Texas election effort started

DALLAS, Texas – North Texans aren’t waiting for Labor Day to work on the November elections. Student and community coalitions are laying their plans for voter registration drives beginning in August. The Dallas AFL-CIO began making yard signs for labor-endorsed candidates on July 10. By the beginning of August, they had already put almost 30,000 signs together.

Union activists gather at the old United Auto Workers’ hall in East Dallas every Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. and every Saturday morning. They plan to continue twice-weekly “parties” well into September.

They form their own assembly line. The printed signs are folded at one station. At another, they put a pointed stick about 4 feet long between the folds. Then they put in several staples, then add several nails.

Inside the old union hall, which was originally a grocery, all the walls are lined with stacks of completed union signs. In September, volunteers will begin putting those signs into yards all over North Texas.

Most of the unions in North Texas are represented on the makeshift assembly line. Usually, about 40 people volunteer for every session. One “regular” is Matt Parker, who is a student with no union affiliation. He is part of a group starting a student/labor coalition at the University of North Texas in Denton, 30 miles above Dallas.

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org