Over the weekend, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO hosted its 26th annual Labor Candidates School featuring a graduating class of 24 union members running for office as first-time candidates. Additionally, many alumnae opted to join the school for a refresher course, as the Labor Candidates School provides training in the most up-to-date campaign techniques, which continue to evolve at a rapid pace.
For photos of this year’s class, please CLICK HERE.
The weekend of the Labor Candidates School is a high-watermark in the year-round effort to build power for the labor movement by apprenticing union members in the field of politics the same way that members are apprenticed through their unions. Lessons taught at the school are continually reinforced through political education, including one-on-one advising for union members seeking public office.
Each element of the school is taught by seasoned election experts covering subject areas such as fundraising, election law, campaign research, message development, public speaking, media relations, voter contact, volunteer recruitment, targeting, digital strategy, and get-out-the-vote.
In addition to campaign training and political skill building, graduates of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates School have a strategic advantage that no other campaign can match; labor solidarity. Voter turnout is higher for labor candidates in elections where they run since union members are more likely to cast ballots for their brothers and sisters.
In New Jersey, labor seeks to continue its strong record of electoral success, remaining vigilant and doing everything in our power to elect our own members to office in addition to candidates who share our New Jersey working family values. Labor candidates have already gone on to achieve a total of 1186 election victories to local, state, and federal offices.
New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said, “the Labor Candidates Program is the cornerstone of our labor movement’s political power in New Jersey. The Labor Candidates School is a critical element of the program because it gives our candidates the skills they need to win. By electing union members to office, we elevate leaders that share the values of solidarity and deliver results for all working families.”
“The Labor Candidates School enables union members from all sectors and trades and a diversity of backgrounds and lived experiences to run the best campaigns possible to become elected officials,” said New Jersey AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan. “When labor candidates run, they know that they are never alone, because they can count on the strength of union solidarity to help them win.”
The 26th Annual New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates School was held at the IBEW 456 Hall in North Brunswick from August 13-14. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks IBEW Local 456 Business Manager, Assembly Labor Committee Chairman, and our own Dean of the Labor Candidates School, Joe Egan for hosting the School at his union’s hall. We congratulate this year’s graduates and look forward to working with all of the labor candidates to ensure their success on Election Day, November 8, 2022.