Receiving the AFL-CIO endorsement is an honor and privilege that comes about only after the completion of a lengthy process in which every level of the AFL-CIO has an opportunity to participate.
Before you begin the process of endorsement or recommendations for endorsement, you may want to utilize some resources available to you through the state level (PA) AFL-CIO and/or the National AFL-CI0). They regularly keep track of the votes of our elected officials on key issues of importance to labor and rate them based on how often they support us in actions(votes). They also send questionnaires to the various candidates seeking their answers to questions about issues of importance to labor. The answers provided by the candidates should give us an idea of their understanding of our issues and an idea if we could anticipate their support on those issues. We would recommend that you download this information and copy it so each of your members of your committee have this prior to meeting. Don't underestimate the value of the interview process, body language often speaks volumes. The interview process gives you a chance to ask any additional questions you may have that are not on the AFL-CIO questionnaire, too.
It is my understanding that Central Labor Councils have the ability to make endorsements only when, the decisions of the official being elected can impact only the residents within your jurisdiction. let me give you a couple examples: Dog Catcher in a municipality, School Board Member (School Board Director), or County Commissioner. You must review your Constitution and confirm the voting requirements for either an endorsement at your local level or a recommendation for endorsement at a higher level(Generally that requirements is a 2/3 two-thirds majority).
**Remember when considering a candidate for The House or Senate at a state level or a Congressperson at the national level even if they are elected solely by the registered voters in your jurisdiction, the laws or decisions they make can affect people across our state or nation and therefore in those races you can only make a recommendation for endorsement. **
Any race that the elected official can make a law or decision that can impact residents outside of your jurisdiction your Central Labor Council can only make a recommendation for endorsement to their state level AFL-CIO.Please don't think your opinions or recommendations are not important and use that as an excuse not to become involved in the political endorsement process. Nothing could be further than the truth. The state level AFL-CIO weighs very heavily the recommendations of the Central Labor Councils when they meet to discuss their endorsement for state races and federal races. If you do not meet and make your recommendations for endorsement you give up your right for a voice in the process. We urge every Central Labor Council to take part in the political endorsement process.
The Central Labor Councils and Area Labor federations shall support the action of the national AFL-CIO on candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States, and the state AFL-CIO's actions on candidates for the state legislature, for delegates to a State Constitutional Convention, the U.S. House of Representatives, The U.S. Senate, Governor and all statewide offices and ballot issues.No central body shall make any endorsement, direct or implied, with respect to any of the offices discussed in this paragraph. The Central Labor councils should become an active participant in the endorsement process and make their recommendations to the (PA) state AFL-CIO.
Your recommendations for endorsement in either the Primary Election or General Election should be sent to the PA AFL-CIO in advance of their meeting for determination of any Endorsements.
It is recommended that you hold a "Candidates Forum" or "Meet the Candidates Night" for the members of your affiliated local unions their families and friends. By inviting them to the Central Labor Council Candidates Forum you build solidarity and give them an opportunity to meet the candidates, increase your political influence, and offer them some education on issues of importance.