BEND - Gov. John Kitzhaber and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) were among several speakers in Bend Saturday at the Oregon AFL-CIO' convention.
The organization drew about 300 union members from across the state to it biennial convention at the Riverhouse Convention Center.
Delegates representing Oregon unions met to set policies, discuss issues and hold informational sessions on how to start unions.
Spokeswoman Elana Guiney said topics of special interest to the group leading up to next year's election are voting for gay marriage and supporting Oregon's new driver car law, which allows people without proof of legal presence in the U.S. to obtain a Oregon driver's license.
"(It's all about) rebuilding our middle class, growing our economy and building a stronger state," Guiney said. "We really want this to be the stronger state we think it can be, and there's going to be some good ways to make sure that happens on the ballot."
Guiney said the Oregon AFL-CIO formally voted Saturday afternoon to endorse Sen. Merkley's re-election campaign.
More information: http://www.oraflcio.org/