Get involved to get things done

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Our President, Danny Donohue, is currently home recovering well from a surgical procedure. He sends his best wishes to all of you and is looking forward to returning to work as soon as he is able. Until then, I am holding down the fort as Acting President, and I am looking forward to working with all of you to continue moving our union forward.

Many of you have approached me personally over the years sharing how much you resent our political involvement. And I get it — politics can get messy, many of us are passionate about our beliefs, and none of us like feeling we are being told what to do, or how to vote.

The truth is that political involvement is how we get stuff done. The laws on the books today that protect workers’ rights on the job, establish our pensions and guarantee paid time off — those are there because members just like you and I got involved in the political process and made their voices heard.

We are always evaluating how our representatives, on every level of government, have historically voted on important workers’ issues. Being in civil service, we have the unique advantage of being able to vote on the very people who will sign our paychecks, and yet, so many of us fail to get involved and instead leave those decisions to others.

On the center spread of this issue, you will read about how Wisconsin’s labor movement was swiftly decimated by a single piece of legislation in 2011. That legislation was successful, in large part, because of workers’ political apathy. By the time everyone realized what had happened — that their collective bargaining rights had been ripped out from under them — it was already too late.

Sisters and brothers, we cannot afford to be apathetic with the attacks on labor continuing to build. Let’s look at the big picture. If you care about your co-workers, your communities and the very jobs that put food on your family’s table, we need to join together. We have political action committees in our regions, locals and units. You don’t need to know a lot about the process; you just need to be willing to use your voice and talk about what’s most important to you, your co-workers and your families.

Interested in getting involved? You can call me personally and I’ll get you in the mix. That’s how serious I am about this.

I hope to hear from you soon!

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