If you are a current union member who wants to represent a pro labor agenda in public office this is the program for you.  If you have never seriously considered running for office, but it’s crossed your mind from time to time and you want to learn more, this is also the school for you.

“Working people in Oregon can’t sit back and hope that elected officials will understand their issues.  Our laws are better when Oregonians of every background are involved in writing them.  That’s something I saw clearly in the State Legislature, and it’s even more clear to me in Washington, D.C. where there aren’t leaders from enough walks of life to fully understand the struggles many Oregonians face.  That’s why the Oregon Labor Candidate School is so important: it gives middle class Oregonians, working people, the background they need to run for office and strengthen our state.” - Senator Jeff Merkley

Why should union members run for office? 

OLCS  encourages union members to run for office because union members understand the day to day issues that impact working families in Oregon.  Union members are committed to improving our state and expanding our middle class. You bring a vital perspective to public decision-making. Union members across the country serve in a range of elected positions from school boards, city and county offices to statewide offices and congress.  You can too.

Union members make good political candidates because they:

  • are knowledgeable about policies that impact working families.
  • understand social problems and are committed to economic justice.
  • understand how policies affect individuals and communities.

Union members run for public office because they:

  • are passionate about an issue or cause.
  • realize they are just as capable as many officeholders.
  • see the opportunity to make changes on a broader scale.
  • want to provide leadership to improve their community.