Earning Union Support - National Democratic Training Committee

Earning Union Support

By Elissa McBride
60 min

Course Outline

  • 7 Videos
  • 2 Quizzes
  • 3 Activities
What You Need
  • Your credibility and viability statement (recommended)

What You’ll Learn

  • How to make the most of a union endorsement in your campaign
  • How to develop a prioritized list of unions and contacts whose endorsements your campaign should seek
  • How to deliver a 2–3 minute endorsement pitch to a union representative

Why This is Important

Your campaign can benefit greatly from union endorsements and the support they can provide (like volunteers or donations). But you have to do the work to earn their endorsement, which this course will help you with.

Key Resources

  • Worksheet: “Planning to Earn Union Support” — helps you identify which unions to prioritize

Related Trainings

  • Making the Ask — Craft your credibility and viability pitch that you’ll use here when you draft your pitch to a union
  • Building Your Network — You’ll make a list of all the community members you have a connection to, which you can use to determine if you have any validators who can introduce you to union leaders

Elissa McBride


Secretary-Treasurer, AFSCME

Elissa McBride is Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, which represents 1.6 million workers. She was elected by acclamation by the International Executive Board in March 2017.

McBride joined the labor movement as a member of the United Auto Workers District 65 in 1989. In 1991, she was recruited to the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, a new initiative to expand the ranks of union organizers and grow the labor movement. McBride became the New England organizing director for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers and later directed the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute training program. At the AFL-CIO, she trained hundreds of community activists and organizers to build power in their workplaces by reaching workers one-on-one and moving them to take collective action.

McBride joined AFSCME as the director of the Education and Leadership Training Department in 2001. In this position, she used interactive teaching methods to prepare union members, leaders and staff to lead the labor movement into the future and become more effective champions for equality, justice and dignity on the job.

McBride lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with her daughter, Rosie.