DALLAS - "Don't be a goat, early vote!" was the slogan on handheld signs at a voter rally on the first day of early voting in Texas. The event was organized by the legislative committee from Local 6215 of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Protesters marched about a mile from the AT&T offices to the Records Building, the main downtown voting site, at noon on October 18. There, they were joined by CWA members from other locals, along with auto, transit, and food and commercial workers. Present also was a smattering of non-union members from the new North Texas One Nation Coalition. Three television cameras, one English and two Spanish, awaited them. Photographers and radio interviewers also captured union activist Herb Keener as he challenged all Texans to work on voter turnout during the 11 days of early voting and on November 2nd.
State Representative Roberto Alonzo spoke to reporters in English and Spanish. He predicted that the trend toward an increasing number of Latino voters will continue this year.
Hundreds of passersby on busy downtown streets saw the colorful group. Most of the CWA members wore bright red T-shirts with such slogans as "I know who my Congressman is, do you?" When the TV cameras were panning the crowd, they broke into a chant, "Let's go vote! Let's go vote!" but couldn't resist changing to the more familiar, "Yes we can! Yes we can!"
Unionists have been knocking on doors and phone banking in Texas for weeks. Despite all the doomsday predictions of Republican wins in the corporate media, Texans realize that this election outcome depends on one main concept: turnout!
Photo: Jim Lane