Wielding the Tools We Have

Team building.

By Dan McCrory and Keith Bagwell

We can’t strike, but your Community Action Partnership (CAP) is seeking to make a difference politically. We’re behind Congressional efforts to reform copyright law, and support a proposed federal shield law to protect reporters if the U.S. government goes after them to reveal confidential information, including the identity of a source.

There are often friendly candidates at the national level, endorsed by our “parent” union, the United Auto Workers, and others at the local level that our chapters can help get elected or keep in office.

On the copyright front, we want to eliminate costly and unnecessary registration requirements. We want small-claims court to deal with payment disputes freelancers often face. And we want automatic reversion of rights if an original licensee has disappeared for a length of time.

With regard to shield laws, many states have them, but they’re uneven, and several states have no laws at all. A good federal statute is needed to protect us if the government comes a knocking.

Chapter members can and should speak with their members of Congress in their home offices, and seek support on these issues, particularly regarding active copyright reform.

Campaign work for labor-friendly candidates can take many forms, all of which are helpful and important: Walking precincts, calling voters, lending a hand in the campaign office, and planting your candidate’s signs can all help good people get elected.

Depending on where chapters are located, it can be most productive to work with the region’s labor campaign, a local political party organization, or with good candidates’ campaign teams.

NWU’s CAP committee keeps track of the UAW’s Community Action Program (its political-action branch), including endorsements and strategies. We’re ready to help and to advise chapters that choose to lobby local elected officials or work on candidates’ campaigns.

Dan McCrory, writingbiz@yahoo.com and Keith Bagwell, kbagwell50@gmail.com were elected CAP co-chairs at the 2015 Delegates Assembly. Please contact us for any assistance you need. We’ll keep you informed about NWU’s political issues and campaigns.

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