Will Union Workers Deliver Nevada For Biden?


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L.Folks, the air quality is in the red zone today. The EPA says people with lung or heart problems should avoid prolonged outdoor activities. “

That was J. R. de Vera, one of two directors of UNITE-HERE! independent editions Campaign to elect Biden and Harris in Reno, Nevada. UNITE-HERE! is a union that represents 300,000 workers in the hospitality industry – this world of hotels and bars, restaurants and caterers. Ninety percent of its members are now fired because Donald Trump botched the Covid-19 pandemic, and many are excited about the chance to get him out of the White House.

“Some of you would like to stay in your hotel rooms today and talk on the phone,” continues JR. Fifty faces fall into the 50 small zoom fields on my laptop screen. Advertisers would much rather speak to voters at their doors than call them through a telephone bank. Nevertheless, here in the burning, smoking West, the union is as committed to the health and safety of its own people as it is to pull Trump out of office. So for a lot of them it will be phone calls.

My own job doesn’t change much from day to day. Despite living in San Francisco, I came to Reno to do back room logistics in the cavernous warehouse of a union campaign office: ordering supplies, processing refunds, and occasionally helping the data team map the areas our recruiters need to go.

Our field campaign is just one of several campaigns the union is running in key states. We’re also in Arizona and Florida and just started door-to-door sourcing in Philadelphia last week. Social media, television commercials, mass mail, and phone calls are important elements in any modern day election campaign, but none of them are a substitute for face-to-face conversations with voters.

We have been in Reno since the beginning of August and until last week we had the only field campaign in the state supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. (Just recently our success with secure campaigns encouraged the Democratic Party to begin There’s a basic game of its own here and elsewhere.) We know exactly how many doors to knock on, how many Biden voters we need to identify, how many of them we need to convince in order to create a specific voting plan, and how many we do have to drop out of the vote during Nevada’s two-week primary to win here.



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