In 2011, the Florida AFL-CIO reinstituted the COPE Action Team program which allowed local unions and individuals to contribute resources to our political mobilization programs but the effort was never aggressively pursued. In years since, campaign finance laws have changed, our political operations have become much more sophisticated and we have learned volumes about how to most effectively operate in the current political climate. We know the resources we need and more importantly, how to use them. It’s time for a new C.A.T.!
The Florida AFL-CIO is re-launching the C.A.T. program to give union members and local unions the best possible outlet for their political advocacy and campaign dollars. Union members work hard for their money and we want to be sure those sacrifices are respected. C.A.T. provides all participants empowerment, accountability, and unity.
Participants in C.A.T. will be funding LABOR’s political program across the state. This program is developed each year with the full participation of our affiliates, their members and their leadership. Contributions to the C.A.T. fund won’t get lost in the rush of big money in traditional campaigns. YOUR money will be used directly to fund YOUR program. You and other members will have the confidence of knowing how the funds are being spent.
When you contribute to a political campaign you surrender those funds to a network of consultants, advisors and vendors. You have no say in how the funds are spent. When you contribute to C.A.T. you know exactly who to call because this is your movement and your plan!
Labor’s political program in Florida has been more unified that at any other time in our state’s history. We have a great program that has only been limited by our resources. Joining C.A.T. ensures we have the funds we need to take our unity to the next level. We have the tools and the experience. With your help we will have the resources.
In the past, the C.A.T fund was a separate account held by the Florida AFL-CIO and contributions to this fund could be used for a wide variety of purposes. Legally, the resources were still considered part of the State Federations General Fund. In 2011, over concerns about transparency and accountability the resources in this fund were designated to be used for membership field activities. Contributions to the new C.A.T will be deposited directly into the Florida AFL-CIO’s political committee which is regulated by the State of Florida. This allows the Florida AFL-CIO to use these funds in the furtherance of the shared political goals of our affiliates and Florida’s Labor Movement as a whole while providing for the highest level of transparency. This changes allows local unions, political committees and individuals to join and make contributions.