Harry Bridges knew that political action could help to maintain the hard-fought gains won by workers. The passage of federal laws under Franklin D. Roosevelt that gave workers the right to collective bargaining, as an example, or the success of Barack Obama in passing the biggest health care reform in more than 40 years shows how important it is to have people in office at every level who understand the needs of working Americans.

LOOKY LOU: State Senator Lou Correa (right) and SCDC delegates at the ILWU booth at a recent California State Democratic party convention.

Each election cycle, delegates of the SCDC look closely at candidates for federal, state and local offices in southern California, issuing endorsements that go to each ILWU Local in the region. The District Council distributes thousands of slate card mailers containing its recommendations to ILWU members. SCDC delegates regularly lead political action for the union, making calls, walking precincts and coordinating outreach to ILWU members.

GETTING IN EARLY: Then-SCDC-President Cathy Familathe (above left) joins ILWU Local 13 PAC Chair Kevin Schroeder, Local 63 President Joe Gasperov and International Vice President (Mainland) Joseph Radisich, Jr. at a January 2007 stop during Barack Obama's "Audacity of Hope" book tour. The ILWU sponsored the Los Angeles visit of the tour, which was seen at the time as Obama's national prelude to declaring his candidacy for the White House.

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