2022 COPE Convention

KN95 masks are required at in-person event May 21 at the Machinists District 751 hall in Seattle


The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO — the state’s largest union organization representing the interests of some 600 labor organizations with more than 550,000 members — will hold its 2022 Committee on Political Education (COPE) Endorsing Convention starting at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the Machinists District 751 Hall, 9125 15th Pl. South in Seattle.

It is at this convention that hundreds of delegates representing WSLC-affiliated unions from across the state will vote on endorsements for congressional, statewide, state legislative and judicial candidates, plus state ballot measures.

Also unlike corporations and industry groups — which outspend unions about 24-to-1 on politics — labor’s support doesn’t just come in the form of a check. It comes in the form of volunteers who do household walks, worksite leafleting, and make personal (not automated) phone calls to other voters. Plus, it includes direct mail and other forms of political outreach intended to explain why endorsed candidates and ballot measures have earned labor’s support.


Delegate Information


COVID PROTOCOLS — The 2022 COPE Convention is the WSLC’s first in-person convention since the pandemic began. Recognizing the ongoing danger of COVID-19, we are implementing safety practices to limit the risk for our delegates, alternates, guests and candidates. We anticipate about 300 attendees and we’ll be using color-coded lanyards so folks can share and respect distancing practices. KN95 masks and hand sanitizer will also be provided. Solidarity is about looking out for our fellow worker; in that spirit, attendees must wear KN95 masks covering their nose and mouth indoors at COPE 2022. Attendees who are not willing to wear the appropriate mask will be asked to leave.

Additionally, the WSLC suggests the following precautions. These are NOT requirements, but these steps help protect our labor family and the communities where we live, work, play or pray.

  • Please take a COVID test prior to the event, and if you test positive, please stay home. NAATs (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests) and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing is an option. NAAT results are usually available within a couple of hours while PCR results may take a couple of days. You can call Washington state Department of Health at 833-829-4357 to find a testing location near you. Home tests (antigen tests) will provide results within 15 minutes. Reminder: free home tests are available from USPS and Washington state.
  • If you test positive for COVID soon after the event, please let us know so we can notify attendees that they may have had a COVID exposure. We will not disclose any identifying information about the person who reports that they have tested positive. In case of an exposure at this event, we encourage you to follow CDC guidelines for quarantine.

Note: While the WSLC encourages vaccinations and boosters for all working people, there is no vaccine requirement for attending COPE 2022.


CONVENTION RULES — Here are the WSLC 2022 COPE Convention Rules, as approved by the WSLC Executive Board. They include special COVID protocols and instructions on how convention business will proceed. All delegates are strongly encouraged to read through these rules.


REGISTRATION — All WSLC-affiliated unions were notified about the number of delegates/alternates they can send. If you are interested in representing your union as a delegate or alternate at the WSLC COPE Convention, contact your local union for more information. Online pre-registration has concluded. Any delegates/alternates who did not register in advance can do so on Saturday morning, but MUST HAVE AN OFFICIAL DELEGATE CREDENTIAL FORM signed by an officer of their local union. Please come early to give yourself extra time to register. The registration fee is $125 per delegate. This includes registration, materials, and lunch.

As is customary, the WSLC will be asking for donations to assist with its COPE program. The suggested donation to receive the 2022 COPE button (pictured here) is $20.


TENTATIVE AGENDA (subject to change)

7:30 a.m. — Check-in and registration tables open

8:30 a.m. — Convention convenes. (TVW will be live-streaming the morning session, which will be available to watch live at the WSLC’s Facebook page.)

Opening remarks by WSLC President Larry Brown

Video remarks by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Panel of Congressional incumbents

Panel of Secretary of State candidates

10:00 — BREAK (TVW live-streaming concludes.)

10:15 — Election Strategy and Labor Neighbor — WSLC’s Larry Brown, April Sims and Cherika Carter

11:00 — Registration tables close. Delegates must be registered by 11 a.m. to participate in the afternoon endorsement action.

11:00 — LUNCH BREAK — There will be three food trucks in the parking lot. At check-in/registration, each delegate will receive a meal ticket (included in the registration fee) to use at one of the trucks. There will be some tables set up outside in the parking lot or delegates can eat at their tables in the convention hall.

Noon — Convention reconvenes for debate and action on endorsements. ONLY DELEGATES AND ALTERNATES are permitted in the convention hall for this afternoon session. No guests, no candidates, no campaign staff, no media.

COPE Convention usually adjourns around 3 to 4 p.m., but could run longer depending on the pace of voting. The results of the endorsement action will be posted on the Political Action page of the WSLC website on Saturday night.


LABOR NEIGHBORClick here for more information about the WSLC’s Labor Neighbor grassroots political program and a form to volunteer.


The Candidates


Candidates seeking WSLC endorsement participate in a process that includes completing candidate questionnaires and interviews with local unions and regional Central Labor Councils.

CANDIDATE LISTS — Candidates in Washington state had until 4 p.m. Friday, the day before the convention, to file as candidates for public office. Here is the list of candidates for public office — Excel spreadsheet or PDF — who will be considered at the 2022 COPE Convention. This list does not include any of the recommendations of CLCs or the Statewide COPE Committee. This list is also available with Statewide COPE recommendations on the password-protected Candidate Questionnaire page. (See beloe.) A limited number of printed copies of this list will be available to delegates at the beginning of endorsement action.

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES — Registered delegates have received the password to access the Candidate Questionnaire page with all completed questionnaires received by the WSLC. If you are a registered delegate/alternate and don’t have that information, contact us.

CANDIDATE VIDEOS — In addition, many candidates have submitted videos briefly explaining why they are seeking labor’s endorsement. These videos can be found on the WSLC’s Vimeo page.


The Process


Candidates seeking WSLC endorsement participate in a process that includes completing candidate questionnaires and interviews with local unions and regional Central Labor Councils. (Candidates can find questionnaires here. Delegates can email us to receive the link/password to access questionnaires completed by the candidates.)

STATEWIDE COPE — The night before the COPE Convention, the Statewide COPE Committee meets to vote on recommendations to make to the convention body. The Statewide COPE Committee consists of the WSLC’s Executive Officers, members of the WSLC Executive Board, Central Labor Councils, the WSLC Political and Strategic Campaigns Director, and a representative of AFSCME, AFT (includes WSNA), IAM, IBEW, IBT, SPEEA and WEA. This year, Statewide COPE met at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 20 at the Machinist 751 Hall. This committee’s recommendations will serve as the opening motion in each race at Saturday’s convention.

Delegates can download an electronic list of candidates that includes Statewide COPE recommendations. Because Statewide COPE recommendations are privileged information, this version of the candidate list is posted on the password-protected Candidate Questionnaires page. All registered delegates have received the the link/password to access that page. If you are a registered delegate/alternate and don’t have that information, contact us.

ENDORSEMENT ACTION — On Saturday afternoon, the Chair will proceed through each of congressional, legislative, statewide and judicial races under consideration. In each race, the Chair will announce whether Statewide COPE has made a recommendation in the race, and if so, make an opening motion with that recommendation. If there is a second, delegates will then debate or amend the motion under Robert’s Rules of Order. Floor microphones will be set up and marked “FOR” or “AGAINST” the motion, and delegates should get in the appropriate line to speak. At the conclusion of debate, delegates will vote on the motions for each race. A two-thirds majority of is required for WSLC endorsement.

For details on the rules of debate and voting, see the WSLC 2022 COPE Convention Rules and the COPE Rules and Bylaws.




If you have registration questions, email Willa Kamakahi at wkamakahi@wslc.org

If you have questions about the COPE endorsement process, email Cherika Carter at ccarter@wslc.org.