The stakes for the 2016 election couldn’t be higher – and nowhere is this more true than in Nevada, where a deceptive ballot measure is threatening the future of energy delivery and the job security of IBEW 1245 members.
Our union is up to the challenge, and has already begun mobilizing Organizing Stewards to play a leadership role in order to educate and turn out union members and thier families to vote in the general election.
On Thursday, September 8, Organizing Stewards Rita Weisshaar and Mike Grimm led a training with 19 active and retired IBEW 1245 members from NV Energy and Truckee Meadow Water Authority (TMWA) who will join the Nevada State Federation of Labor to get out the vote this fall.
Question 3, the initiative that would deregulate the electric industry in Nevada and potentially harm our membership, was a key focus of the training. Trainees also reviewed all AFL-CIO endorsed candidates that our members will be working to help elect.
Vote No on Question 3 – Deregulation, Dirty Energy, Job Loss
Deceptively titled “Energy Choice for Nevada,” Question 3 is being bankrolled by anti-union billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Elon Musk, with the support of outgoing Senator Harry Reid, among others. The measure, which aims to amend the state constitution, masquerades as a plan to provide “consumer choice” — but in reality, the backers’ true intention is to allow big casinos and other large corporate enterprises to leave the grid and purchase dirty, cheap energy from the Midwest without paying their fair share of the cost of maintaining the electric delivery system.
If successful, the initiative could potentially force NV Energy to reduce grid maintenance and sell off generation facilities, costing our members both jobs and benefits. In accordance with Nevada state law, all ballot measures that seek to amend the state constitution must be approved by the electorate in two consecutive elections, but our members hope to stop Question 3 in its tracks the first time around.
Member Outreach at the Doors and Worksites
In addition to getting the aerial view of the November elections in Nevada, the Organizing Stewards also received training on door-to-door canvassing and worksite member outreach. AFL-CIO Regional Director Josh Anijar and California Labor Federation Campaign Director Susan Sachen led them through the “do’s” and “don’ts” and informed them about their rights to talk about politics both on and off the job.
Getting Others Involved
The only way we can successfully defeat the extremely well-funded anti-labor interests is with lots of boots on the ground. The Nevada Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Team, which is comprised of both retirees and active member Organizing Stewards, have already started recruiting other workers and retirees to volunteer nights and weekends to work the phones and knock on doors to get Labor’s message out!
To volunteer and help get out the vote, contact Rita Weisshaar (775) 722-2788.
Mike Grimm, Rita Weisshaar and Eileen Purcell contributed to this report.