1. It's your money. The county commissioners, governor, state treasurer, legislators, president and members of Congress you vote for will decide how much of our wealth to invest in public services and how to fairly share the tax burden.
2. It's your children's education. You elect local and state school board members who set public education policy and budgets that will affect how well prepared your children and grandchildren will be for the future. Decisions by our legislators, governor, members of Congress and president also affect the public schools--and the quality and cost of higher education as well.
3. It's your job. Congress, the president, the governor and your legislators influence what job training is available, minimum wage, pay equity, fairness in hiring, health insurance through your employer, job and pension security, and workplace safety.
4. It's your health care. Action by the governor, legislature and Congress has made health insurance accessible to thousands, but two of ten Americans are still uninsured. Their decisions on Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance laws determine your access to health care.
5. They're your highways. America's population and traffic are growing rapidly. Your county commissioners, legislators, governor and members of Congress decide what highways are needed, what alternatives to highways such as public transit to support, and how to pay the bill.
6. It's your Social Security. The president and your members of Congress decide how much payroll tax you pay, cost of living increases and benefit schedules for your Social Security pension, and what Medicare services you receive and share payment for.
7. You breathe the air and drink the water. Your county, state and national elected officials set pollution standards, enforcement strategies and budgets. They plan and zone where roads and industries will be built and how public lands will be used--decisions that can determine how safe your air and water are.
8. It's your neighborhood. Your elected officials and judges you vote to retain make daily decisions about crime prevention, laws and law enforcement, safe and affordable homes, traffic patterns, where to put schools, parks and recreation.
9. They're our children. We do our best to keep them healthy, fed, safe, educated and cared for when we are at work or unable to provide. The officials you elect can help or hinder American families trying to do their job.
10. It's your democracy. Make it work. Register and Vote.
Question & Answers: COPE
What is COPE?
COPE stands for "Committee on Political Education"
What are COPE donations?
They are voluntary contributions of money that are deducted from members paycheck. The contribution can be any amount. Members have to complete an authorization for payroll deduction form to allow deductions to be made. COPE contributions are not tax deductible.
Where does the money go?
All money is collected into a Political Education Fund. The Fund is approved through the Federal government. The money is conservatively invested and liquid so it is available for immediate use. The fund is audited and a tax report of donations is filed with the law enforcement committee each year.
What is PAC?
It is a Political Action Committee which is made up of the people responsible for making donations. In our Local, the PAC is made up informally of Officers and Business Agents. They are responsible for making the decision of where to make donations. The PAC may ask any member to attend an event on behalf of the Locals interest.
Where does the money go?
There are two separate paths that the money can take. Federal and State Elections. Each has individual contribution and reporting rules.
Federal: Our Local PAC cannot make direct contributions to Federal Candidates. However, our Local PAC can make donations to the IBEW PEC and donations can be made back to NJ from there.
State: The Local PAC can make donations to any Candidate running for any office. Governor, State Senator, Assemblyman, Freeholder, Town Council, Mayor, School Board, ext. The donation amounts are outlined by law.
Who does our Local PAC donate to?
The donations are not party specific. We support any of our members who run for office if they attend the NJ AFL-CIO Labor Candidate School. We also support all IBEW members from other locals who run for office. We support politicians who are FRIENDS to the Local. If they support us, then we will support them. We do not do mass donations.
Why do we need to make PAC donations?
For the Local to have a say, we need a seat at the table. Not cleaning off the dishes, we need a seat! Front row seating at any fundraiser costs money. We need to be represented in Trenton and have our members at political fund raisers so the politicians know we are watching them. When we are present it improves the view and input. It is very hard to change legislation after it is signed into law. Please start or continue to contribute to COPE. Every donation helps.