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  talking with CATHY HACKETT  
DW: Early one evening I listened to the ACORN volunteers 'debriefing' around a large table after a day of walking. It was not only record keeping, that sort of thing, but great mutual encouragement and sharing of the day's adventures. They were an inspiring group.
Theresa Villasenor (sec/bookkeeper, central labor council) and her children smelling the flowers.

CH: Without volunteers you must hire people.
Like in the Trethaway campaign, they paid people to drop literature, and paid people to do phone calls.

If you don't have a grass roots campaign, you must have a lot of money to pay people to do all those things our volunteers did so well.

Most of us found the maps of district one's precincts to be especially confusing (the holes maybe?).

However, with paid people you wouldn't have the sense of community, or that people were doing it because they shared an interest in making a change-- a change in government.

In a grassroots campaign the workers, and volunteers, and the candidate share ideas and a platform.

If you get elected you come into the position with that base of support.

What happened in my campaign is that the base of support that we had developed, which was large, did not translate to votes in the election--I think because of the shortness of time we had to campaign, and the difficulty in getting people to vote.

Cathy showing a new piece of campaign literature to Leonard Seitz and Lyle Hintz (both local 1000).

DW: As I recall, on election eve we had gathered well over 3000 promised votes, and if our assumption was correct that around 4000 votes would be cast in the election, I was confident we were going to win.
Nor did we let up. On election day, everyone was out walking or calling, encouraging our voters to vote.

However, late in the afternoon, I was talking with Bill (Camp) and he was worried that we hadn't gotten our vote to the polls.

Perhaps given our time and resources we did as well as it was possible to do.

Bill Watson (local 1000) left, an ACORN volunteer right, FOB volunteer background.

CH: Yeah, I have heard that. I don't know.
I think we will be getting a list of who voted, and can compare it with the list of people who said they would vote for me-- to get a percentage. That would be good information to have.
I think Heather's campaigning for Ray-- her last minute voice message the day before the election where she said that Ray Trethaway is the guy to vote for-- made a difference. Heather had represented that district for eleven years.

So few people voted-- if only they had understood the importance of voting!

Mira Weinstein (SEIU).

As labor unions get more involved in local elections and are able to get their members to the polls they will greatly influence local politics wherever there is a large concentration of union workers, like in Sacramento.

I think in the future we will see that happen.



"It was so great to work on the Hackett Campaign and to support a candidate who spoke from a working class perspective. We need many more such candidates who are grounded in and truly represent the working class."
Ruth Holbrook
Sacramento Central Labor Council


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