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Building power through political action

John Henry of OH Council 8 and Leslie Jones of FL Council 79 introduce videos showing members achieving political victories. Photo: Daniel Jackson
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For people who work in public service, politics hits close to home. The lawmakers that we elect set our pay, our budgets and even decide on whether we can collectively bargain or not.

Still, there are times when you don’t want to think about politics.

It’s a sentiment felt by Leslie Jones, a member of Local 1184 in Florida: “Sometimes the amount of political mail and TV ads can be a little overwhelming – enough to make you want to tune it all out.”

But Jones knows that too much is at stake for our communities and our country. 

“That’s why I am doubling down and getting involved now,” said Jones. “I’m going to make calls. Knock on doors. I’ll do everything I can to make my voice heard, because when public service workers like us are part of the conversation, we put our communities front and center.”

Jones isn’t alone.

John Henry, a member of Local 2191 (Council 8) in Ohio, said: “Sitting on the political sidelines isn’t an option for public service workers, because our rights on the job are often on the ballot.”

Henry shared how, in 2018, AFSCME members in Nevada helped elect a governor who pledged to stand with working people and give public service workers in his state a voice on the job through collective bargaining.

AFSCME members kept fighting to pass the collective bargaining bill through the state legislature and made history by passing collective bargaining rights for 20,000 state workers.

AFSCME members are doing similar work in Minnesota and Colorado

Jones and Walsh introduced videos of political victories in selected states that were shown at the Convention on Thursday. 

Whether it’s getting people to the polls, knocking on doors, making calls or keeping up the fight after elections to lobby our elected leaders for fair treatment on the job, AFSCME knows how to build political power.

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