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AFL-CIO PAC Workers' Voice Gives Activists Keys to the Coffer

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 26 2012

The AFL-CIO's new political action committee, Workers' Voice, sent an email to supporters today asking them to sign up for a web platform that promises to reward action with the chance to have a say in how the PAC spends its money.

Right now, the action platform asks for an email address and some survey information — do visitors think they should earn points for canvassing door-to-door, or making phone calls to voters; should the PAC spend money on ads or on voter registration — but digital director Tim Tagaris says it will soon be replaced with the platform proper.

The Workers Voice site will give users the ability to form groups — by worksite, geography, friends, and so on, Tagaris said in an email — to aggregate their efforts. Members will earn "dollars" or "points" for every action they take; the more action, Tagaris wrote in an email, the more spending power each person will have.

"Every election cycle, millions of activists get involved as part of the political process," Tagaris wrote in an email. "They knock on doors, make phone calls, attend rallies, and register people to vote. We want to empower them beyond those activities by giving people a real seat at the table. Giving individuals or groups the ability to spend money based on their participation in a political organizing program is something that I don't think anyone has ever done. Points and badges, sure, but not the ability to direct funds to generate more activism."

The platform promises to let people also direct PAC resources in support of local campaigns and labor actions.

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