BUFFALO — CSEA SUNY at Buffalo Local Treasurer Mona Columbo is working to build our union through PEOPLE.
Columbo, who also serves as Western Region PEOPLE Committee chair, worked with SUNY at Buffalo Local President Angie Zitto, local Executive Vice President Steven Jeter and CSEA PEOPLE Coordinator Denise Felt to organize a series of ‘lunch and learn’ events to raise awareness of the PEOPLE Program.
During the lunch and learn sessions, members were educated on the value of union membership and maximizing our political and legislative power. Felt and Columbo visited both the North and South campuses, reaching hundreds of interested members in the process.
“Having the opportunity to talk to members about the PEOPLE program in small group settings and one-on-one made all the difference,” said Columbo. “Once they were educated to the idea that donating a couple of bucks every pay period could pay huge dividends for them down the road, they started to fully understand how important it is for working people to have a voice in government. After all, where else in the working world can you get to choose who your bosses are? The very people who decide how we spend our tax dollars and create our public budgets?”
Columbo, who has also volunteered for several CSEA member engagement initiatives, suggests the PEOPLE program ranks just as high in importance to the future well-being of our union.
“Again, when members donate to this program, it gives us a seat at the table when policymakers make decisions on matters important to working people,” Columbo said. “Building relationships with government officials is critical to a functioning workplace and democracy. Why wouldn’t we want to be part of the conversation?”
The University of Buffalo site visit yielded 40 new PEOPLE members. As a result, Columbo was honored as the PEOPLE Recruiter of the Month for October.
Columbo is planning more lunch and learn programs on PEOPLE throughout Western New York.
— Ove Overmyer