Worker Power is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. We are a multi-racial, multi-generational organization dedicated to preserving democracy and improving the lives of working families across the United States through voter engagement and strategic policy interventions.
Worker Power (formerly CASE - Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy) was launched In Arizona in 2008 when several labor unions and community groups came together to form a new organization to advocate for economic, social, and racial justice for working families.
Our strategy and tactics were modeled on those used by labor and community organizations in the 1990s – particularly UNITE HERE Local 11 – which combined grassroots political campaigns and aggressive workplace organizing to beat back anti-immigration political forces and anti-worker trends in the hospitality industry to transform Los Angeles County into a progressive bulwark for working people in California.
In 2012, Worker Power (at the time, CASE Action Fund) conducted our first partisan electoral campaign, “Adios Arpaio.” In that campaign, we mobilized more than 4,000 volunteers – most of them high-school students – who collected more than 35,000 voter registrations in an effort to unseat the anti-immigrant Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Sheriff Arpaio barely survived that election, but Worker Power and our partner organizations defeated him in 2016.
In 2018, Worker Power led Arizona’s largest independent expenditure field campaign and helped elect Democrats to statewide office for the first time in a decade. Those elected officials included the U.S. Senator Kirsten Sinema and Secretary of State, now Governor Katie Hobbs.
Worker Power made our most significant jump in scale and impact during the 2020 Presidential Elections. While the COVID-19 crisis devastated all industries, it hit especially hard in hospitality, where 90% of workers lost their jobs overnight. Those workers, many of them members of the hospitality union UNITE HERE Local 11 in Arizona and Southern California, had no income, healthcare, or help from our elected leaders. So these cooks, bellmen, dishwashers, housekeepers, and servers became the leaders of Worker Power’s army of students, laid-off workers, and volunteers who fought for our country’s democracy. Prior to that moment, many of us had fought for democracy in the workplace. Now, they were fighting for democracy across the country through voter engagement and education.
In the lead-up to the 2020 general election, Worker Power knocked on 900,000 doors to help elect President Joe Biden and Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona. In Georgia, we knocked on an additional 550,000 doors to flip the U.S. Senate. When few others dared, our workers put on masks, hit the pavement, and turned out the vote.
In 2022, our organizers and canvassers registered more than 10,000 voters and knocked on more than 750,000 doors in Arizona and 300,000 in Georgia, primarily among voters in low-income, BIPOC-dense neighborhoods. We also delivered significant policy victories to ensure that economic development in Arizona’s major cities benefits all residents of those cities equally.
Today, while retaining our strong base of operations and primary commitment to transforming the social and political realities for working families in Arizona, we share our training programs, political field expertise, and community and political organizing model in other areas of the country where our specific approach and core capacity can make a national impact on the living conditions of working-class families across the United States.