 20th District of Broward and Miami-Dade County, defended the president’s policies. She pointed to Obama’s 31 consecutive months of private sector job growth and his aggressive advocacy for women’s rights.

Munter used the opportunity to jest Romney’s comments in a prior debate where he alluded to his diverse administration as governor by showcasing a binder full of women’s resumes.

“If Mitt Romney has a binder for female race car drivers I guess that’s where you’ll find me,” she said.

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In Presidential Race, Both Sides Woo Federal Workers

Below is an excerpt from an article featured on www.wmau.org. Please click here to read the full article.

Government workforce a key vote in 2012 election

By: Matt Laslo

Virginia is one of the most hotly-contested states in this year’s presidential election, which makes political outreach to federal workers in the region all the more important. Some Democratic campaigns think they have the votes of most federal employees in the bag, but it’s more complicated than one might think.

There’s been no shortage of Republican rhetoric about shrinking the government — even eliminating entire agencies — during this year’s presidential race. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney epitomized the argument during a speech on the campaign trail after he won the Michigan GOP primary in February.

“I’m going to deliver on more jobs, less debt and smaller government,” Romney said. “We’re going to hear that day in and day out, more jobs, less debt and smaller government.”

It goes beyond rhetoric, though. Republican leaders want to extend a pay freeze for government employees and make them contribute 5 percent more to their pensions. These proposals haven’t gone unnoticed, especially by federal employee labor unions such as the American Federation of Government Employees.

Federal workforce feels like ‘an ATM’

Tom Webb, president of the AFGE Local 3615, sits down to talk presidential politics at the Juke Box Diner in Northern Virginia on a recent afternoon. He’s retired now, so he has time to sip coffee under the neon lights of this classic diner on a weekday afternoon.

The AFGE represents more than 600,000 federal workers, and many members are frustrated by Republican efforts to reduce compensation for federal employees, Webb says.

“We seem to be like an ATM machine for this Congress,” he says.

That’s been a recurring theme from Republicans. In Romney’s economic plan, the former Massachusetts Governor argues he can reduce the deficit by nearly $50 billion dollars by bringing federal compensation, including benefits, in line with the private sector.

Webb, who worked at the Social Security Administration for 38 years, bristles at some of what he’s heard from Romney about protecting taxpayer.

“Well we’re taxpayers too, you know, and we contribute to the economy,” Webb says.

Dems combatting fallout from Obama pay freezes

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who has represented Northern Virginia for more than two decades, acknowledges the federal workforce is more diverse than portrayed.

“Many people have the misimpression that virtually all federal employees vote Democratic. That’s not the case,” he says. “Now, blue-collar federal employees tend to vote Democratic.”

Click here to read the full article.

AFGE Defends Democracy works to stop voter suppression

AFGE Defends Democracy is the voter protection arm of AFGE. AFGE Defends Democracy’s goals are to educate voters about voting laws in their states and to recruit volunteers to assist voters on Election Day in key states. Volunteers will play a role in the AFL-CIO voter protection program which will target Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin and Nevada. Severe attacks on the right to vote are expected in these states.  

To read more about AFGE Defends Democracy and about voting laws in your state, check us out on the blog, on Twitter or on Facebook.

To learn more about volunteering to be a poll worker or poll monitor on Election Day, click here.

AFGE Defends Democracy

The theme for AFGE’s 2012 Voter Protection Program is “AFGE Defends Democracy.” In 2011, state legislatures introduced numerous bills and passed laws that are invading and destroying the voting rights of honest working-class Americans. The increased efforts of the Republican Party to disenfranchise voters and make it difficult to get to the polls can not be ignored! We have to make sure that AFGE members and their communities know their voting rights!

AFGE has created a NEW Voter Protection Facebook Page, “AFGE Defends Democracy,” in order to keep you informed about voter protection issues leading up to this year’s election. Please click here to “Like” our page and stay up to date on voter protection issues leading up to this year’s election.

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