June 6, 2008 Volume 109 Number 11

Obama wins Oregon Democratic primary

Change to Win members across Oregon waged an aggressive grassroots effort to help push Barack Obama to victory over Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton in the May 20 primary election. Obama captured 59 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 41 percent.

The Change to Win labor federation endorsed Obama earlier this year, while the national AFL-CIO was neutral in the primary. That, however, didn’t stop several international unions from making endorsements and promoting their favorites.

AFL-CIO affiliates supporting Obama included the Boilermakers; Plumbers and Fitters; Utility Workers Union; the International Longshore and Warehouse Union; and the American Federation of Government Employees.

Oregon AFSCME Council 75 also endorsed Obama, even though its international union campaigned for Clinton.

Change to Win affiliates endorsing Obama were United Food and Commercial Workers, the Teamsters, UNITE HERE, and the Service Employees International Union.

According to Change to Win, it has 80,000 members in Oregon.

“Change to Win members and volunteers pushed Sen. Barack Obama to victory in the Beaver State, bringing him the majority of pledged delegates and within reach of clinching the Democratic nomination for the president of the United States of America,” said Executive Director Greg Tarpinian. “Now it’s time for the Democratic Party to unite together for victory in November and bring the change working families need.”

Tarpinian, who will be leaving the federation July 6 to return to the New York-based Labor Research Association, said its volunteers made more than 150,000 phone calls; knocked on nearly 30,000 doors targeting areas in North/Northeast and Southeast Portland, and Gresham; sent hundreds of thousands of direct mail pieces to Democratic households; helped manage get-out-the-vote staging locations in Portland and Tigard; and conducted member-to-member education efforts at worksites throughout the state.


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