Member political action leads to positive change

HAMBURG — Since Reanna Krautsack was elected as our union’s Hamburg Blue Collar Unit President two years ago, she’s had to repeatedly go to bat against Town Supervisor Randy Hoak and Town Board members.

Krautsack and unit members recently showed yet another example of how union solidarity and political action helped make a positive change in their community.

“I’ve spent my entire life in Hamburg,” said Krautsack. “I truly care for this community, and I’ve watched the town board destroy it in recent years.”

With the support of board members, including his sister, Karen Hoak, Randy Hoak “terrorized” CSEA members employed by the town, according to Krautsack, who was elected as unit president parallel to Hoak’s term as supervisor.

In recent years, Hamburg Town Board members have treated employees unfairly, including calling CSEA members names, demoting members unfairly and unilaterally eliminating positions to cut town costs.

When some Town Board seats were up for reelection in 2023, specifically those filled by Karen Hoak and Shawn Connolly, CSEA members took action.

With the hope of changing the narrative between town leaders and CSEA, our union endorsed for the Town Board seat non-incumbent candidates Frank Bogulski and Daniel Kozub, who pledged to stand with working people.

Members began knocking on their neighbors’ doors, handing out literature and doing everything possible to unseat the those up for reelection.

On Election Day, Krautsack and unit members celebrated an immense victory.

Bogulski and Kozub were elected to the Town Board, unseating Karen Hoak and Connelly in a tight race. The board also flipped to a Republican majority.

This now leaves Randy Hoak, a Democrat, on an island amongst the majority of town board members and Krautsack cheering from the rooftops.

“I’m so proud of our union membership,” said Krautsack. “This is a huge win for us. I’m optimistic that our lives will get easy again and we can just go back to work.”

Krautsack, unit members and CSEA’s region staff and leadership noted that they are confident this wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of unit members. They are optimistic that this new dynamic will improve relations between CSEA and town officials.

“I’m extremely proud of members in the Town of Hamburg for their unwavering advocacy for positive change in their workplace and in the town as a whole,” said Western Region President Steve Healy. “While our region Political Action Committee officially endorses candidates, those endorsements are chosen by the members who will see the direct impact of the Town Board’s decisions. It is so reaffirming to me to see our dedicated members doing everything they can to invoke change not only for themselves, but for their colleagues and their community. We truly are stronger together.”

— Madison Ruffo


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