Wisconsin State AFL-CIO (Milwaukee and Madison)

The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO has its headquarters at 6333 West Blue Mound Road in Milwaukee.  There are over 400,000 union members in Wisconsin. 

Nationally the AFL-CIO has eight desks, each responsible for two battleground states.  Tanya Bjork, the AFL-CIO desk coordinator for Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, started in October 2003; she is a former Assembly Democratic Caucus director.  Working out of the AFL-CIO office at 2158 Atwood Avenue in Madison, Bjork said the AFL-CIO has organized state into five zones--Western, Madison, Milwaukee/Southeast, Fox Valley/Central and Green Bay--each with one paid staffperson. 

Bjork described a "very aggressive program" of member-to-member communications.  "Union members talking to union members...it really works," she stated.  "You automatically have a connection."  "We don't tell our members how to vote," Bjork said.  "What we try to do is educate our members."  In addition to communicating with members at the workplace, in June the AFL-CIO kicked off a door-to-door program, with members going out each weekend in eight cities (Milwaukee, Racine, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Oshkosh, Appleton, Madison and La Crosse).  The AFL-CIO is also making a significant effort to target swing members.

(Below) In the Madison AFL-CIO office, Jon Lipshutz (Zone 2-Madison) uses a scanner to enter walk sheet information, while Steve Kwaterski (Zone 3-Green Bay)shows a typical folder.  According to the folder's cover, in Green Bay 1, in the area of West De Pere, they have identified 68 union members in 41 union households; 15 of them are swing.  (more)

Copyright © 2004 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.