The Most Important Thing Happening in Tallahassee

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We bet that you don’t know that one of the most important things going on in Tallahassee during Legislative Session is the Working Family Lobby Corps.

That’s right, the WFLC.

Every year, hundreds of workers and their family members participate in the WFLC to bring their concerns directly to their legislators. Without the WFLC, the issues we care about would not be heard and bad legislation would pass with little resistance. No doubt about it, the WFLC is a powerful force in halls of the Capitol in Tallahassee.

The members of the WFLC are constituents from unions, community organizations, friends, students and retirees who truly make a difference by holding elected officials accountable for their votes. All too often, public officials seem removed from the people who voted for them and fail to work on their behalf. Unlike paid lobbyists who must register, these activists can tell their personal stories directly to the legislator who will vote on the issue. These advocates augment the work of paid lobbyists by being the voice and the conscience of voters back in the district. It gives their arguments the weight of public opinion and puts real faces on the outcome of legislation.

Each participant joins the WFLC for a few days, or a week, and the experience is structured to make it as easy as possible for you to meet with and let your legislator know your thoughts on the issues affecting your family. The WFLC gives each participant vital information on bills pending before the Legislature, background information on the issues and everything else you may need to know to be an effective citizen lobbyist.

Kenny Blankenship, President of the United School Employees of Pasco, AFT 3600, enthusiastically endorsed the WFLC. “The Working Family Lobby Corps experience is great because I get to interact with union brothers and sisters from the Trades and other disciplines that I don’t normally get the opportunity to work with, and learn about the issues that affect them.  As a teacher, I believe it is important to know those issues and be able to integrate them with the issues faced by educators when and where appropriate. The Briefings at the Florida AFL-CIO are important for all of us to understand where the legislature is moving and to plan and strategize for meetings with our legislators.”

More citizen involvement, not less, is needed in Tallahassee to ensure the voices of the people are heard over the money of paid lobbyists. If you would like to join the WFLC for a week during Legislative Session which runs from March 3, 2015 thru May 1 , 2015, please contact Phyllis Garret at pgarret@flaflcio.org or 850-224-6926. You do not need to be a member of a Labor Union to join the WFLC, just have a willingness to speak to your elected officials about issues affecting working families.

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