You are here

Mondale and Ferraro Campaign Poster, in Spanish, c. 1984

Elect Mondale and Ferraro

Elect Mondale and Ferraro

Kheel Center for Labor Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University, KHE_Elect-Mondale-Ferraro_151
Document Description
Campaign poster, in Spanish, for presidential candidate Walter Mondale and vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, created by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, ca. 1984.
Translation of the leaflet (from Spanish):
"Attention Garment Workers:

Why are these elections so important?

*With Reagan we have lost jobs due to foreign imports

Mondale wants to limit imports to protect our jobs

*Reagan lowered taxes on the rich and raised them for all the rest

Mondale wants the rich to pay their fair share of taxes

* Reagan took away billions of dollars from Social Security

Mondale is fighting to preserve Social Security

Support the candidate that supports you!

Why do you think this flyer is in Spanish?
What are Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro running for?  In what year?
According to the leaflet, what are the main differences between Reagan and Mondale in these areas?
    a. Employment
    b. Taxation
    c. Social Security
What does ILGWU stand for?  Why would this organization support Mondale and Ferraro?
Even though Mondale and Ferraro lost the election, how did Geraldine Ferraro make history?
Historical Challenges
Research Project:
Choose one of the following topics and write a two-page report that addresses these questions:
  1. What role did the ILGWU play in New York’s organized labor history, fighting for union rights and helping to assimilate new immigrants?
  2. Why is Walter Mondale credited as having established the concept of an "activist vice-president"?
  3. Is the United States ready to accept a woman president or vice president? You may examine Geraldine Ferraro’s and Hillary Clinton’s experiences.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Foreign Language: Translate the leaflet into English, or create a flyer in Spanish for a current presidential candidate.
Art: Make a poster that could be used in a rally for Mondale and Ferraro.


Historical Context
The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) was founded in New York City in 1900 by Jewish, Italian, and Irish immigrants. After World War II, the union suffered a decline in membership due to the movement of shops from New York City to southern states, such as North Carolina. This was done to avoid unionization and to take advantage of less-expensive labor. The ethnic composition of the ILGWU changed as European immigrants were replaced by Asians and Latin Americans, as well as by African Americans.  However, manufacturers went abroad to take advantage of even cheaper labor.

Under David Dubinsky’s leadership, the ILGWU became a strong supporter of the Democratic Party.  Not surprisingly, in 1984 it endorsed Democrats Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro as candidates for president and vice president. Walter Mondale, a liberal, served in the Senate for twelve years before becoming vice president in 1977.  As senator, he supported civil rights and labor legislation, and for his presidential run made history by choosing a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, as his own vice presidential candidate. The Democrats thought that she would greatly benefit Mondale's campaign by taking advantage of the gender gap—the difference in voting patterns between men and women that had occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. Ferraro was also an appealing candidate, from a strong working-class and ethnic background from Queens, New York.  Nevertheless, Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were re-elected in 1984.
Essential Question
How do political leaders influence society?
Check for Understanding
Identify the purpose of the poster and evaluate the significance of this document in encouraging civic participation by new immigrants.