Wendall was hired in 2004 as a consultant and then political organizer at the Labor Council. He has played a key role in electoral campaigns in eight elections since then, from volunteer recruitment for the Fremont Assembly race to precinct targeting in Oakland City Council special elections to critical coalition building work in the Dellums Mayoral race.
I’d like to highlight his work in 2004’s West Oakland Votes program, where a special satellite office drew 300 volunteer shifts in four final days of get-out-the-vote activity and resulted in strong progressive vote totals on health care and three-strikes ballot measures. Wendall brought together the Black Panthers, Oakland Coalition of Congregations, and union members in a lively, successful operation.
In addition, he helped to develop a Campaign School curriculum that prepared more than 100 activists and staff for East Bay work in presidential and special elections. He maintained tracking databases and spreadsheets for voter contact and volunteer accountability. He analyzed vote history and targeted precincts for outreach efforts. He prepared communications via electronic, print and desktop publishing media.
His direct organizing experience has benefited the Council by expanding relationships with partners and allies, as well as enforcing a systematic and methodical approach to field operations.
He was a key strategist and organizer on issue campaigns like the San Leandro Living Wage fight, which took two years – and new faces on the City Council – to bear fruit. He worked with policy consultants to draft and review language, community residents to host outreach meetings and engage elected leaders, and union officials to target potential impacts.
He helped to install and maintain a high-tech computerized phone system that automates dialing and maximizes volunteer efforts. He coordinated phone banks, training volunteers and staff, as well as precinct walks and election day operations. He staffed endorsement interviews and participated in strategy discussions for both candidate and initiative campaigns at the state and local level.
Wendall brings strong work habits, solid interpersonal skills and a deep commitment to social justice. I am confident that he will be successful in any undertaking.
Our social justice movement faces enormous challenges in building coalitions with a serious approach to electoral strategies. This Labor Council is grateful to have had the benefit of Wendall’s apprenticeship in political campaigns and we wish him great success as he branches out to bring the right skills, discipline and methodology to other organizations. It has been a dream of his for some time to bring electoral savvy to a broader community and we welcome the opportunity to work with him in that capacity in the future.
(representing 100,000 members working in the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Hayward, San Leandro, Union City, Fremont, Dublin, Pleasanton, Castro Valley, and unincorporated areas including San Ramon and San Lorenzo)