A Day in the Life of a Culinary Union Political Organizer: Carmela

A day in the life of: Carmela

Carmela Perez’s day starts out with a quick check-in with the political team, thoughts are shared on the upcoming local and national elections.  Carmela listens to the political updates as she enjoys her bagel and coffee. 

Lots of energy will be needed for the day ahead, but Carmela is no stranger to canvassing.  She worked with the Culinary Union on the Ruben Kihuen primary campaign for Congressional District 4 this past spring.  Carmela works as a dishwasher at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino where she is also a shop steward.

Carmela is on a leave–of-absence (LOA) with the political team at the Culinary Union. This will be her 3rd LOA this year, which she says, “I’m very excited to be doing this for my union brothers and sisters,” as she goes over her walk turf for the day.

She knows how important these upcoming elections will be for her and her family.  Once she is done reviewing her turf she prepares her team – her husband Lucio, who is volunteering today and Carlos Cruz, a Culinary Union staff member.  She fills up a cooler full of bottled water and grabs ice then the team heads out onto the Las Vegas streets to canvass for local and national political candidates that have been endorsed by the Culinary Union. 

At each neighborhood stop, Carmela reads the map, plots out the turf, and then decides on a game plan for which doors to hit first.  She walks down the cement sidewalks --which radiates in today’s 100+ heat-- talking to union workers at their home about who will they be supporting on Election Day.

She goes door-to-door of union members, Democrats, and Republicans, to talk about why it’s so important to support political candidates who will fight for working families on November 8, 2016.  Carmela reminds voters: Because Nevada is a swing state in the presidential election, their votes will be very important.

At each door, Carmela greets the voter with a smile and, “Good morning, sweetie.” She explains to union brother and sisters why it’s so important to vote in this election, hands them a few pieces of political literature, then she is on her way to next home down the street.

The day started with a light cool breeze, but as she heads back to the Culinary Union for the daily check-in, the sun is blazing hot and her cooler of ice is completely melted.

This will be one of many canvassing projects of this election season, but with just days to go, every hour makes a difference.

ELECTION DAY: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

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