Why it matters
To do our jobs well and secure the resources to deliver great public services, we need funding from our local, state and federal governments. Help determine which policies we should fight for, which candidates we should back, and help hold elected officials accountable to working families on the Political Committee. The Political Committee meets bi-weekly to discuss politics, interview candidates and get the word out to fellow union members on upcoming elections.
The legislators we elect vote on our contracts. State leaders decide on the state budget and how much money goes to departments and agencies. Federal officials decide on funding for to bolster state programs, our rights as workers, and so much more.
That’s why having a strong voice in politics is critical to our jobs, and the well-being of our communities. In addition to voting and mobilizing others to vote, we make our voices heard in politics by contributing to our voluntary Committee on Political Education Fund (COPE).
COPE gives our union the resources to move voters and decision-makers in office in order to help us all move forward
Members’ contributions to the COPE Fund give us a stronger voice in politics to improve our jobs, public education and our communities.
Here’s how it works:
The COPE fund allows us to pool our money together to make politics work for us. Corporations and wealthy donors pour millions of dollars into elections and campaigns to benefit their profits. Through the COPE fund, working people like us have a strong voice to advocate for candidates, laws and policies that support workers, our families and our communities.
Every election, members who contribute to COPE help decide what ballot measures and which candidates to support. Candidates apply for our endorsement, and then members have input and interview candidates on issues that impact our jobs, retirement and other issues impacting our communities.
When the candidates we support win or a measure or policy we support passes, we win. It can mean legislators voting for improving wages and staffing levels, voters supporting a proposition that increases funding for our retirement or passing a law that expands worker rights.
After endorsements are made, members on our Executive Board must approve endorsements and donations to a campaign. In a campaign, our COPE contributions are used for things like voter outreach, social media ads, mailers and other efforts.