Despite The Pandemic, Council 4 Turns Out The Vote For Pro-Worker Candidates

With COVID-19 sweeping the nation, engaging our fellow Council 4 union members about the stakes of the 2020 election created an entirely new challenge.

Relying on direct mail, home-based volunteer phone banks, contactless literature drops, e-mails and texts, we reached out to our members about the importance of supporting candidates who support workers. The results were impressive, as 71% of the candidates recommended for endorsement by our Council 4 PEOPLE Committee (and formally approved by our Delegate Assembly) won their races. 

Pro-worker candidates, many of whom are rank-and-file union members, won up and down the ballot throughout Connecticut. Among them were Jorge Cabrera (United Food & Commercial Workers), who defeated incumbent Republican George Logan in the 17th Senate District; Amy Morrin Bello (Office Professional Employees International Union) in the 28th House District; and Brandon Chafee (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) in the 33rd District.

UFWC representative Jorge Cabrera, right, will be a strong voice for workers in the State Senate. He is pictured with Council 4 Executive Director Jody Barr and AFT CT President Jan Hochadel at a 2019 rally for striking Stop & Shop workers in Hamden.

Another Council 4-endorsed candidate, Rick Lopes, ousted incumbent Republican Gennaro Bizzaro in the 6th Senate District, adding another strong pro-worker voice to that chamber.

Our activism was also felt in helping defend legislators who have consistently supported workers’ rights and unions, including State Senator Cathy Osten (19th Senate District) and State Rep. Kevin Ryan (139th District).

Overall, Democrats expanded their majorities in both the House (98-53) and the Senate (24-12).

Right up through the election on Nov. 3, Council 4 leaders and activists did their part to impact the political choices that will affect our pay, benefits and rights on the job. 

“The pandemic forced us to channel our activism in different ways, but we rose to the occasion,” said Council 4 Executive Director Jody Barr. “The election results were great for Connecticut and great for our country. We look forward to working with legislators who are committed to protecting workers, strengthening public services, and finding fair ways to raise needed revenues as we fight through COVID-19. ”

  • Click here for the results of endorsed candidates in 2020. 
  • Click here for the Connecticut AFL-CIO’s statement on state election results.
  • Click here for AFSCME International’s statement on the national election.