In the midst of yet another very busy fall, it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is approaching.

While this year has been very difficult at times, we have a lot to be thankful for.

First of all, as we continue to face challenges from anti-union groups and their wealthy backers, I am thankful that we have each other and that we’re sticking together. Our union is as strong as ever, and thanks to every one of our members who stands with us every day.

On a related note, our hardworking, dedicated and loyal members continue go door to door on member engagement visits across the state. An increasing number of member volunteers are stepping up to help us, most recently in Niagara County. That means more members are engaged in conversations and encouraged to be an active part of our union. I can’t thank everyone enough who’s participated in these visits and who help us stay strong every day.

Veterans Day on Sunday, November 11 gives us another reason to be thankful. We recognize and honor all those brave men and women who dedicated themselves to protecting our country and our way of life. CSEA has no shortage of veterans among our members, and I thank every one of you for your service.

While we’re on the subject of the amazing things our members do, I’d like to recognize our Putnam County Unit members who went the extra mile in creating a “flag drop” at the county’s Veterans Service Agency for people to leave their old American flags to be properly retired. This is just one example of all the ways that our members truly go above and beyond , and that’s worth a hearty “thank you” as well!

While we’re dishing out the thanks, it’s worth sending a heartfelt one to our Central Region President, Colleen Wheaton, who is retiring this month. Colleen’s been a major part of CSEA since she first got involved with us in the late 1980s when she became the 2nd vice president of SUNY Potsdam Local. She’s served as the Central Region President since 2008, and her leadership and energy will be missed. Let’s all wish Colleen the best of luck in retirement. Colleen, you will always be a beloved part of our CSEA family.

Despite all the challenges we have faced and that we still have in front of us, I am thankful. Wonderful members are doing amazing things on and off the job, and our inspiring and incredible activists and leaders continue to strengthen CSEA.

Lastly, I thank all of you for helping us Stay Union, Stay Strong!

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