Ethiopian Meatpackers Go for Bernie in Iowa (2020 U.S. Election Update)

We have not yet endorsed a candidate in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, but as we continue our coverage of Ethiopian American civic participation in the democratic process here is a report from Ottumwa, Iowa on how Ethiopian pork plant workers are voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Photo: the intercept)

The Intercept

THE FIRST CAUCUS in Iowa was held at noon at a union hall in Ottumwa, about an hour and a half from Des Moines, where meatpackers and other workers unable to vote in the evening’s official caucuses were given the chance to cast ballots at a satellite caucus…

The caucus in Ottumwa, population 24,550, on the banks of the Des Moines River, will net Sanders four delegates for their congressional district, according to caucus chair Frank Flanders, the political director for the UFCW Local 230…

The turnout for Sanders among union members reflects the campaign’s strategy of mobilizing nontraditional voters. Many of the Ottumwa meatpackers are immigrants, largely of Ethiopian origin or descent — not the corn-fed farmers typically associated in the popular imagination with the Iowa caucuses.

Pork plant workers cast their votes for Sen. Bernie Sanders during a satellite caucus in Ottumwa, Iowa, on Feb. 3, 2020. Photo: Elise Swain/The Intercept

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