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labor Labor Organizations and Progressive Groups Team Up For Organizing Effort in PA

The campaign to defeat President Donald Trump has begun from a coalition of labor unions and progressive organizations in Pennsylvania.

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The campaign to defeat President Donald Trump has begun from this coalition of labor unions and progressive organizations in Pennsylvania. 

Organizing Together 2020, which describes itself as a “community-based, volunteer-driven organizing campaign,” that consists of a number of labor unions and progressive organizations, has selected Pennsylvania as one of their six target states for the 2020 presidential election. 

The group, who officially launched their campaign via a zoom call earlier this month, said that they plan on being present in each corner of the state in their effort to one term Trump. 

“Good organizing takes time, so that’s why Organizing Together 2020 Pennsylvania is getting started in every corner of the Commonwealth this spring,” said Ashley McBride, State Lead for Organizing Together 2020 Pennsylvania. “From Philadelphia to Scranton to Erie County, we’re going to have a presence across all 67 counties so Pennsylvanians can get started volunteering, training and learning today. In this fight, we don’t have a single day to waste.” 

A source familiar with the group’s thinking said that they will be spending at least $2 million in their Pennsylvania specific effort of reaching voters. 

The Republican National Committee said that the organization’s effort will not resonate with Pennsylvanians for the upcoming election.

“Voters in Pennsylvania aren’t interested in turning the clock back to failed socialist policies,” said RNC Spokesperson Michael Joyce. “Pennsylvanians want four more years of President Trump’s promises made, promises kept.”

In addition to McBride, who will serve as the State Lead for Organizing Together 2020, several of the senior staffers for the state and national organization have made a name for themselves in Pennsylvania politics. 

Jane Slusser, former chief of staff to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, is Organizing Together 2020’s national director. Amanda Green-Hawkins, a former lawyer with the United Steelworkers and one of the Democratic candidates in 2018 for Pennsylvania Superior Court, serves as the organization’s Pennsylvania state chair. Silas Russell, Vice President and Political Director of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, which is the state’s largest union of healthcare workers, is a Senior Advisor for Organizing Together 2020’s Pennsylvania operation. Victoria Perrone, who served as the Pennsylvania Operations Director on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign as well as Deputy Compliance Director for Gov. Tom Wolf’s campaign in 2014, will be the Operations Director for Organizing Together 2020’s Pennsylvania operation. 

Other key hires highlighted in a release from the organization, with some that have campaign backgrounds in Pennsylvania, include Alfred Eze, as the state’s Organizing Director, Nandi O’Connor as the state’s Digital Director, Nate Smith as the state’s Data Director, Meghan Blickman as the state’s Training Director, and Brandon Chaderton as the Human Resources Director. 

According to a release from their official Pennsylvania launch, 24 different labor groups and progressive organizations were apart of their first round of “state partners” including AFSCME District Council 13, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), PA United, Latino Victory Fund, LGBTQ Victory Fund, Planned Parenthood Votes, and more. 

While the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the group holding off on in-person gatherings and voter contact, they have already begun training and mobilizing volunteers from their homes.