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PEP Oct 2012
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Public Employee Press

Coalition building: union reaches out to faith community

DC 37's Political Action and Legislation Dept. has been hitting the streets with an aggressive voter registration campaign to help re-elect President Obama.

Together with the union's Labor, Faith and Community Outreach initiative, the activists visited several churches in Brooklyn and Manhattan to register new voters and explain the new laws that have been passed requiring voter ID. The union launched the voter registration drive in July.

On Aug. 1, activists visited Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Brooklyn, where Sheana Smith from the Political Action Dept. explained to the members how to cast absentee ballots for those who are eligible, and she provided instructions on how to use the new voting machines that have been installed throughout the city. The activists also conducted a question-and-answer session with the church members and encouraged them to reach out to their neighbors, friends and family and ask them to register for November's election.

The union activists also addressed members of the Miracle Pentecostal Church in East Harlem and registered new voters. The last day to register to vote in the general election in November is Oct. 12.

The union's Labor, Faith and Community Outreach Program is a new initiative that was launched in July with two training sessions at the union.

"It's time to tell our story to our friends and neighbors in our churches, mosques, synagogues and temples," said DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts of the new program. "They need to know that our issues are their issues and that the labor movement isn't limited to just union members and our workplaces."

—Alfredo Alvarado

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