EAST SYRACUSE — Over the course of three days, nearly two dozen teams of union activists and staff dispersed throughout Syracuse and surrounding Onondaga County, visiting union members’ homes, delivering a direct message: CSEA members are sticking together to strengthen our union, no matter what.

Onondaga Local 834 President Dan Vadala out visiting members at their homes.

Each day saw between 18 and 20 Member Engagement Teams traveling around on this latest “blitz.” Our plan was to visit with as many members as possible and have individual conversations about the future of our union, and what we can do to improve and strengthen our union.

Where members were home, they were overwhelmingly receptive to talking with our teams and supporting our union. Where members were not home, our teams left literature to remind them that having a strong union matters.

Our outreach efforts resulted in many union members pledging to “Never Quit” our union. After the “blitz” was completed, our teams had left literature at more than 1,900 homes, knocked on more than 700 doors, and had conversations with more than 265 members. Eighty percent of the members who spoke with our teams signed our “Never Quit” pledge cards.

Central Region President Colleen Wheaton, who was on hand for our outreach efforts, thanked all the activists and staff for helping strengthen our union, including several of our international union, AFSCME, staff who joined our teams.

Central Region President Colleen Wheaton welcomes activists and staff to the Onondaga area “blitz.”

“We appreciate all the support from our headquarters and regional staff, as well as from our international union, but we are most proud of our member activists and leaders who gave up their time to connect with their fellow members to build a better CSEA,” she said.

Central Region Director Dean Adams also shared his appreciation for everyone’s efforts.

Central Region Director Dean Adams goes over the results of our outreach.

“This just shows that our Central Region never fails. We blew past our goals and made our union stronger. We should all be very proud of the work we’re doing,” he said.

This was the fifth major targeted member engagement “blitz” held throughout our union’s Central Region, in addition to numerous locally-sponsored outreach efforts, which will continue long after the Supreme Court case is decided.


Here is a photo gallery of images from the Onondaga “blitz,” mostly by CSEA Communications Specialist Mark Kotzin, with contributions from our Member Engagement Teams:

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Mark Kotzin has been passionately advocating on behalf of workers in CSEA's Central Region for more than 29 years, directing our Union's regional communications and public relations initiatives, helping build power on behalf of more than 45,000 active and retired union members throughout 20 counties in Central New York. Mark is a proud graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse, a 12+ gallon blood donor, and a passionate advocate for building workers' power through collective action!

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