By Henry De Groot
Building Trades Canvass for Uyterhoeven
SOMERVILLE – The AFL-CIO’s newly elected president Liz Shuler headlined a labor canvass for Boston DSA member and State Representative Erika Uyterhoeven this weekend. President Shuler drew supporters and riled up volunteers before hitting the doors herself. Uyterhoeven is seeking re-election as State Representative of the 27th Middlesex district in a contested race.
Kicking off the canvas, Uyterhoeven recalled her experiences growing up in a union household. “That’s where I learned from a very young age what it means to have someone’s back. What it means for your union to have your back. What it means to have true solidarity.”
The event was hosted by the Greater Boston Building Trades Unions (GBBTU), which sent some 50 union members from IBEW local 103, Ironworkers local 7, and other area building trades out to knock on doors of union members for Uyterhoeven and Shannon Liss-Riordan, a candidate for Attorney General. Uyterhoeven also announced her endorsement of Liss-Riordan at the event.
Speaking at the event, President Shuler said that “workers are under attack, we’re seeing it every single day. And workers are fed up, they’re fired up, and they’re frustrated… …people want to be able to do something and act.” Shuler called for canvassers to work towards channeling that frustration towards securing votes for candidates Uyterhoeven and Liss-Riordan.
The event was emblematic of the growing relationship between socialist electeds and labor leaders. Over the past 10 years, electing socialist officials has gone from a pipe-dream to a concrete reality, and a growing number of unions have come to appreciate the value of placing and keeping socialists in office.
As GBBTU Secretary-Treasurer Brian Doherty remarked, “no one works more tirelessly than Erika.” He credited her with leading change in Somerville to ensure that every worker has union protections, and championing legislative efforts against wage-theft.
Re-Elect Erika Uyterhoeven!
Throughout her first term in office, Erika has successfully fought against tax breaks for corporations, secured millions in funding for public education in her district and throughout the state, supported a state-level Green New Deal, and worked to increase transparency at the state house. Throughout all this work, Erika has partnered with unions and progressive organizations to turn her office into an organizing tool of the working class.
Representative Uyterhoeven is being challenged by a self-described entrepreneur and progressive democrat. Her opponent is a managing partner of Athenian Capital, which backs entrepreneurs in the Web3 space (read: blockchain), and has previously worked in management consulting.
Erika told Working Mass that her campaign’s biggest focus is to get more volunteers for canvassing. You can volunteer for a shift by clicking here or make a contribution by clicking here. All in to re-elect Erika!
New President, New Plans
Liz Shuler was elected last month at the AFL-CIO’s national convention, the first woman to lead the largest labor organization in the United States. The AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations) represents 12.5 million members across 56 affiliated labor unions. Shuler was in Boston for the American Federation of Teachers national convention.
At the June convention, Shuler unveiled a plan to organize more than 1 million workers over the next 10 years, and to launch the Center for Transformational Organizing (CTO) to fund and coordinate pioneering labor organizing “to accelerate and convert the energy of this moment to take our movement to the next century.”
Shuler’s team told Working Mass that details for the CTO are being finalized. Labor watchers can expect updates soon.
Henry De Groot is a Boston DSA member and an editor of Working Mass.
Picture credit: Marisa Villareal