by Pablo Ros | August 20, 2012
La Tonya Johnson
When she is elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly this fall, La Tonya Johnson says, she will vote in favor of restoring all collective bargaining rights.
The Milwaukee resident and President of AFSCME Wisconsin Child Care Providers Together Local 502 beat out her opponents in last week’s 17th District State Assembly primary election. She won by 19 percentage points in the four-way race.
“It’s a huge victory that shows AFSCME members can’t be silenced by Act 10,” said John Grabel, AFSCME Wisconsin’s Government Relations representative, referring to the state legislation passed in June 2011 that limits collective bargaining rights for most public employees. The legislation also took away bargaining rights for child care providers, a step that has had devastating effects in the field.
Johnson’s victory was proof that the fight on behalf of workers’ rights in the Badger State is still very much alive, Grabel said.
“We will continue to fight for working families across the state to ensure fair paying jobs and working conditions.”
Johnson is now well positioned to become her heavily Democratic district’s representative in the fall.
For the past ten years, Johnson has owned Anointed Child Care Services, a licensed family care facility in Milwaukee that provides effective and affordable child care to working families. As President of AFSCME Local 502, which she helped found, she represents family child care providers in Milwaukee County and has been a committed workers’ rights activist.
Supporters say her 60,000-person district needs a representative who will address quality of life issues, lack of job opportunities, foreclosures, the effect of addiction on individuals and families, and education, among other things.