For the second convention in a row, AFSCME’s Political Trivia program put the delegates’ campaign and election savvy to the test.
Committed activists from affiliates around the country shared their tried and true get-out-the-vote (GOTV) strategies and political knowledge from the stage.
Astrid Zuniga of UDW (California) gave the correct answer when asked for the best way to turn someone out to vote: Asking voters for their voting plan.
“When I do get-out-the vote in California, I ask everyone for their voting plan: when they plan to vote, and how they plan to get there,” she said.
It was Elly McNelis’ turn next. The AFSCME Council 13 (Pennsylvania) member was asked to name the candidate who was propelled to victory by union members in the Keystone State’s 18th Congressional District.
After picking the correct answer – Conor Lamb – McNelis said, “I knocked on doors as part of the AFSCME Strong hybrid campaign that focused on growing our union and turning out the vote. In the end, we built a stronger union and elected a strong, pro-union member of Congress.”
Joe Musso of CSEA (New York state) gave the winning answer to the question, “What is the most effective way to motivate someone to vote?”
Musso let everyone in the hall know that one-on-one conversations are the best way to get voters motivated. He shared the lessons he learned in New York while working to defeat the Constitutional Convention ballot initiative, a scheme that would have cost taxpayers millions of dollars and opened up the state constitution to lobbyists and corporate influence.
“Last year, when we defeated a harmful Constitutional Convention ballot measure in New York with more than 80 percent of the vote, we focused hard on one-on-one conversations in the workplace and on the doors,” Musso said.
To the question, “What is 73 percent?” Matthew Padbury from AFSCME Council 66 (New York state) picked the correct answer: The percentage of AFSCME members who are registered to vote.
“I think we can all agree the answer needs to be 100 percent,” he said. “If you or someone you know here at convention isn’t registered to vote, just drop by the Action Center to get registered.”
Asked to fill in the blanks in the sentence, “This year a record number of __ are running for __,” Sal Cruz of AFSCME Council 57 (California) correctly answered: “Women, Congress.”
“It’s happening all over the country. Like in my home state, California, I’m proud we're supporting an amazing candidate in the 25th District, Katie Hill. We can all be proud too!” he said. “AFSCME, our union, is at the center of supporting the surge of women running for office."
Michelle Smith of OCSEA had the right answer to the question, “What is the top reason members give for not contributing to the PEOPLE program?” – they haven’t been asked.
“We often leave PEOPLE contributions on the table because we feel anxious that someone will say no,” Smith said. “I have my best results when I explain why it’s important to contribute to PEOPLE and let people make up their own minds.”