How can we help keep Andy Beshear in the governor's office? Tell us what you think.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is your website. We welcome your ideas on this topic. Just email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. But don’t forget to include your name, your local and any union office you might hold.
Candidate endorsements don’t mean much if they’re not followed up by action.
We decided to poll union activists across the state to get their ideas about how to turn into action our historic early endorsement of Gov. Andy Beshear’s reelection bid.
We got some solid ideas from this first group. We’ll be reaching out to others, too.
LILLIAN BRENTS, president ATU Local 1447, Louisville, member of Kentucky State AFL-CIO Executive Board:
We need to be active on our social media, active in our communities. It’s more than just saying "We endorsed." We have to speak to our families at those dinner tables. I want to say it’s 50-50 that people are aware of all [of Gov. Beshear's] accomplishments just because a lot of them don’t know how it affects their households. That is where unions can point out where [Gov. Beshear] has been an advocate and supporter during COVID. He protected public service workers and took extra safety precautions. His leadership helped keep my members safe. To have a safer Kentucky, we need to have Beshear.
KIRK GILLENWATERS, president of the Kentucky Alliance of Retired Americans, member of the state AFL-CIO executive board, retiree member of Louisville UAW Local 862
We have to be unified in our efforts and resources for the future of Kentucky jobs —for all the jobs that have come to Kentucky because of [Gov. Beshear’s] leadership and for those jobs that are going to continue to expand off those investment programs. [Many of] these jobs are union jobs providing the highest wages and benefits.
TIM MORRIS, executive director, Greater Louisville Central Labor Council
Members need to talk to other members, their families, friends, neighbors, church members. They need to knock on doors, make phone calls, write letters, post on social media. Talk to everyone you can about Andy Beshear’s successes and point out that he is the right candidate to support for Kentucky. Make sure they understand the important issues and what is at stake in this race for governor and every election.
He has a great record on the economy--working with Ford to bring the battery plants to Kentucky is a huge, huge, huge economic win for all Kentucky that I don’t believe people know that much about because they’re focused on so many other things. But now is an opportunity for all of us to let folks know about his strong economic record, his record on supporting working families and his record on protecting the lives of Kentuckians through a pandemic, through historic tornadoes and historic floods across our commonwealth.
CHAD RENNISON, business manager and secretary of IBEW Local 816 in Paducah
Go back and look at what [Gov. Beshear has] done. But I’m afraid so many are going to focus on the pandemic, and a lot of them are Trumpers who think a lot of the things he did were bad. But when you look at it statistically and morally and ethically, he did the best that he could and made great decisions. He led the nation in how he dealt with COVID; what he did saved lives. There were other states that were using him as a role model about how to handle the pandemic.
I think some people are [aware of Beshear’s economic successes], but I think the average person out there is oblivious to all the jobs he has created because, like most other people, they think if it doesn’t affect me personally, I don’t care about it, or I don’t want to know about it. It really needs to be put out there--what his administration has done economically for the people of Kentucky. It’s not just about creating jobs--it’s about creating good jobs. It’s not just about new construction either. It’s about full time-jobs. We need to put those statistics out to show the average Joe that it’s not just about new construction; it’s about full time jobs.
ASHLEY SNIDER, Louisville, Kentucky State AFL-CIO vice president and IUE-CWA Political Program Lead
We really need to rally the troops, starting at the top with the internationals, making sure that everybody understands the importance of the race and getting everybody on board, not just financially, but boots on the ground. It’s going to take some released staff, leafleting at plants, people talking in their shops one-on-one, having those really meaningful conversations about why this race is so important and about how Gov. Beshear has been such an advocate for labor. With the [state legislative] elections we just had and all the seats we have lost, the power of labor is dwindling, and one of our biggest supporters who can really make a difference is the governor.
I don’t think people are aware [of Beshear’s economic successes]. That’s where it becomes vital that we talk to our members one-on-one, repeatedly, as much as we can so we can explain how he has brought in a record number of jobs. We really need to educate our members wholeheartedly to make sure they understand why his record is important, and why we’ve got to fight for him.