Person

Brian Weeks

Occupation:

Political Director, AFSCME

Brian Weeks is a left-of-center political operative and labor union activist who currently serves as political director for the American Federation State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a major government worker union known for advancing left-leaning polices and liberal grassroots advocacy. Most of Weeks’ work at AFSCME consists of supporting Democratic Party political candidates and lobbying for labor union-aligned bills and regulations. [1]

Background

Weeks is a native of Wisconsin who took to liberal politics early, working as the Racine County Coordinator for U.S. Representative Les Aspin (D-WI), who later served as Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration. [2]

During his time in college and throughout the 1990s, Weeks continued to work on Democratic political campaigns across the nation, mostly in his home state of Wisconsin. [3]

In 2002, Weeks was first hired by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees as the Wisconsin state political director. Over the next decade Weeks would rise through the ranks of the political action department at AFSCME.

During the 2004 Presidential election, Weeks worked with the Democratic National Committee to organize and run the organization’s political operation in Wisconsin,[4] while also being employed by AFSCME for part of the year. [5]

Eventually, Weeks relocated to Washington, D.C. to work as the deputy political director for AFSCME, rising to political director of the union prior to the 2012 Presidential Election. He replaced Larry Scanlon, who had served as AFSCME political director for seventeen years. [6]

Career

Since becoming the political sirector of AFSCME in 2012, Weeks has become an influential figure in left leaning political circles at both the state and federal levels. As the leader of political action strategy for one of the most political and left-leaning labor unions, Weeks and AFSCME possess tremendous influence on Democratic Party politics. [7]

During the 2016 elections, emails hacked by suspected Russian intelligence operatives and released by Wikileaks mentioned Weeks in discussions about a perceived snub of AFSCME by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Weeks was referenced as having communicated with Clinton’s campaign that the AFSCME CEO was offended that he was left off a list of major progressive funders, and tried working with the campaign to smooth over the relationship. [8]

Weeks has been active for shifting the focus of AFSCME’s legislative efforts away from Federal advocacy and towards state and local campaigns. [9] AFSCME joined many other organizations including David Brock’s Media Matters for America and Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee to put efforts towards democratic gains at the state and local levels ahead of 2020 redistricting. [10]

Among other advocacy activities at the local level, Weeks also serves on the national Board of Directors of the State Innovation Exchange (SIX), which was organized to push left-of-center and pro-union state legislation. [11]

Weeks has also been a featured speaker at the left of center Netroots Nation left-wing bloggers’ conference. [12]

References

  1. Enfield, Nikki. “Interview With Brian Weeks”. Democratic Gain. June 3, 2009. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://www.democraticgain.org/blogpost/241803/71720/Interview-with-Brian-Weeks ^
  2. Enfield, Nikki. “Interview With Brian Weeks”. Democratic Gain. June 3, 2009. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://www.democraticgain.org/blogpost/241803/71720/Interview-with-Brian-Weeks ^
  3. Bogardus, Kevin. “Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races”. The Hill. September 2, 2012. Accessed October 7, 2019.   https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/247079-public-unions-political-director-members-pivotal-for-dems-in-midwest ^
  4. Bogardus, Kevin. “Public union’s political director: Members to be ‘pivotal’ for Dems in Midwest races”. The Hill. September 2, 2012. Accessed October 7, 2019.   https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/247079-public-unions-political-director-members-pivotal-for-dems-in-midwest ^
  5. “Brian Weeks”. Union Facts. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://www.unionfacts.com/employee/American_Federation_of_State_County_%2526_Municipal_Employe/BRIAN/WEEKS ^
  6. Bergal, Jenni. “Labor Battles Heat Up in State Legislatures”. Pew. July 7, 2015. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2015/07/07/labor-battles-heat-up-in-state-legislatures ^
  7. Bergal, Jenni. “Labor Battles Heat Up in State Legislatures”. Pew. July 7, 2015. Accessed October 7, 2019.  https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2015/07/07/labor-battles-heat-up-in-state-legislatures ^
  8. “McMorris, Bill”. “Clinton Snubbed AFSCME”. Washington Free Beacon. October 28, 2016. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://freebeacon.com/issues/clinton-snubbed-afscme/ ^
  9. Bergal, Jenni. “Labor Battles Heat Up in State Legislatures”. Pew. July 7, 2015. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2015/07/07/labor-battles-heat-up-in-state-legislatures ^
  10. Vogel, Kenneth. “David Brock, donors wade into state fights”. Politico. February 2, 2022. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/david-brock-democrats-states-235283 ^
  11. “Board and Staff”. State Innovation Exchange. Accessed October 7, 2019. https://stateinnovation.org/board-and-staff/ ^
  12. Carvalho, Mike. “AFSCME Joins Progressive Activists at Netroots Nation”. AFSCME. June 16, 2011. Accessed October 7, 2019.https://www.afscme.org/now/archive/blog/afscme-joins-progressive-activists-at-netroots-nation ^
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