New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association Essay

New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association Essay

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Voting is the most basic fundamental right in any democracy and is considered the voice and will of the people. It is a way for people to exercise control over their lives by electing candidates they believe will best represent their interests. Many political candidates who are seeking endorsements will attempt to attract large blocks of votes from certain segments of society to enhance their chances of being elected to office. One highly sought after voting block in the United States is organized labor due to the solidarity among its members and “labors capacity to mobilize voters” outside of its own membership (Bennett & Kaufman 2007:507). When union leaders endorse a political candidate, they expect that their membership will follow their directive and vote for that particular candidate on Election Day. In return, union leaders expect that the candidate, if elected, will be friendly to their interests by way of favorable legislation that benefits its members. In the arena of politics, the Democratic Party is most often viewed as labor friendly so most “labor union members are more Democratic in their ballots than their unorganized peers” (Pomper 1980:345). However, as the younger generations enter the work force and make up the rank and file membership, union leaders may have to take into account generational attitudes when endorsing political candidates. The one union where contrasting generational attitudes could affect how its leaders choose political candidates for endorsement is the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association.
The New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association (PBA), with its more than thirty three thousand members is the largest police union in the state. Like many labor union...

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...ion of protecting the citizens of New Jersey. However, when it comes to voting for political candidates endorsed by union leaders, there may be a divergence by some of the rank and file members in which candidate they vote for. All organizations have their conflicting elements and the PBA is no exception. Generational attitudes and differences should not be viewed a something that divides the PBA membership; rather they should be seen as tools that union leaders can use can to better understand how their rank and file members think and act. If research shows that generational attitudes do have an impact on whether or not the rank and file members vote for the candidate endorsed their leaders, steps can than be taken to address future political endorsements accordingly.

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