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WASHINGTON, DC, June 28 -- Michael Podhorzer will be the new political director for the 12 million-member AFL-CIO, driving one of the largest independent campaign operations in the country, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka announced today. Podhorzer becomes director after having served at the AFL-CIO as deputy director of the political department since 2005. He came to the AFL-CIO in 1997.
In his new role, Podhorzer will work to advance the labor movement's top political priorities: elevating the issues central to the lives of working families, deepening and expanding participation by union members and other working Americans in winning progressive change, electing candidates who support working people to local, state and national government and holding those leaders accountable once elected.
"There's no one better to direct the political work of the labor movement than Mike Podhorzer," said Trumka. "Mike is both a brilliant strategist and a passionate advocate whose commitment to building political power for working women and men is unrivalled. The rigor and energy he brings to our efforts are exactly what we need to counter the relentless attacks on working families – and union members in particular – financed by Wall Street and legislated by the politicians they elected."
Podhorzer, who was highlighted in a 2010 New York Times magazine article for his analysis and testing of voter mobilization models, pioneered the development of data-driven campaign tactics that were later deployed in the historic 2008 election of Barack Obama. He helped lead a labor program to reach working class voters in the challenging 2010 political cycle, when the program reached 17 million union voters in 26 states and delivered 64 percent of the union vote to endorsed candidates. A life-long activist and agitator, Podhorzer has worked in politics for the last 30 years. As Associate Director of Citizen Action, he managed the organization's extensive electoral activities, including successful congressional, state and local campaigns.
While at the AFL-CIO, Podhorzer helped establish Working America, the community partner of the AFL-CIO which has grown to 3 million members nationwide. He is a founding chair of the Analyst Institute, a clearinghouse for evidence-based best practices in progressive voter contact, and he serves on the Board of Managers for Catalist, which runs a database and data tools for the progressive community.
Contact: Alison Omens (202) 637-5018