Presidential Report – August 15, 2019


Hickenlooper dropped out, while O’Rourke doubled down on his candidacy for President.


Following up from the conversation at the Detroit debate, the Washington Post reported on Medicare-for-all and its relation to unions. The story details where unions across the country stand, quoting Mary Kay Henry saying “The choice here is not between Medicare-for-all or employer-sponsored care. It’s between expanding health-care coverage or watching the president and Republican congressional leaders rip it all away from working people. There’s no reason why we can’t ensure everyone has the same benefits that some have been able to bargain for.”



SEIU Texas and Fight for $15 and a Union plan to hold actions at the third debate, September 12-13, in Houston, TX. The debate will no longer be a town hall style format as previously detailed by the DNC and media. The event will be similar to previous debates, moderated by ABC News and Univision. Right now, only nine candidates have qualified for this third debate. Those candidates are:

  1. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
  2. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey
  3. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, IN
  4. Senator Kamala Harris of California
  5. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  6. Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas
  7. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  8. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  9. Andrew Yang


Candidates close to qualifying:

  1. Julian Castro
  2. Senator Tulsi Gabbard
  3. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
  4. Tom Steyer



New Hampshire is planning a town hall event with Pete Buttigieg on Friday, September 6, the evening before the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention. Members who live in New Hampshire, including those who work for locals in Massachusetts, will be invited to receive a pre-event briefing and training.



It was a busy week on the stump as Democratic candidates ate their way through the Iowa State Fair. In between all the schmoozing, several candidates released new policy plans:


Senator Michael Bennet released a plan on election security. Timed to coincide with the release of his new book Dividing America: How Russia Hacked our Democracy, the plan calls for increased election security, closing campaign finance loopholes that have been exploited by “foreign actors”,  mobilizing allies, and additional steps meant to restore Americans’ faith in democracy. Specifically, Bennet plans to update voting machines, provide grants to upgrade voting technology, ensure every voter has the right to use a paper ballot, and additional IT and cybersecurity updates.


Senator Elizabeth Warren released a plan on gun safety.  Her proposal begins with executive actions to expand background checks, close loopholes in current gun laws, and target gun traffickers and licensed gun dealers who break the law. Additionally, she proposes legislation covering universal background checks and an assault weapons ban but also a system requiring a license to buy and own guns as well as urban gun violence intervention programs. Warren also proposes a one-week waiting period for firearm purchases and a higher tax on gun manufacturers. And with her assault weapons ban, she proposes a program that would force current assault weapon owners — with the threat of penalties — to dispose or register the guns.


Mayor Pete Butigieg released a plan on rural America.  The plan proposes to expand regional partnerships, allocate additional funding for local rural economic planning, expand existing programs run through the Department of Small Business Administration, expand programs providing apprenticeships and internships, create a new Community Renewal category of visas to attract immigrants to rural areas in need of workers, increase funding for agriculture research, and increase broadband access.


Finally, Senator Cory Booker released a plan on hate crimes and combatting white supremacy. Booker’s plan would create a White House Office on Hate Crimes and White Supremacist Violence to coordinate efforts, improve training for law enforcement, improve data collection and data sharing, make lynching a federal crime, fund programs dedicated to helping victims heal, and direct additional resources to fighting online hate and radicalization.



TWR Member Political Engagement Update Webinar

On Wednesday, the Together We Rise team hosted a member political engagement update webinar for local political staff and TWR drivers. Participants shared program updates and best practices from the field. USWW presented on their ongoing engagement with presidential candidates as part of their contract campaigns. We showcased, the Unions for All Organizing Network Facebook group, toolkits for distributed political organizing, and our member-to-member purple text program.


Purple Text Training

Over 50 Local Union Purple Text administrators joined a training this week.  Many learned for the first time how to launch a member to member text campaign, while others got a refresher on the new features that have been added to Purple Text in recent months.   Participants discussed how to think about training members to use Purple Text to engage their coworkers in politics this cycle–helping locals achieve the goal of 1.5% of members volunteering this cycle.








Senator Bernie Sanders sat down with rapper Cardi B to talk about issues her fans submitted online for her to ask Presidential candidates. The conversation included a discussion around $15 and a union.

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Our views on the issues are pretty similar.

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