Tracy Cason is proof: you don’t have to be a seasoned campaigner to make a huge difference. She traveled to Nevada back in November to get working people out to vote in a fiercely anti-union state. Despite never having volunteered on a campaign before, she jumped in with two feet – and got the job done. Here’s why she thinks organizing is so rewarding:
Is this your first time organizing?
This is my first time campaigning. We were there to talk to union members, because the number was down. We’d go to the stores where they work, and ask what were the important issues to them to get them a little bit more involved and wanting to vote. We did that until we got run out of the stores [laughs]. Then we went door to door. We let them know that we were there and we wanted what was best for them. It paid off.
What was the number one thing you heard from people?
Concerns were health care, hard wages, days off with pay. It is a right-to-work state, so a lot of older members were union members. A lot of younger members weren’t union members. It’s kind of hard to get the younger generation involved, because they belive that their vote doesn’t matter. Every vote matters – if everybody thought that way, we’d end up with a worse situation.
What was the overall response?
Some people were really receptive, and some weren’t. You know the old saying: if you’re not welcome, just knock the dust off your feet. When I saw the results that night, I was so happy. All that hard work, all that heat. It paid off. To make a difference was such a good feeling.
What made you want to get involved?
They brought it up at one of our steward meetings. Everybody else in the room said they couldn’t go – they had too many responsibilities. So, I thought, I can step up. After one day, we were running. Let’s get to work! Day by day, you learn a little bit more.
Would you help with more organizing?
Yeah, I would. Our union is the best union in the world. I found that out in Las Vegas. We got health care, paid vacation, sick leave. These people go to work, and they don’t have all of that. I told my co-workers, if I hear anyone else complaining, I’m sending y’all to Vegas! [laughs]
This experience was awesome, and I learned a lot. It was adventurous. This was the best: to win. That’s the best experience: winning.
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