DC 37 Activists Visit Philadelphia to Get-Out-the-Vote for Clinton

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Local 154 member Vanessa Tirado, always ready to participate in the union’s political activities, joined two busloads of DC 37 activists who traveled over the weekend for a get-out-to-vote campaign in Philadelphia. (Photo by Clarence Ellie-Rivera)

By ALFREDO ALVARADO

National polls are showing Hillary Clinton pulling away in her race for the White House by as many as a dozen points. But the former secretary of state and her union supporters are taking nothing for granted.

Clinton reached out to voters in Raleigh, N.C., over the weekend while DC 37 activists joined a get-out-vote blitz to make sure she wins in Pennsylvania, where DC 37’s parent union–the American Federation of State and County Employees–is carrying a major GOTV campaign.

Two busloads of activists from District Council 37 left their union headquarters in lower Manhattan early Saturday morning and headed for Philadelphia for a day of knocking on doors to make sure everyone gets to the polls on Nov. 8.

After two hours on the road, the buses pulled into the parking lot of the Working America headquarters on Germantown Avenue. Working America is a group of activists affiliated with the AFL-CIO and has been busy coordinating canvasing efforts throughout the city in support of Clinton and U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty.

DC 37 Political Action Director Jeremy John handed out assignments and volunteers picked up their campaign literature and ponchos to protect them against the steady drizzle. The union activists then paired off and were taken in vans to their assigned neighborhoods.

Retiree Enovia Bedford went door-to-door in West Oak Lane in North Philadelphia, a community of private two-story homes. Several homes in the neighborhood had Clinton-Kaine placards on their lawns, and Bedford came across some residents who had already voted. “That’s a good sign,” she said.

Vanessa Tirado, a member of Local 154, also made the trip to Philadelphia. Tirado, a Claims Examiner who works in the New York City  Office of Comptroller, lives in Orange County and commutes two hours every day to her job in the city. But a two-hour commute from her home to Manhattan and then a two-hour bus trip to Philadelphia on a rainy Saturday morning wasn’t a problem for the Bronx native.

“There’s too much at stake,” said Tirado, who has taken a lot of canvasing trips with the union and is also active in her community. Tirado said one of her trips was to Connecticut and New Hampshire.

And the following day on Sunday morning Tirado planned to go door to door again, this time in her suburban neighborhood on behalf of a Democratic Party candidate who is running in her district.

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