The GEO’s upcoming General Membership Meeting may spark controversy with a proposal to allow the union to endorse political candidates.
Last week, Officer-at-Large Natalie Havlin submitted two proposed by-laws to the GEO’s constitution. These proposals, distributed through the GEO’s listserve to its members, would authorize the union to endorse political candidates and sposor social issue campaigns. “The GEO is a socially-progressive organization whose membership has seldom shied away from tough issues,” said Bryan Nicholson, Communications Officer. “At previous GMM’s, our membership has taken stances in opposition to the war in Iraq and Chief Illiniwek. The GEO also has a long record of supporting causes ranging from access to emergency contraception and immigrant rights.”
However, if the membership were to authorize the GEO to endorse candidates on October 4th, it might prove an important factor in the tight race for the 103rd State Assembly seat currently held by Democrat Naomi Jakobsson. GEO member Thomas Mackaman, running on a Socialist Equity Party platform, has challenged Jakobsson and Republican candidate Deborah Feinen. In such a close contest, a GEO endorsement of any of the contenders could help decide the race.