Guest post from former AFSCME Council 61 political director Marcia Nichols.

Endorsing a presidential candidate is not a decision I take lightly. However, when we’re facing the most consequential election of our lifetimes, I think it’s incredibly important that we get this decision right. Which is why I have decided to support Cory Booker for President in 2020.

We all know that Cory is an inspirational candidate, but it’s the work that he does behind the scenes that made the difference for me. Not only does he believe in the Democratic Party and their mission to stand up for working people and labor rights, but he steps up both financially and personally to elect Democrats to office.

Whether it’s a special election in Black Hawk County, supporting newly elected member of the Iowa legislature, or standing up for the Iowa Democratic Party and its activities – Cory Booker is there!

As many of you know, this is not my first rodeo with the Iowa Caucuses. I’ve seen caucus operations flame out and others rise from the ashes cycle after cycle. That’s why I’m confident in saying that, informed by his unique focus on party building, Cory has built a highly competitive organization in this state – one that understands the ins and outs of a successful caucus campaign. They recognize that it’s not just about big rallies and TV ads – that small, personal moments with Iowans build relationships and trust.

Without much prompting, Cory knocked on the door of my 89-year-old mother in Knoxville, IA, listened to her concerns, took pictures with her and won her over as a supporter! It may not have been a rally or a speech in front of hundreds of Iowans, but he won over a woman who prefers talking to texting on the phone, still writes letters, and attends Church frequently.

This is what the Iowa Caucus is known for, the face-to-face contact for Iowans. We need to meet voters where they are, and while it’s incredibly important that campaigns follow Cory’s lead and innovate in the digital space, they should also take note of how they’re engaging with voters offline, especially seniors, about issues and their concerns in a way they can understand. Cory Booker does just that.

And it’s Cory’s ability to authentically connect and engage with caucus-goers on the issues that matter to them that’s really his secret weapon in this race.

As a college athlete and Rhodes Scholar, he has the ability to reach out to young voters with a message of leadership and hard work. Recently, he sent a message to my nephew encouraging him to pursue his athletic abilities and his academic excellence, then use those experiences to hone his leadership skills among his peers. What a positive message in what is, currently, such a negative political environment.

I think one of the reasons he’s so successful in connecting with people is that what you see is what you get with Cory. He walks the walk, living in a community that houses residents teetering on the edge of homelessness and extreme poverty. He sees how the epidemic of gun violence scars communities for decades. He will develop policies laser focused on improving the health and well being of every person in our country – including the needs of the food insecure, people who can’t find affordable housing, and communities struggling to keep their streets safe for their kids.

Senator Cory Booker is a thoughtful, brilliant, and upbeat person that is an inspiration to all who meet him. I am proud to be supporting Cory Booker for President.

If you want to hear more from Cory, he’ll be in Iowa for four days this weekend. Find an event near you!

by Marcia Nichols
Posted 5/23/19

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