We’ll it probably won’t shock anyone on this blog to hear that I’m running for state Auditor. I’ve formed a campaign committee and we’ve launched a drive to get 5,000 signatures by August 1.
My bid for Auditor is timed to take advantage of the Ballot Freedom initiative, that has been greeted with a mixed reception here, but is supported by many union members, people of color and others who feel taken for granted by politicians and left behind by economic growth that seems to mainly benefit the rich.
For years I’ve been saying that corporate tax giveaways and privatization schemes have wasted scarce resources and not delivered the full-time jobs or quality public services that working families should have. So if elected (highly unlikely, but I’ll give it my best), my top priority will be to use the office of Auditor to get government to be more aggressive about holding big corporations accountable for the good jobs that our communities need.
Beyond that, I’m also running to build support for a new Working Families Party here in Massachusetts that will refocus the political agenda on the bread-and-butter economic issues that both major political parties have too often ignored.
We decided to run a candidate in this election because the Mass Ballot Freedom Campaign (www.massballotfreedom.com) has gathered enough signatures for a November referendum to allow cross-endorsement voting.
For those of you that don’t know me, I’ve worked as a union organizer and labor communicator for more than twenty-five years, most of it in Massachusetts. In the early 1990s, I helped to form the community-labor coalition Jobs with Justice. As founding director, I organized broad coalition efforts to support legislation for universal health care and against international trade deals like NAFTA, GATT, and the WTO.
I eventually moved on to a job in Washington, DC working for the Teamsters union. There among other things, I coordinated communications during national contract negotiations and a 15-day strike at United Parcel Service in 1997. The Teamsters rocked!
More recently, I worked for the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment on a campaign to oppose the Bush Administration’s plan to privatize Social Security. I was responsible for building actions across the country exposing the conflict of interest created by the financial services industry’s support for privatizing Social Security while it managed trillions of dollars in worker’s retirement assets. Too bad the AFL-CIO split apart, it was a really fun job.
Currently, I’m the organizing director of IUE-CWA Local 201, a union of General Electric and other manufacturing workers in Lynn, MA. I’ll be taking a leave of absence to run for Auditor.
I’ve spent a most of my life fighting for the rights of working people all across the state. My decision to run now is not some symbolic effort â it’s about advancing political reforms in Massachusetts so that working families will benefit more from economic growth.
I hope folks in the blogosphere will consider supporting our campaign. For a more information, please contact the Wilson for Working Families Campaign at 617 623-8405 or Rand at mindspring.com.