By Tom Precious
ALBANY – The state’s largest union has turned on its potent political machine to get voters out for today’s statewide casino referendum.
Mario Cilento, the state AFL-CIO president, ordered his union into high gear to spread the word about its backing of Proposition One. In an off-year election, where turnout across most of the state will be low, the political operational support that unions are giving Proposition One could be a key component if the casino expansion plan wins tonight.
The work done by the AFL-CIO does not include other member-to-member outreach efforts by individual unions, such as those representing hotel workers and teachers, who are part of the umbrella labor organization.
The AFL-CIO, which represents 2.5 million public and private sector workers, has done the following:
• Sent 200,000 pieces of mail to a targeted group of unionized voters identified as swayable and likely to vote today;
• Sent another 500,000 mailings in local campaign races around the state that also mention the AFL-CIO’s support of Proposition One;
• Made 300,000 phone calls to union households urging a yes vote;
• Run door-to-door canvassing that, with its computerized phone banking operations, has reached a total of 500,000 union members;
• Handed out literature at worksites;
• Had people all day today at 300 “high volume’’ polling sites in voter-rich New York City, where pre-election polls show the casino plan winning a majority of residents' support.
taggedAlbany | Andrew Cuomo