In Nevada, for the last 20 years, we have built a political organizing powerhouse, what The New York Times has called a “remarkable turnout operation.” With a base of 140,000 UNITE HERE Culinary Union members and family members, we have made the critical difference in local and statewide races for candidates supporting working people.
In addition to our Las Vegas operation concentrating on where our members live and work, in 2008 we added a program in Reno, where workers have been left behind. As a result of our combined efforts in both cities, Nevada was the only swing state that went Blue against Trump in 2016.
In Arizona we spearheaded a push to oust Joe Arpaio in 2012, and in the process we registered 35,000 new voters, mostly Latinx, and recruited a legion of more than 1,000 high school volunteers. We came back in 2016, having built momentum among a newly energized Latino electorate, and kicked Joe Arpaio—the most racist sheriff in America—out of office. In 2018 we did it again, electing Arizona’s first ever female U.S. Senator and the first Democrat elected to statewide office in over a decade.
In 2016 Trump won Florida by a margin of 1%—120,000 votes of over 9 million cast. Half a million Democrats in South and Central Florida did not vote. We have limitless opportunity in Florida to move voters in counties where our members live and work. If we get out the vote in Florida, just like we have done and will do again in Nevada and Arizona, we can make that critical 1% difference.
In addition, UNITE HERE will run GOTV operations across the country, from California to New England, from the Midwest to the deep South.