WASHINGTON - November 6 - The AFL-CIO and ACORN’s campaign to raise the minimum wage will be driving voters to the polls in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Ohio on Tuesday.
But the two organizations are also going all-out to give low and moderate income voters in key states across the country extra incentive to get out and vote in the mid-term elections.
The minimum wage ballot initiatives, while drawing wide, bi-partisan support, have also expected to be a particularly popular motivator for increased voter turn-out in low-income communities. New voter registrations are already skyrocketing: ACORN alone helped more more than 540,000 low-income and minority people register to vote in 2006. Polls show that 88 percent of all Americans support increasing the minimum wage and that voter support for the ballot measures is up over 70 percent in all six states with referenda.
Since Saturday, more than 100,000 union volunteers from the AFL-CIO and its affiliates, including volunteers from the labor federation’s community affiliate, Working America, have made a last round of worksite contacts, walking precincts and making phone calls to an estimated 2.6 million union voters.
Thousands of ACORN volunteers and canvassers also knocked on doors last weekend in an effort to complete the organization’s goal of knocking on 2.15 million doors and engaging 699,735 low- and moderate-income, minority, young and single working women voters.
To ensure the success of this year’s slate of minimum wage raise referenda, ACORN and AFL-CIO National Minimum Wage Raise Campaign leaders, volunteers, and canvassers are also walking door-to-door in low-income communities, phone-banking, and canvassing in the six minimum wage states through Election Day:
· Minimum wage raise canvasses will be conducted across the entire state of Ohio . · Friday morning in Columbus, members of the faith-based community will hold a press conference to endorse the minimum wage increase.
· In Cleveland, volunteers will work at phone banks on Election Day.
· Small business owners in St. Louis, MO are joining local ACORN chapters to support the minimum wage initiative.
· In Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, canvassers will spread out through neighborhoods every night through Election Day.
· Over the weekend in Denver, Colorado canvassers will head out early to door knock and speak to community members.
· Phoenix, Denver, and Cleveland will be hosting minimum wage raise Election Day watch parties.
· On the Internet, the ACORN and AFL-CIO video blog is reaching new voters at www.sevendaysatminimumwage.org.
The vBlog has already drawn 40,000 viewers to YouTube to watch interviews with seven full-time workers struggling to survive on or near the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.