by Pablo Ros | May 01, 2015
LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. – With the ultimate goal of improving public services and quality of life for middle-class families, 100 AFSCME activists and staff from the East Coast and Puerto Rico came together this week for AFSCME Strong training.
Despite attacks against public workers, our union has grown since January 2014 by 140,000 new members. Through our AFSCME Strong campaign, we’ll become even stronger. By training 5 percent of AFSCME members to connect one-on-one with their coworkers, our goal is to engage 80 percent of our 1.6 million members nationwide.
The AFSCME Strong training at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) brought together members from Council 67 and Council 3 (Maryland), Council 95 (Puerto Rico), Council 71, Council 52 and Council 1 (New Jersey), Council 20 and Council 26 (Washington, DC), and Local 2250 (Maryland).
“It’s been very helpful,” said Anissa Pierce-Sessoms of the training. The trustee of Local 1081 (Council 3) added, “It’s given me the ability to help lead us in the next steps of what we need to do in Maryland.”
During the second day of training, participants went out into the community to speak to their fellow AFSCME public workers. Participants signed up 11 new PEOPLE contributors.
“I enjoyed going out and knocking on doors,” said Corey Upchurch, vice president of Local 1959 (Council 20). “I was engaged in conversation. I heard their stories.”
“The training was just wonderful,” said Dorothy Bryant, of Local 44 (Council 67). “At times like these we really need to be together.”
“We heard people’s concerns,” said Aaron Dixon, of Local 1772 (Council 3). “We explained how our union can help out if they get involved.”
Seth Couslar, the newly elected president of Council 26, said he was looking forward to taking back what he had learned and adapting it to the particular needs of his coworkers. “As president I have to be able to translate it to the executive board and adapt it to the local level,” he said.
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