The Executive Board of the Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28 on Sunday (Jan. 10) adopted a motion to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) for the nomination of the Democratic Party for U.S. president.
The national union, AFSCME, endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October but grassroots support for Sanders has always been high amongst Federation members and Sunday’s action reflects the homegrown perspectives.
Sanders, Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley all actively sought the national endorsement. Both the national AFSCME endorsement of Clinton and the Federation’s endorsement of Sanders show a commitment to the future, not fear, distortion or demagoguery.
That said, the Federation board’s endorsement of Sanders has a timely and practical effect. The presidential nomination process, like the presidential election itself that still relies on the state-by-state Electoral College system, is a state-by-state process. So national polling numbers are only a snapshot in time and discount the reality that candidates are competing in a series of state-by-state contests spread over several months. A candidate ahead in the national polls now may not be in a few weeks if he or she stumbles in one of the early caucus or primary states.
The Federation board’s action recognizes that reality. It’s a recommendation to members who will participate in the Democratic Precinct Caucuses in Washington state on March 26 and the Washington state Democratic Presidential Primary on May 24 to support Sanders.
What if you don’t support Sanders? The Federation’s members through their elected leaders make informed recommendations for candidates. But whom you support is your decision. That’s why this union also encourages all members to take part in the presidential nomination process – and in this state that means going to a precinct caucus of either party and voting.