June 25, 2012
In an interview with the New York Times published on Saturday, newly elected Pres. Lee Saunders reaffirmed the chorus he used throughout AFSCME’s 40th International Convention: “We won’t back down.”
On legislative battles, Saunders said, “We must hold politicians of all political stripes accountable. We don’t work for any political party. We work for justice and fairness in the workplace. If someone turns on us, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, we will take you on and take you out.”
On pensions: “Our members are being hurt all across the country. We don’t have all the answers, but we want to help come up with solutions.”
On collective bargaining: “When we enter into bargaining, our people understand that they don’t want to tear apart the community. They’re part of the community. But we don’t want things shoved down our throats. We don’t want the collective bargaining process ignored.”
On re-electing Pres. Barack Obama in November: “We’re going to work like hell for his campaign.”
by Clyde Weiss | June 22, 2012
Pres. Lee Saunders and Sec.-Treas. Laura Reyes (Photo by Jim West)
In his first address as president of AFSCME, Lee Saunders told delegates to the union’s 40th International Convention on Friday that members “must work our hearts out to re-elect President Obama” to meet the tough challenges facing labor and working families, and that the union will hold all politicians accountable for their treatment of public workers.
“Our union does not work for any political party,” Saunders said.
“We work for justice and fairness in the workplace. If someone takes us on, it does not matter whether they are a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal. We are taking you on and we will take you out.”
The stakes are too high to do anything but, Saunders said.
“This is a defining moment, not only for our nation but also for our union. What we do will determine whether collective bargaining survives, whether members’ lives get better, whether retirement security is restored, whether public services are strengthened and whether the American dream is renewed.”
“We will dig deep into every state, every city to organize new workers from every sector,” Reyes said. “Our reason for organizing is not just to collect more dues, or boast higher numbers. Our reason for organizing is our reason for being: to give every worker a fair shot in a world where the decks are stacked against us.”
Saunders, who was elected by delegates Thursday to succeed retiring AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee, began his remarks by thanking his family, and also McEntee, calling him “a fearless and visionary leader” who led the union for 31 years.
Saunders acknowledged Danny Donohue, president of CSEA/Local 1000, and said that though they “disagreed on a number of points,” now that the campaign is over, “We start fresh. What unites us is our belief in, and love for, AFSCME. We are family, and we always will be.”
The union will continue to organize, he said, “even in hostile, right-to-work states, because we cannot win the fights of tomorrow unless we are growing today.” He also called for developing “long-term solutions to strengthen pensions, emphasizing that most of our members pay into their pensions, and that those pensions contribute to local economies.”
Reyes becomes AFSCME’s first woman secretary-treasurer.
“AFSCME is on a single path toward fairness for all,” Reyes said. “We must bring as many as possible along for the journey. That won’t always be easy. But I know, with Pres. Lee Saunders as our brother and our leader, we will keep moving forward together.”
Besides increasing efforts to organize new members, she said, AFSCME will fight hard for fair contracts. “Pay, pensions, non-discrimination measures, health care, workplace safety, leave – it’s all on the table. And we will give up nothing for working families.”
June 22, 2012
LOS ANGELES — Delegates to the 40th International Convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), yesterday elected Lee Saunders to be president, and Laura Reyes to be secretary-treasurer of the union representing 1.6 million public service workers.
Saunders received 683,628 votes to 582,358 for Danny Donohue, CSEA/Local 1000 president, also an International vice president. In the race for secretary-treasurer, the union’s second highest-ranking officer, Laura Reyes, UDW/Local 3930 president also an IVP, received 661,413 votes to 603,624 for Alice Goff, District Council 36 president. The election was administered by the American Arbitration Association.
“Both Laura and I are commited to our members and cherish this union,” said AFSCME President-elect Lee Saunders. “We had a vigorous and energetic campaign, but now the union will pull together to win victories for working families and our members all across this great country.”
“We know that Wall Street and their allies are engaged in an all-out assault against our members and the services we provide. They know that AFSCME stands in the way of their efforts to destroy the middle class. We are united in our commitment to stand up for the men and women who care for America’s children, nurse the sick, plow our streets, collect the household trash and guard our prisons. Our members are a cross-section of America, not some elite group as our opponents try to claim. We are energized and ready for the battles ahead, including putting boots on the ground to ensure the re-election of Pres. Barack Obama.”
Secretary-Treasurer-elect Laura Reyes said that she would “work night and day for the working families of America.”
“Together, we can and will stand up for fairness and for an end to the scapegoating of public service workers. We will pull together in communities across America to find real solutions to the problems facing so many families.”
Pres. Gerald W. McEntee, who retires today after 31 years as AFSCME president, said the delegates’ decision to elect Saunders and Reyes “strengthens our leadership and will enhance our ability to face the challenges that await us around the country.”
“Laura and I are humbled and honored to have been chosen to lead AFSCME,” Saunders said. “We have great respect for Danny and Alice and will work with them to move our union forward.”
Saunders will be the fourth president of AFSCME since the union’s formation 75 years ago in Madison, Wis.
June 22, 2012
The following candidates for IVP were nominated without opposition and automatically elected:
Randy Perreira, Hawaii District
Douglas Moore, Jr., United Domestic Workers District
Johanna Hester, United Domestic Workers District
Eliot Seide, North Central District
Danny J. Homan, Midwestern District
Lawrence A. Roehrig, Michigan District
Henry L. Bayer, Illinois District
Roberta Lynch, Illinois District
David Warrick, Central District
John A. Lyall, Ohio District
Christopher Mabe, Ohio District
Joseph P. Rugola, OAPSE District
Salvatore Luciano, Southern New England District
Raglan George, Jr., New York State District
David R. Fillman, Pennsylvania District
Michael Fox, Pennsylvania District
Lillian Roberts, New York City District
Eddie Rodriguez, New York City District
Mary E. Sullivan, Civil Service Employees Association District
Nick LaMorte, Civil Service Employees Association District
Kathy Garrison, Civil Service Employees Association District
Glenard S. Middleton, Sr., Capital District
Jeanette Wynn, Southeastern District
Henry Nicholas, NUHHCE District
Ken Deitz, NUHHCE District
Braulio Torres Jimenez, Puerto Rico District
International Vice Presidents Contested
CANDIDATE VOTE COUNT
CANDIDATE VOTE COUNT
CANDIDATE VOTE COUNT
CANDIDATE VOTE COUNT
EASTERN DISTRICTCANDIDATE VOTE COUNT
Mattie Harrell 16,713
Sherryl Gordon 14,126
NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND
CANDIDATE VOTE COUNT
by Cynthia McCabe | June 21, 2012
California Attorney General Kamala Harris (Photo by Luis Gomez)
LOS ANGELES — AFSCME members lead the fight for working families every day and we must push forward on issues like justice for homeowners struggling with their mortgages and bolstering the Affordable Care Act, California Attorney General Kamala Harris told cheering delegates in an address Thursday.
On the frontlines in their jobs and in their activism, AFSCME members know what’s at stake for the country, Harris said.
“It’s the basic idea that in these United States of America, our economy should work for everyone. It’s the idea that AFSCME and the entire AFL-CIO have always stood for: that from the day you are born ‘til the day you die, no matter who you are or where you come from, every American should have a shot at a good education. At a job that pays the bills. The dignity of homeownership. The security of a safe retirement. And the faith that our child will have an even greater chance than we did.”
AFSCME councils and locals in California, including UDW/Local 3930 and Council 57, were active to get Harris elected in 2010, said Andrea Gordon, Local 1967, in her introduction of Harris. “She has shown that when we vote pro-worker policymakers into office, it can make a big difference for working families.”
Harris issued delegates a rousing call to action.
“I know you did not come to Los Angeles just for this week,” she said. “You came to Los Angeles for the next generation. We’re here not to celebrate. We’re here to activate. And AFSCME, one thing is absolutely clear. It is simply not enough to fight back. We need to fight forward.”
She urged advocacy by the delegates for the Homeowners Bill of Rights which is scheduled to go before the California state Legislature next week. And the re-election of Pres. Barack Obama – whom AFSCME members have endorsed – is paramount, Harris said.
Delegates rose to their feet as she questioned the legitimacy of banks being the ones who are too big to fail.
“I say it’s our middle class that’s too big to fail. I say it’s the American Dream of homeownership that’s too big to fail. A fair shot at a college education and the skills to get a good job. That’s too big to fail. It’s the right to organize and bargain collectively that’s too big to fail. It’s our vision of an inclusive society that’s too big to fail. Marriage equality is too big to fail. The rights of women are too big to fail. Our immigrant communities are too big to fail. Health care for everyone is too big to fail. And brothers and sisters, when we work together, when we pull together, always remember, we are too big to fail.”
See Attorney General Harris’ full remarks here, and watch excerpts below:
by Clyde Weiss | June 21, 2012
Sheri Van Horsen, president of AFSCME Local 3111
LOS ANGELES — AFSCME awarded its first Spirit of Public Service Award Wednesday to former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords of Arizona, for exemplifying a true public service hero.
Giffords resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 25, following a 2011 shooting in Tucson that left her critically wounded. Six others were killed and 13 more wounded.
In a video award presentation, the three-term congresswoman riveted the Convention hall as she was shown making a brave return to the Capitol last summer to cast her first vote since the shooting. Her vote was a critical one in favor of a deal to raise the federal debt limit.
Giffords thanked AFSCME delegates in the video and said she is getting stronger.
For her bravery and dedication to public service, Giffords is a worthy recipient of the first AFSCME Spirit of Public Service Award, as it honors those who are driven by the desire to do good – not just for themselves, but for the public as a whole. The award acknowledges public service heroes who have the courage to make change happen.
“She shows us what it means to stand strong even in the face of our fiercest foes,” said Sheri Van Horsen, president of AFSCME Local 3111 in Arizona, in presenting Giffords’ award. “She shows us what it means to make our communities, our states, our country a better place for all people.”
Watch video of the award presentation:
June 21, 2012
Delegates approved three constitutional amendments Wednesday. One, a combined amendment, delays the deadline for implementing progressive dues. Two others reduce the salaries of the AFSCME president to $295,000, and the AFSCME secretary-treasurer to $250,750.
Delegates on Wednesday approved a number of resolutions, including: (46) Federal Employees, (59) Protecting and Promoting the Value of Social Insurance Programs, (65) Strengthening the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and (66) Let’s Make Higher Education Affordable for Working Families.
June 21, 2012
LOS ANGELES — Candidates for AFSCME president and secretary-treasurer met Wednesday in historic debates moderated by Art Pulaski, the AFL-CIO California Labor Federation executive secretary-treasurer.
In the presidential debate, Danny Donohue (top photo, right), CSEA/Local 1000 president and an International vice president, and Lee Saunders (top photo, left), AFSCME secretary-treasurer, answered questions submitted by members. Immediately following, the candidates for secretary-treasurer, Alice Goff (left photo), president of District Council 36 in Los Angeles, Calif., and Laura Reyes (right photo), president of UDW/Local 3930 exchanged their ideas about the union’s future.
Under terms previously agreed to by the campaigns, delegates limited applause to allow the maximum amount of time for questions and answers. As a result, delegates heard from all candidates on a wide-ranging set of issues, including their respective approaches to AFSCME’s organizing and political involvement. They also shared personal stories of union activism.
by Clyde Weiss | June 21, 2012
Carmen Flores of Local 1549 (New York DC 37)
LOS ANGELES — Waving “Respect!” signs and chanting “We’re fired up, won’t take it no more,” thousands of AFSCME delegates rallied in MacArthur Park with their California sisters and brothers, calling attention to the fight for public service employees here and across America.
“The work we do, like the work that all of you do, is absolutely essential,” said Kathryn Lybarger, a gardener at U.C. Berkeley and president of Local 3299, which is entering into negotiations with the University of California System soon. “We’re ready to fight for what we all deserve.”
Local 3299 and other AFSCME unions are fighting cuts to public services statewide. Mike Milliner, executive board member of Local 1902, said his co-workers in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California are using “our political power to make a huge difference.”
”You might say that we water workers are making waves. In the political races that affect our future, candidates we supported won nine out of 11 races in the past year. With them in office, we’ve finally got a seat at the table.”
Annette Norwood Dunlap, a clinical care provider at Santa Monica Hospital and a member of Local 3299, said they are fighting at the bargaining table for adequate hospital staffing. It’s a personal fight for Dunlap, who begins radiation treatments this week to fight cervical cancer. Decent patient care, provided by quality public workers is crucial, she said. “I am going to continue this fight.”
Watch video from the rally here:
June 20, 2012
The AFSCME Retiree Council held its annual meeting Saturday and Sunday prior to the Convention. Attendees focused on the fight to protect public workers’ pensions and benefits.
The Retiree Council held elections and elected the following officers:
- Chairman Gary Tavormina, New York Retiree Chapter 82
- Vice-Chair Phyllis Zamarripa, Colorado Retiree Chapter 76
- Secretary Jim Moore, North Carolina Retiree Subchapter 165
by Jon Melegrito | June 20, 2012
Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show.
LOS ANGELES — The importance of the fight for our nation’s public workers was the focus of a program on Tuesday highlighting AFSCME’s efforts to fight for collective bargaining, pensions, workers’ rights, and pushing back against budget cuts in states nationwide.
“Everyone knows unions are the last wall against the flood of corporate influence in government,” progressive talk radio and MSNBC host Ed Schultz said yesterday while emceeing the battleground program during AFSCME’s 40th International Convention. “You must keep up the fight!”
Schultz, the host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show introduced five AFSCME members who aren’t backing down.
Dean Farmer, a custodian in Londonderry, N.H., and president of Local 1801 (Council 93), said his union and community supporters stopped the Legislature from passing a right-to-work- for-less bill.
“This same fight is being waged in many, many states where workers remain in solidarity and are fighting back.”
Neil Lake, president of the State of Nevada Employees Association/AFSCME Local 4041, talked about politicians who are “cutting services in Kansas, New Jersey, Michigan, Tennessee, Texas and his own home state of Nevada where “budget choices are being made that don’t line up with our values.”
“We’re standing up for retirement security for all,” said Delores Bresette, a retiree from Rhode Island and a member of Retiree Chapter 94.
“I worked for the state and paid into the retirement system for 37 years. But the state broke its contract and took away the cost of living adjustment for us retirees. We’re fighting their lies and setting the record straight.”
Dawn Tyson, president of Local 538 (Council 4) pointed out the support of the community, elected leaders, the Central Labor Council and the Citizen Action Network in stopping the mayor of New Haven, Conn., from privatizing school custodial services and gutting workers’ benefits. “We fought back by electing 14 union-endorsed candidates in the alderman race,” she said.
Gerald “Rocky” Jolly from Ohio (OCSEA) described how, through the AFSCME Faces and Voices Training, members have become powerful messengers across the country, using innovative and creative ways to communicate to the public. “We have the power,” he added. “They will never knock us out.”
Watch video from the battleground program below:
by Jon Melegrito | June 20, 2012
Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders delivers his keynote address Tuesday morning.
LOS ANGELES — This is the defining moment in American labor history, and AFSCME members must pull together and fight for our nation’s public workers and working families, Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders exhorted delegates in his keynote address Tuesday.
Saunders spoke of how public service employees across the country are struggling – unable to find jobs and losing their homes to foreclosures, Saunders pointed out. But, “we are also mad as hell. And for AFSCME, that means we’re taking action.”
We’re taking action from Ohio to Florida, from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, and racking up big victories along the way. Saunders spoke of the tireless work by Michigan’s Council 25 members to put to a vote of the people a law that lets the governor handpick local dictators who can revoke collective bargaining. He spoke of Ohio, where members like corrections officer James Adkins worked for months to defeat Gov. John Kasich’s disastrous Senate Bill 5 by a crushing 2-to-1 margin. He spoke of Connecticut, where Councils 4 and 15 members joined forces to fight privatization and layoffs, and elect pro-worker candidates to public office.
“We are not backing down in any state, city, or neighborhood,” Saunders said.
“Whether it was the Wisconsin uprising that set the tone for our fights across the country or the California home care workers of UDW and CUHW standing up for the elderly and disabled: We don’t back down.”
Organizing wins in the past two years are a testament to our determined fight, Saunders said, as more than 50,000 workers are now a part of the Green Machine in Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Washington, Illinois, California, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
And in the months ahead, AFSCME members must work to re-elect Pres. Barack Obama and Vice Pres. Joe Biden, Saunders said, because they are “the only choice for the working families of this great nation.”
See Secretary-Treasurer Saunders’ full keynote address here, and watch excerpts below:
June 20, 2012
Convention delegates nominated candidates for the offices of AFSCME president and secretary-treasurer on Tuesday. The elections will occur on Thursday from 6-10 a.m. in Kentia Hall of the LACC. Listed in alphabetical order, they are:
Candidate: Danny Donohue, President, Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA)/AFSCME Local 1000 (New York) and IVP
Nominated by: Denise Berkley, Statewide Secretary, CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000 (New York)
Seconded by: Marv Vike, President, Local 1077 (Wisconsin Council 40); Mattie Harrell, President, Local 2215 and Executive Director, New Jersey Council 71; Eliot Seide, Executive Director, Minnesota Council 5 and IVP
Candidate: Lee Saunders, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer
Nominated by: Al Garrett, President, Michigan Council 25 and IVP
Seconded by: Casey Karns, Local 1050 (Pennsylvania Council 13); Greg Powell, Business Manager, Local 1624 (Texas) and IVP; Chris Mabe, President, OCSEA Local 11 (Ohio)
Candidate: Alice Goff, President, California District Council 36
Nominated by: Ken Allen, Executive Director, Oregon Council 75 and IVP
Seconded by: Sandra Fox, President, Local 2076 (California District Council 36); Santos Crespo, Executive Vice President, Local 372 (New York DC 37); Roberta Lynch, Deputy Director, Illinois Council 31 and IVP
Candidate: Laura Reyes, President, UDW/Local 3930 (California)
Nominated by: Doug Moore, Jr., Executive Director, UDW Local 3930 (California) and IVP
Seconded by: Carmen Flores, Local 1549 (New York DC 37); Gail Ennis, President, Local 4034 (California United Homecare Workers); Randy Perreira, Executive Director, HGEA (Hawaii) and IVP
June 20, 2012
Delegates on Tuesday approved a number of resolutions, including: (75) Bring Jobs Home, (11) Affordable Prescription Drugs, (26) Support All Our Veterans, (4) Invest in Jobs, (9) State and Local Finances, (17) Support Main Street and Buy American, (74) Protecting the Social and Economic Safety Net, (76) Economic Inequality and the 99 Percent, (51) The Affordable Care Act, (31) Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections for Home Care Workers, (60) Community Living Assistance Services, (63) Paid Parental Leave, (70) Paid Sick Days/Healthy Family Act.
by Clyde Weiss | June 20, 2012
Vice Pres. Joe Biden
LOS ANGELES — Vice Pres. Joe Biden, responding Tuesday to attacks on public service workers by GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and right-wing lawmakers, told delegates of AFSCME’s 40th International Convention that they deserve unwavering respect for the work they do.
“You provide the safe neighborhoods, you provide the good schools, you provide the school lunches, you provide the day care centers, you provide the hospitals, you provide the roads, you provide the ability of people to live a decent middle-class life. We owe you.”
AFSCME members have endorsed Pres. Barack Obama and Vice President Biden for re-election and will doorknock, phonebank and rally to get out the vote this fall.
Biden had sharp words for the right-wing’s assault on working families. Those who want to undermine labor and reduce public services “don’t get we’re the most professional, disciplined and well-trained workers” in America.
Romney and his supporters are “insisting on keeping a $4 billion-a-year tax cut for oil companies – a subsidy the oil companies say they don’t need,” Biden said. He pointed out that money could be used to double the amount of child care provided in the U.S.
He thanked AFSCME for speaking up for all working families.
“You’re not just in this fight because of your job. You’re in this fight because you care about the families that live next door.”
See Vice President Biden’s full address here, and watch excerpts below:
by Clyde Weiss | June 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES — In a moving tribute on the opening day of AFSCME’s 40th International Convention, members from across the country spoke of the impact President McEntee had on their lives as unionists, on their fellow members, and on all working families.
“His leadership goes beyond the workers,” said Lillian Roberts, executive director of New York DC 37.
“It goes into our communities. Because we’re people who care about people, who will serve communities. Therefore, when he stands and fights for Social Security and all the benefits that we are enjoying, it’s for everybody. That’s why this union is so powerful.”
Watch video from the tribute to President McEntee here:
by Carol Anderson | June 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES — As 56 percent of AFSCME’s membership, the women of AFSCME are a powerful political force who can make the difference in elections in their cities and states, and return Pres. Barack Obama to the White House in November.
During AFSCME’s 40th International Convention, the National Women’s Advisory Committee is challenging AFSCME women to host a house party, a union party, or a coffee get-together to activate women from now until the November election. At these events, we can encourage women to participate in the 2012 election by conducting voter registration drives, educating voters about the issues, and participating in phone banks, labor walks, member-to-member campaigns, and GOTV.
Delegates can stop by the National Women’s Advisory Committee booth, located on the first floor of the LACC, to sign up for an AFSCME Women for Obama house party packet. Women have the power to ensure we elect candidates who support working families.
Sisters Stepping Up!
How did you step up the leadership ladder in AFSCME? How can other sisters do it? The National Women’s Advisory Committee has launched Sisters Stepping Up! The campaign is an opportunity to talk with and be interviewed by an AFSCME sister this week to hear about her leadership journey in the union and her ideas about future women’s leadership development in AFSCME.
Sisters Stepping Up! is a one-on-one interview and the information gathered will be used to strengthen women’s leadership capabilities, enhance women’s leadership development training, and increase the number of women in leadership roles. It will help as we develop the Women’s Leadership Academy, a new program slated for launch in 2013.
Convention attendees can drop by the National Women’s Advisory Committee booth to pick up an interview form. Completed forms may be returned to the NWAC booth daily.
by Clyde Weiss | June 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES — On the opening day of AFSCME’s 40th International Convention, special guest Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), U.S. House Minority Leader, applauded Pres. Gerald W. McEntee’s tireless efforts for the past 56 years in AFSCME.
“Striving to help people mobilize and overcome challenges to secure their fair shot at the American Dream – that’s what Jerry McEntee has been all about.”
Watch Leader Pelosi’s full remarks here, and see excerpts below:
June 19, 2012
Commitee Meeting schedule for Tuesday, June 19. Meetings take place at close of session.
|Credentials||LACC, behind Registration area|
|Nominating Caucuses||LACC Level Two Rooms, Concourse Hall|
by Clyde Weiss | June 18, 2012
Pres. Gerald W. McEntee delivers the opening keynote address Monday morning before a cheering crowd of more than 5,000 delegates, alternates and guests.
LOS ANGELES — Pres. Gerald W. McEntee, in his final keynote address after 31 years leading AFSCME, told delegates to AFSCME’s 40th International Convention the nation is witnessing a time when “the American Dream is under attack” and called on his union sisters and brothers to “choose to be a union with ambition, a union that dreams big dreams” – and one united for the challenges ahead.
“When we defend collective bargaining, we are fighting for the future of America. These battles are tough. But we’re used to fighting hard. We have made our union a driving force for economic and social justice throughout the nation.”
President McEntee also reminded the delegates of some of AFSCME’s victories, including the historic fight by members of Memphis, Tenn., Local 1733 “who put their lives on the line in 1968 to win collective bargaining rights.”
More recently, in Ohio, AFSCME members “forged coalitions and got out the vote” to defeat Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s attack on collective bargaining rights. “They forged, and last year, we killed that anti-worker legislation dead.”
President McEntee concluded his remarks by telling the Convention delegates:
“I have always believed in you and in what together we could accomplish for our members and for others. I have always been proud of the choices you have made, not just for ourselves, but for all the working families of America. My dream for AFSCME is that you will choose to travel the road ahead with courage, determination and, yes, with solidarity. Forever.”
Special guest Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), U.S. House Minority Leader, joined members from across the country in a moving tribute to President McEntee.
Watch excerpts from President McEntee’s address below:
by Cynthia McCabe | June 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES — On Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., delegates to AFSCME’s 40th International Convention will hear from the candidates for president and secretary-treasurer in two historic debates, unprecedented in the history of American labor.
Candidates for president, Danny Donohue, CSEA/Local 1000 president, and Lee Saunders, AFSCME secretary-treasurer, will answer questions submitted by delegates and selected by debate moderator Art Pulaski, the AFL-CIO California Labor Federation executive secretary-treasurer.
A coin flip determines the order of the debate and occurs in the presence of representatives from both campaigns Tuesday evening. During the day Tuesday, AFSCME delegates will receive cards on which to write their question for submission to the debate. Collection stations positioned at the back of the Convention hall are available for question card drop-off after the close of session Tuesday.
The 60-minute presidential debate kicks off with opening statements from the candidates, followed by questions answered in alternating order, and finally, closing statements.
In planning for the debate, both campaigns agreed that no demonstrations of any kind will occur during the proceedings so that all time is devoted to answers and statements by candidates. Demonstrations include applause or verbal outbursts.
A debate between secretary-treasurer candidates Alice Goff, AFSCME District Council 36 president, and Laura Reyes, UDW/Local 3930 president, follows for 30 minutes. After opening statements, questions follow for the candidates and a closing statement ends the proceedings. The same rules governing the presidential debate apply to the secretary-treasurer debate.
As of press time, the campaigns were finalizing plans for the debate and details are subject to change.
June 18, 2012
Commitee Meeting schedule for Monday, June 18. Meetings take place in LACC – Level One Meeting Rooms 400-500.
|Budget, Taxes & Economic Affairs||409 A|
|Federal Policy||511 AB|
|Political Action/PEOPLE||501 BC|
*Credentials Committeee will meet at LACC, directly behind the Registration area in Hall G.
by Jon Melegrito | June 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES — Everyone knows that Los Angeles, home of Hollywood, is the entertainment capital of the world. But not everyone knows that this area is among the most ethnically diverse of the nation’s largest cities. That’s due in large part to L.A.’s rich history, dating back to its founding in 1781 by a Spanish governor.
El Pueblo de los Angeles, where Los Angeles was founded, has been preserved as a historic park. Each year, 2 million people visit to learn about the city’s historical roots and how it was developed by settlers, which included Native American tribes and mestizos with African and European ancestries.
“As one who loves history, I became fascinated with this park when I brought some kids here on a field trip,” says Ralph Miller, 64, president of AFSCME Local 685 (Council 36), a union of peace officers who oversee and rehabilitate adult and juvenile offenders.
That visit more than 20 years ago inspired the Los Angeles County probation officer to join Las Angelitas del Pueblo, a group of more than 60 volunteer docents who give to the free public walking tours of El Pueblo de los Angeles. “I don’t mind spending my time off here as a docent because it gives me so much pride and pleasure to share this knowledge with others. For history lovers, an hour in El Pueblo is an experience of a lifetime.”
June 18, 2012
LOS ANGELES — Douglas Moore Jr., executive director of United Domestic Workers Home Care Providers Union (UDW/AFSCME) and an AFSCME International vice president, opens AFSCME's 40th International Convention and welcomes delegates to California.
by Jon Melegrito | June 15, 2012
AFSCME’s 40th International Convention is taking place in the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Photo by Hey Suk Chong)
LOS ANGELES – More than 5,000 delegates, alternates and guests will gather in Los Angeles this week for AFSCME’s 40th International Convention. Delegates will elect a new president and secretary-treasurer; celebrate AFSCME’s 75-year history while charting a course for its next two years; and gear up the Green Machine for the re-election of Pres. Barack Obama.
Pres. Gerald W. McEntee, who is retiring after holding that position for 31 years, will set the stage for the week on Monday with his keynote address. His final speech as AFSCME’s president will be followed by a special tribute recognizing his tireless work in service to the labor movement for the past 56 years.
On Tuesday, Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders will deliver the keynote address, followed by Vice Pres. Joe Biden speaking to delegates. Also that day, Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show, will emcee the “Battleground” program, featuring AFSCME activists who are fighting back for public workers in battleground states nationwide.
Honoring the spirit of “Solidarity” – this year’s Convention theme – all delegates will rally Wednesday at MacArthur Park with our California sisters and brothers who are fighting cuts to public services statewide and kicking off negotiations with the University of California system.
On Thursday, delegates will elect the new president, secretary-treasurer, and international vice presidents. Special programs will honor AFSCME members’ organizing work and PEOPLE, the union’s political and legislative action program.
Throughout the week, delegates will consider key policy resolutions and Constitutional amendments. They will also be raising money for PEOPLE. Events wrap up Friday with the installation of new officers.
Check back regularly starting Monday for Convention updates, videos and more.