Labor Ponders Technology

Labor groups in New York are known for their extensive GOTV operations, and now, like many elected officials and political organizations, are looking to get the message out by embracing technology.

During the annual convention today, communication directors for a number of New York City labor groups are meeting to figure out how to use technology to push their agendas–more than emailing their supporters and inviting feedback on issue-oriented web sites.

The panel is called “Uploading and Downloading Labor’s Message.” The convention is taking place at the headquarters of AFM Local 802, located at 322 West 48th Street. It started at 9:30 and goes until 4:30.

Here are the details, from an email about the event that one attendee shared with me:

The NY Metro Labor Communications Council is holding its annual convention on Friday, June 5. Ellie Spielberg will be receiving the council’s most valuable award, the Mary Heaton Vorse Award, for her feature article “Sister Act” (congratulations, Ellie!). The panel topics are below. I’d like to encourage people to attend, though it falls at the midpoint of our final two-week newspaper cycle so if you are on the NY Teacher staff, your writing assignments come first. The web team will have to put out a chapter leader update and carry out any other online duties that come up that day.


That being said, please let me know by 5 p.m. tomorrow if you would be interested in attending and I’ll see who we can spare. If we register you, you should arrive at the convention site (AFM Local 802, 322 W. 48th Street) by 9:30 a.m. at the latest and stay until 4:30 p.m.

Morning Panel: “Opportunities for Labor in a Time of Crisis.” Panelists will focus on moving labor’s agenda through the Obama administration by providing their own historical, economic and political perspectives. Confirmed participants on the panel are: Fred Azcarat, director, AFL-CIO Voice @ Work; William Tabb, Professor Emeritus, Queens College, City University of New York; and Trudy Goldberg, Chair, Na t i o n a l J o b s fo r A l l Coalition. The moderator is Lou Gordon, BALCONY.

Afternoon Workshop: The title is “Uploading and Downloading Labor’s Message.” Panelists will explore the role of new technology in Labor’s efforts to maintain ties with their members and to mobilize, both in their own ranks and more broadly. Confirmed participants include: social media consultant Deanna Zandt; journeyman steamfitter Joe Welsh (Joe’s Union Review); Communications Associate Jessica Ramos (SSEU Local 371); and Executive Producer Frank Emspak (Workers Independent News). The moderator is Richard Negri, IBT e-activist.

Labor Ponders Technology