Dear Delegates, Alternates and Guests:
You are going to hear that word and feel that spirit plenty throughout this week. As we stand toe-to-toe with our fiercest foes, we can never have enough of it.
In that spirit of solidarity, and on behalf of our union’s 1.6 million active and retired members, welcome to the 40th AFSCME International Convention. Thank you for gathering in this vibrant city to stand together as one. Being a delegate, representing our sisters and brothers from across the country, is an exceptional responsibility. Thank you for serving our union in this way.
We lit a spark in Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker rolled out some of the harshest anti-union legislation we have ever seen. That spark caught fire in Ohio, where Gov. John Kasich’s plot to strip workers of our right to collectively bargain was foiled by AFSCME members. That fire has spread to Florida, California, Michigan, New York and beyond, where corporate-backed
politicians are making no secret of their ultimate goal: to strip working families of our very voices
We have 75 years of history that tell us solidarity is the remedy. It worked when civil rights leaders joined with sanitation workers in Memphis to end discrimination on the job. It worked when we grew our union to 1.6 million members through cutting-edge organizing. It worked when we took our battles to Congress, fighting against the privatization of Social Security and for health care for all. And it will work again today, as we pull together and look those corporate-backed politicians right in the eye and with one voice say, “Enough is enough!”
Your participation in the important business of this year’s Convention will help shape our policies and set the vision of our union for the next two years. Please take time to carefully read this guide and prepare to fully participate in the discussions and deliberations. And don’t forget to have a good time.
Gerald W. McEntee
Lee A. Saunders