2016 SPECIAL EDITION
NORTH DAK OTA UNITED
VOTERS GUI DE
LISA DULLUM HOUSE
BEN HANSON HOUSE
TYLER AXNESS SENATE
JESSICA HAAK - HOUSE JOHN GRABIN GE
DISTR ICT 20
R - SENATE PAM MUSLAN
D - HOUSE
SE RICK HOLMAN - HOU SE GAIL MOONEY - HOU
ATE PHIL MURPHY - SEN
GEORGE SINN ER SENATE
JOSHUA BOSCHEE - HOU SE TIM FLAKOLL - SENATE
KARLA ROSE HANSON
KIRSTEN DIED ERICH HOUSE
DAN FISHER HOUSE
2016 VOTERS GUIDE United Voices is the official publication of North Dakota United, 301 N 4th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501. Postmaster, send address changes to: North Dakota United 301 N 4th Street Bismarck, ND 58501 Kelly Hagen Director of Field Communications Image Printing Design/Publisher
YOUR NDU VOTING GUIDE
NDU ENDORSES BAESLER FOR SUPERINTENDENT
NDU LEGISLATIVE ENDORSEMENTS
Another political season is upon us, and we are once again called to do our civic duty as Americans and cast our votes. But for whom? No doubt, by the time you read these words, you will be in the midst of a bombardment of television and radio ads as well as an inundation of campaign literature. Doors will be knocked, hands will be shaken, babies kissed and promises made.
The candidates who were selected for NDUâ€™s endorsement were chosen based on their responses to a questionnaire that was sent to them, or in the case of incumbents, on their past record of performance on issues concerning education and public service.
At the helm of our public education system, we need a strong leader. And the members of North Dakota United feel that we have that kind of leader in place currently, in Kirsten Baesler. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Baesler has worked with educators to lift up the standards of excellence.
Our full list of candidate endorsements across the state of North Dakota for election to the state Senate and House of Representatives.
NDU LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
VOTE YES ON MEASURE 2
North Dakota United advocates for great public schools to enhance student achievement and great public services to enhance the quality of life in North Dakota.
North Dakota United strongly recommends to all of our members, and to every citizens of our state, to VOTE YES on Constitutional Measure 2.
North Dakota United is working together with our friends at the North Dakota AFL-CIO and the North Dakota Farmers Union to do great things, together, at the ballot box.
ND United Voices
Vote for and support our endorsed candidates
It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.” – Albert Einstein
nother political season is upon us, and we are once again called to do our civic duty as Americans and cast our votes. But for whom? No doubt, by the time you read these words, you will be in the midst of a bombardment of television and radio ads, as well as an inundation of campaign literature. Doors will be knocked, hands will be shaken, babies kissed and promises made. In the end, you will be left to decide which candidates best represent your interests and will work smartly to create policies that improve our communities, our state, our reservations and our nation.
By Nick Archuleta NDU President
Supporting our candidates is not an exercise in partisan politics. It is an exercise in civic engagement designed to elect champions of public education and public service to offices where their talents can be put to work to create a better North Dakota.”
Too often, people ignore the proclamations of clever people like Albert Einstein and opt to adopt the attitude of Larry Hardiman, who said, “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood-sucking parasites.’” They let the cynicism of modern politics and the nastiness of the political process quash the importance of the act of voting. That, brothers and sisters, is a terrible mistake. As professional educators and public employees, there is not one single decision that affects your work life that is not a political decision. The number of children in your classroom is a political decision. Your caseload as a social worker is a political decision. Whether your position is tenure track or adjunct is a political decision. Whether or not your department has enough people to efficiently carry out its duties is a political decision. The people we choose to make those decisions, then, are an important consideration, and since you are directly impacted by those decisions, your participation is crucial. In this special election issue of United Voices, you will see the candidates that ND United has endorsed in their respective races. We arrived at those endorsements based upon candidate surveys and much discussion among the members of the ND United Political Action Committee (UPAC). We believe that we have a slate of candidates worthy of your support and the support of all North Dakotans on the basis of their steadfast support of policies that will protect and enhance the rights of all those who provide the vital public services and education that North Dakotans deserve and expect. So now it is your turn to help give North Dakotans the best possible representation in service to our shared values. All of our work will be for naught unless you – the members of North Dakota United – take two very important actions: First, you need to vote for our endorsed candidates, and second, you need to support their candidacies with more than your vote. And not every contribution has to be monetary in nature. You can contribute something of much greater value: your time! Volunteer to take a shift on the phone banks in your area. Take a turn on the doors and canvass neighborhoods with a friend. It is great exercise and very rewarding. North Dakotans like that personal touch and the face-to-face meeting in support of our candidates. Supporting our candidates is not an exercise in partisan politics. It is an exercise in civic engagement designed to elect champions of public education and public service to offices where their talents can be put to work to create a better North Dakota. Please visit ndunited.org and check out the Political Action tab at the top to find out how you can help to help elect candidates who believe, as you do, in great public schools and great public service.
YOUR VOTE MATTERS NDU members can decide who is, and isn’t, elected
will not be the first person or the last person this year to encourage you to vote. Everyone should vote. It’s easy to vote. It’s important to vote. Our future depends on you voting this year and every year. However, I have a super personal reason why I want you to vote. That reason is simple – it makes my job easier. A wise man whose name I will not mention, but it rhymes with “Uart Avelkoul,” used to often say, “As lobbyist for North Dakota United, I have the easiest job in the world because I lobby for people everyone likes.” Stuart (Savelkoul) probably still says something like that, but he says those words in the state of Connecticut because that’s where he works now. And his words seem less valuable to me as a result, but what he used to say is still true now. Working for the members of ND United is super easy because everyone loves you. Don’t take my word for it; look at the polling. Teachers – LOVED! Public Employees – LOVED! Education Support Personnel – LOVED! Heck, North Dakotans even love their higher education employees, no matter what the blogs, talk radio and certain politicians might say. North Dakotans love you, and that makes our job easy. But you can do more to make our jobs easier. MORE OF YOU CAN VOTE.
By Chad Oban NDU Executive Director
NDU members are all in a unique position, no matter if you are a public employee, ESP, teacher or university faculty or staff. You get to elect your bosses.”
Earlier this year I heard a rumor that a candidate for major office was being advised by someone in his inner circle that the candidate should not worry about upsetting NDU because “their members don’t vote anyway!” When I heard this, my first thought included words that I would not want my mother to see in writing. But there was no doubt in my mind this person was full of it (I will let you define “it”). My second thought was I should probably do a little research because this guy generally knows what he is talking about. What I found was he was sort of correct. During the 2014 general election, about 63 percent of ND United members voted, which is not bad compared to the 47 percent of the public who voted statewide. However, think about it this way – that means 4,255 of our members DID NOT VOTE. Ouch! Every one of our members’ jobs depends on who gets elected, and 4,255 could not find time to vote. It’s even worse in a primary. The primary is generally where we elect city commissioners, park boards, decide the major party nominees and elect SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS. School board members, i.e. the very people that employ the majority of our members. In the 2014 primary, just 25 percent of our members voted, which means about 8,625 of our members did not vote. Those non-voting members could have changed the outcome in nearly every school board race in the state. Imagine how much easier contract negotiations would be if we all voted in PRO-TEACHER school board members. NDU members are all in a unique position, no matter if you are a public employee, ESP, teacher or university faculty or staff. You get to elect your bosses. You get to elect the people who make the decisions on how much money you make, what benefits you are granted, when you can take leave and what your work conditions are like. A lot of people would love the chance to vote out their boss! Get out and vote. I don’t ever want to hear another politician say, “Don’t worry about upsetting ND United; their members don’t vote anyway.” I want them to instead say, “We had better listen to ND United. Their members vote and will vote us out if we don’t listen to their needs.” GO VOTE!
ND United Voices
YOUR NDU VOTING GUIDE A
s public professionals, you play a vital role in shaping and influencing policies affecting your practice and expertise. Every decision made affecting classrooms, public schools and universities, and public service, is at some level a political decision. Because of the important roles that elected officials and ballot measures play in our members’ professional lives, North Dakota United takes a very deliberate, measured approach to making recommendations for the general election. Decisions are made in a non-partisan fashion. NDU chooses its candidates for recommendations based on their stances on issues that our association cares deeply about, and not their political affiliation. The candidates who were selected for NDU’s endorsement were chosen based on their responses to a questionnaire that was sent to them, or in the case of incumbents, on their past record of performance on issues concerning education and public service. (You can view the voting records on our issues for all North Dakota legislators from the 2013 and 2015 legislative session at ndunited.org/political/scorecards/.)
How does NDU Recommend Candidates?
NDU members choose candidates to recommend based on information collected through voting records, candidate surveys and face-to-face interviews. The following is a step-bystep process on how NDU makes its recommendations.
North Dakota Legislature Recommendations:
1. A list of questions is developed based on the NDU Legislative Agenda, adopted at our Delegate Assembly. Surveys built with these questions were sent to all legislative candidates who did not have a voting record by which to judge their vies and opinions. 2. Members of the United Political Action Committee (UPAC) carefully considered the answers given by candidates in surveys that were returned, as well as evidence of support (relationship with association, voting records) before making a recommendation. The committee votes and submits its recommendations to the NDU Board of Directors for approval. 3. If the recommendations are accepted, they are then made public.
North Dakota Statewide Recommendations:
1. UPAC meets to determine which statewide races have a significant impact on the professional lives of our members. Candidates for office in those races are then invited to interview with representatives of UPAC. Candidates accepting the invitation to interview appear before an interview team of members from the UPAC. 2. Interviews of statewide candidates are recorded, so that all members of UPAC could see and hear what was said, in order to come to a consensus. UPAC discusses evidence of support (relationship with association, past voting records) before making a recommendation. The committee votes and submits its recommendation to the NDU Board for approval. 3. If the recommendations are accepted, they are then made public.
ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED FOR VOTING Election Day is Nov. 8, 2016. North Dakota United encourages all our members to get out and vote. You can vote at the polls on Election Day, or absentee ballots are available to all voters who cannot make it out to vote on Nov. 8. In addition, some counties allow you to vote early in person, at selected locations. Voting rules in North Dakota have been reversed back to the method used before the Legislature passed its Voter ID law in 2013. A federal judge blocked its implementation for this election, and the Secretary of State’s office announced that the system would revert back to how it was. Please bring proof of your identity with you to the polls, but if you do not have any voter ID available, you will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot, and then prove your identity later. Don’t know where to go to vote? Going to be gone on Election Day or don’t want to wait in line at the polls? Just go to our website, ndunited.org, and click on the Political Action tab at the top of the page for all the information you need on finding your polling location, the district in which you live, or how to order an absentee ballot.
North Dakota Congressional Recommendations:
1. UPAC and the NDU Board of Directors chose not to interview congressional candidates for endorsement in 2016.
NDU ENDORSES BAESLER FOR SUPERINTENDENT E
ducation is central to the mission of North Dakota United. The majority of our members work in public education, and they help all of North Dakota’s students receive the attention, the protection, the mentoring, the training and the knowledge that they deserve. Our members who do not work in K-12 schools still have an essential stake in our public education system. Their children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces, are enrolled in the school system. Just like they were once, too. North Dakotans are proud of their system of public education. They give their schools and their children’s teachers the highest grades in public-opinion polling. Every member of North Dakota United takes great pride in the work we do, and we’re ecstatic that the public recognizes our efforts. At the helm of our public education system, we need a strong leader. And the members of North Dakota United feel that we have that kind of leader in place currently, in Kirsten Baesler. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, Baesler has worked with educators to lift up the standards of excellence. She led the effort to revamp North Dakota state standards for mathematics and English, and she actively recruited teachers, who are in the classroom and actively know the strengths and weaknesses of the previous sets of standards, to rewrite the standards to fit the North Dakota way. She reaches out to our educators, asks questions and listens to their input. North Dakota United officially endorses Kirsten Baesler for re-election to the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. 6
In interviews with the ND United Political Action Committee (UPAC), Baesler repeatedly confirmed her support for the issues we care deeply about: • DPI cuts will not be made on the backs of employees. DPI will maintain a strong team for students of N.D. • Teacher licensing needs to be changed but not by diminishing the quality of teachers. • Education Professional Standards and Practices Board (ESPB) needs to remain independent. • N.D. has energy and agriculture, but our most important resource is our students. • Strongly supports Teachers Fund for Retirement (TFFR) and the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS). • Teachers will play a role in ESSA implementation. • Teachers are actively involved in determining the next generation of assessment in N.D. • Will speak out in favor of maintaining collective bargaining for teachers. “I am extremely grateful for the endorsement of North Dakota United,” Baesler said. “As an educator and public employee of the state, your endorsement is important to me because it’s an endorsement of my colleagues. “Students and public education and service have been my lifelong commitment and my lifelong passion, and I know that the members of North Dakota United understand that commitment and passion more than most in the state. I appreciate your support, and I would also appreciate your vote on Nov. 8, so we can continue to work together for the future of North Dakota.” ND United Voices
STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
STATE SENATE ndunited.org
District Recommendation 2
Casey D. Buchmann
Elsie Blair Magnus
Lisa K. Dullum
Karen K. Ehrens
Grant D. Hauschild
Karla Rose Hanson
“The state of North Dakota must adequately fund our education system, from pre-K all the way to making higher education more affordable for more students. This being said, we must also pay fair wages to our teachers, counselors, custodians and all other staff, who are essential to creating a great system of
JOHN GRABINGER FOR SENATE • Incumbent, elected in 2012 • Small-business owner • 100% NDU voting score in 2015
TYLER AXNESS FOR SENATE • Incumbent, elected in 2012 • Independent consultant for businesses • 100% NDU voting score in 2015 • www.axnessfornd.com “As a proud NDU member, I’m committed to standing alongside our dedicated public employees and educators as we work to address the challenges we face. Together, through hard work, we’ll ensure our state achieves its highest potential.”
learning for our children.”
JESSICA HAAK FOR HOUSE • Incumbent, elected in 2012 • Member Operations Supervisor for N.D. • •
Farmers Union 100% NDU voting score in 2015, 2016 NDU Friend of Public Employees Award winner www.jessicahaaknd.com
“Both of my parents were public school teachers; my dad still teaches. I know how dedicated teachers are to students and their success. Public education is one of the best investments for the future of our state and country. I also have friends who provide services to the public. Whether it’s addiction treatment or clearing a county road with a snow plow for the safety of others, those necessary services ensure a secure community, helping everyone to thrive.”
PAM MUSLAND • Non-incumbent candidate • Marketing and Communications Supervisor
BEN HANSON FOR HOUSE • Incumbent, elected in 2012 • Associate real estate broker; Marketing Director for Archer Real Estate Services
• 100% NDU voting score in 2015 • www.benhansonfornd.com “In these uncertain economic times for the state, North Dakota, more than ever, needs to make sure we are solidly invested in public education and therefore our future generation.”
LISA DULLUM FOR HOUSE • Non-incumbent candidate • Music Specialist for West Fargo Public Schools • Former President, secretary and building rep for West Fargo Education Association
• www.lisakdullum.com “I believe state employee salaries should be compensated fairly and should be in line with the market rate. I would oppose legislation that would allow the use of vouchers or tax credits to fund non-public education in North Dakota. I believe fully that we need to invest in a high-quality and well-funded
for N.D. Farmers Union
“Teachers and public employees work hard to make North Dakota a better place for our children and citizens. I’ll do the same. I’m passionate about issues that affect working families, everything from decent wages and retirement plans to collective bargaining rights.”
public school system.”
ND United Voices
• • •
2012 Former educator in May-Port CG Schools 100% NDU voting score in 2015 www.d20news.com
“We came within one vote of losing defined-benefit retirement for state workers in 2011. Make sure you know who you are voting for, and what they could potentially do to you, in office. You can’t go wrong with voting for your current team in place at District 20.”
RICK HOLMAN FOR HOUSE • Incumbent, elected in 2008 • Former teacher, high school principal and college professor
• 97% NDU voting score in 2015 • www.d20news.com “A united voice of reason and support, standing strong for all levels of education, and ultimately our children, that’s what North Dakota United provides for its members and all the people of our state. I am proud to stand alongside you all in my service as a representative for District 20.”
GAIL MOONEY FOR HOUSE • Incumbent, elected in 2012 • Small-business owner • 100% NDU voting score in 2015 • www.d20news.com “It’s been my great honor to serve the people of my county, district and state over the past decade. I am a strong voice and advocate for the rights of both the public and private-sector employees of North Dakota – and feel it is my duty to work hard on behalf of their best interests!”
PHIL MURPHY FOR SENATE • Incumbent, appointed in 2010 and elected in
GEORGE SINNER FOR SENATE • Incumbent, elected in 2012 • Senior Vice President at American Federal Bank • 100% NDU voting score in 2015 • www.sinnerforsenate.com “As senator, I was out front on bills to grant benefits and protections to temporary state workers, and to increase family medical leave. I’ve fought equally hard on behalf of early education programs, and on behalf of the students, faculty and staff of North Dakota State University, and the entire university system. I care deeply about these issues because I personally believe that our future is in the hands of our children, and the better we treat our teachers and public workers, the better able we will be to provide the quality public services and education to the people of our state.”
KIRSTEN DIEDERICH FOR HOUSE • Non-incumbent candidate • Former biology professor at Concordia College • Former chair of State Board of Higher Education
• www.kirstendiederich.com “I look forward to the day when we provide for our teachers the praise and compensation that they deserve. I promise to oppose any legislation that threatens the retirement plans for North Dakota’s public and education employees.”
DAN FISHER FOR HOUSE • Non-incumbent candidate • President and CEO of The Copper River Group
• Holds master’s degree in Education from Valley City State University
• www.fisherforndhouse.com “My spouse is an educator, and I know the long hours she commits to her students and how hard she works. We are supportive of a minimum (base salary) that would support qualified teachers to teacher anywhere in North Dakota … and we are supportive of a competitive wage for public employees that will serve our state by retaining qualified personnel.” 9
TIM FLAKOLL FOR SENATE • Incumbent, elected in 1998 • Provost of Tri-College University • Director of Operations for NDSU Downtown • Chair of Senate Education Committee • Former President Pro Tempore • www.facebook.com/NDDistrict44 “As a longtime educator and Chair of the Senate Education Committee, I will continue to be inclusive in my decisionmaking process and a champion for local control and flexibility in the classroom. The best way for our state to grow and prosper is to continue to have an excellent education, delivered by great teachers.”
JOSHUA BOSCHEE FOR HOUSE • Incumbent, elected in 2012 • Real estate agent for Hatch Realty • Former NDSU employee and chapter leader at NDPEA
• 100% NDU voting score in 2015 • www.joshuaboschee.com “Public employees and educators are the reason our state continues to be successful in a number of rankings! As a former public employee and current NDU member, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about how can our state better support our hard-working educators and public employees to continue making North Dakota a great state to live, work and learn.”
KARLA ROSE HANSON FOR HOUSE • Non-incumbent candidate • Communications business operator • Graduate of NDSU and lifelong North Dakotan
• www.karlarosehanson.com “I’m running for state House because my north Fargo neighbors deserve a representative who values public employees and prioritizes public education. If elected, I’ll bring independent leadership and much-needed moderation to the Legislature.” 10
ND United Voices
2017 ND UNITED LEGISLATIVE AGENDA As adopted by the NDU Delegate Assembly on April 16, 2016 North Dakota United advocates for great public schools to enhance student achievement and great public services to enhance the quality of life in North Dakota. Therefore, NDU supports legislation that will: Ensure quality public education for students and quality public services for North Dakotans. Provide adequate and equitable funding for schools to offer a diverse and challenging curriculum and the services that will prepare students for global opportunities. Provide adequate and equitable funding for all public services to provide for the diverse and changing needs of our state. Ensure that public money supports only public institutions and that only public employees provide public services. Improve and enhance student learning and public services. Provide fully qualified professionals in all service areas of public employment. Ensure that all public facilities and agencies are adequately staffed to provide quality service. Provide mentoring programs for employees that will heighten their expertise and confidence early in their careers. Provide time and resources for employees to participate in quality professional development. Provide modern, safe buildings and facilities. Provide students and employees with nutrition and wellness programs that encourage healthful living and a healthful attitude for learning. Support programs or initiatives for school readiness. Recruit and retain education and public employees. Promote increased funding for equitable salary increases for all education and public employees. Maintain the current health insurance benefit for all education and public employees. Maintain high standards for licensure and credentials. Provide job security for all education and public employees. Provide bargaining and employment rights for all education and public employees. Provide retirement benefits for present and future retirees. Preserve defined benefit retirement plans for current and future education and public employees. Maintain the current multiplier. ndunited.org
VOTE YES ON MEASURE 2 A
t our core, North Dakota United stands for two tenants above all else: great public education and great public service. When voters go to the polls this November in the state of North Dakota, we will all be voting on a measure that has the potential of increasing access to needed funding, in order to continue to provide the quality public education and services that our state’s citizens deserve. As such, North Dakota United strongly recommends to all of our members, and to every citizen of our state, to VOTE YES on Constitutional Measure 2. Measure 2 was placed onto the ballot by the 2015 Legislature, and would amend the state constitution to allow increased access to funds that have deposited into the State Aid Stabilization Fund. Currently, 10 percent of the revenue received from oil extraction taxes in the state is being placed into this stabilization fund, and principal of the fund can only be extracted by order of the Governor, and can only go toward offsetting any reductions in state aid to school districts due to a revenue shortage. This measure would allow the Legislature “to use any excess principal balance of the foundation aid stabilization fund for education-related purposes whenever the balance exceeds 15 percent of the general fund appropriation for state aid to school districts for the most recently completed biennium.” That fund currently sits at just over $600 million. It is important to understand that 15 percent of the general fund expenditures for education from the most recently completed biennium would equal approximately $300 million. That would mean that $300 million, or approximately half of the fund, would stay in place. The remaining $300 million could be used for “education-related purposes.” North Dakota United is leading the charge in urging a “yes” vote on Measure 2. Our state is heading into an uncertain financial future, and all areas of state government are facing severe budget cuts. Without access to funds in the State Aid Stabilization Fund, public education funding will face the same 10 percent cut that is being asked of state agencies and higher education. School districts would be forced to choose between raising local property taxes or cutting into personnel costs and increasing class sizes. Measure 2 will also affect our members in public services and higher education. The Legislature could potentially decide to offset cuts to K-12 education by taking more money away from state agencies and the university system. Very simply, a “yes” vote on Measure 2 is good for kids. It will help to keep class sizes low and increase the individual attention each student receives from their teachers and education support professionals. Voting “yes” on Measure 2 is good for public education. In a time where our state is already struggling with recruiting and retaining teachers in our smaller school districts, starting salaries and benefits need to continue to increase. Funding for our schools cannot go backwards if we hope to keep our quality educators in the classrooms, and rooted in the communities that look to them to keep our kids safe and prepare our students for the future. In order to allow our public schools to continue to offer the highest quality public education available to our students, please VOTE YES on Measure 2. Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YesOnMeasure2, and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter. com/YesOnMeasure2. 12
ND United Voices
A group of veterans, children and parents held a press conference on July 7, in support of Measure 4 at the state Capitol.
VOTE YES ON MEASURE 4
orth Dakota United cares deeply about the welfare of our children. Our members work in pre-K, K-12 schools and universities across the state, and prepare our young people to lead the way toward a better tomorrow. In addition, our members work in human services, caring for all our citizens, and especially for vulnerable populations. We protect the public as best as we can from dangers that threaten all of the people of our state on a daily basis.
One threat that the members of NDU take very seriously is that of cigarettes and tobacco products. We want to do everything we can to protect our students from any health hazard. And so we are urging all of our members to VOTE YES on Measure 4 on this year’s general election ballot. This initiated measure was put on the ballot through a coordinated effort by physicians, veterans, mental and public health professionals, parents and legislators, in order to raise North Dakota’s tobacco tax from its current level of 44 cents per pack, up to $2.20 per pack. Their coalition, Raise It for Health ND, estimates that an additional $100 million in revenue would be raised for the state per biennium, which is funding that could be used to fund health care services and programs for veterans. The primary benefit of this measure would be to increase prices on tobacco products enough to keep them out of the hands of minors. Studies have shown that increasing cigarette taxes in other states has significantly decreased youth smoking rates. Proponents of Measure 4 estimate that youth initiation rates to smoking would be reduced by as much as 20 percent, and will keep 5,800 of our young people away from smoking. The members of North Dakota United in attendance at our Delegate Assembly in Bismarck this past April voted to support this effort. NDU is proud to be a partner in the large coalition of organizations that stand behind Measure 4, and doing everything we can to keep cigarettes and tobacco away from our kids. For more information about the Raise It for Health ND coalition and the reasons to VOTE YES on Measure 4, visit raiseitforhealthnd.com. And join NDU in voting “yes” on Measure 4. ndunited.org
Volunteers at the Education, Farm and Labor Member-Mobilization School, practice door-knocking in Jamestown on Sept. 10.
MEMBERS MOBILIZING Volunteer to help get members to vote with NDU and friends By Kelly Hagen, NDU Communications
nionized workers built America into the country it is today. Unions are the backbone of our communities and the society in which we live.
We know these truths to be self-evident because the greatest developments in our human history have come together when groups of people work together for mutually beneficial outcomes. The members of North Dakota United can achieve great outcomes by working together. We see it every day, at our worksites, in schools and across our communities. We also achieve great things together as an association. We can alter the trajectories of our government, change elected officials and secure a positive future for students and citizens of our state, just by working together. Just by voting together. Just by getting all of our fellow members to vote. North Dakota United is working together with our friends at the North Dakota AFLCIO and North Dakota Farmers Union to do great things, together, at the ballot box. On Sept. 9-10 in Jamestown, these three member organizations gathered together to offer our Education, Farm & Labor Member-Mobilization School. Members, leaders and staff from all three associations worked together to learn just how powerful our members are when they mobilize and use their membership to affect political change.
“As laborers, as farmers, as individuals in North Dakota, how powerful do you feel with your government?” Waylon Hedegaard, President of North Dakota AFL-CIO, asked participants. “How able do you feel to tell government what it needs to do? As workers and farmers, are we small fish in a big pond? Big fish in a small pond? Are we a tiny, little minnow in an ocean full of sharks? Do you feel your government works for you as workers?” ND United Voices
North Dakota AFL-CIO President Waylon Hedegaard speaks to volunteers at the Education, Farm and Labor Member-Mobilization School on Sept. 10 at N.D. Farmers Union headquarters in Jamestown.
The answers given by the men and women in attendance that day most likely mirror the answers you are thinking to yourselves right now. No, we do not feel powerful as individuals. No, we do not feel government in the state of North Dakota is responsive to our viewpoints. No, we do not feel like the big fish. The entire point of the Mobilization School was to show us the power we have by organizing. Like a school of small fish, we can take on and defeat the biggest fish in our pond. We are as powerful as we choose to be, but we have to choose to work together or we will fail, apart. Following sessions that featured discussions on local and state political issues, and the political programs of all three associations, a panel consisting of State Sen. Erin Oban, Fargo School Board member John Rodenbiker and Farmers Union member relations specialist Molly McClain talked about the importance of direct voter contact. That means calling voters on the phone, or going to their front doors to talk to them about the issues. Tutorials were given to the participants on best practices for phone banking and door knocking, and then they were given lists of union households across District 12 in Jamestown, literature on where our endorsed candidates stand on our issues, and they knocked doors.
As a member of North Dakota United, you are very likely to receive a call from volunteers of N.D. AFL-CIO or NDU, or a knock at your door. Please talk to these amazing activists, and assure them that you are committed to voting together with your association, so that we can achieve and affect powerful political change in our state and the communities in which we live. Even better, sign up to be one of these volunteers! All of our members are invited to be part of the NDU political program, and help your union to get out our voters this season. Visit the Event pages at ndunited.org and ndaflcio.org for information on Days of Action events near you, and register to take part. Door knocking may seem frightening, but you will be talking to fellow union members. These are hard-working, dedicated professionals, just like you, waiting to hear from their union on how they should vote. We need your help to get the word out! “If union members want better job conditions, higher salaries and an even playing field, more members need to get involved,” Hedegaard said. “There is no other way! We can change everything for the better. We just have to work at it.”
North Dakota AFL-CIO continues to lead the charge in organizing phone banks and door-knocking in communities across our state. ndunited.org
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E. R U T U F OR OUR
F . S D I K OR OUR
n o ” S E Y “ e t Vo
Measure 2 Measure 4
Published on Oct 12, 2016
In this special edition of United Voices, we provide you with all the information you need this election season. Read about North Dakota Uni...