Our Union » Our Voices

Natasha Pranger

“Next Wave is dedicated to showing members 35 and younger how critical the union is and how it is relevant to them today. We are AFSCME and we are much stronger working together than alone.”

— Natasha PrangerForensic Scientist - Council 28, Local 304 (Washington)
Michael Kek

“Considering the large number of members who will retire in the next ten years, Next Wave is critical. It is making a big impact by giving young members the tools they need to become active in their union.”

— Michael KekFinancial Analyst - Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, Local 585, Council 36 (California)
Bridget Brier

“It’s about time young members started participating in their unions. I was involved when we started the Next Wave and know how important it is for the future of AFSCME. If you just ask younger members for their input about how to grow the movement, they will provide the ideas and participate.”

— Bridget BrierAdministrative Assistant - Department of Corrections, President, Local 91, Council 24 (Wisconsin)
Avery Seawright

“It’s crucial for younger people to get involved in the union because of the simple fact that once the older members are gone you need somebody to pass all the knowledge.”

— Avery SeawrightClerical Associate - Elmhurst Hospital Center, Local 1549, DC 37 (New York)
William Copland

“We have reached out to young members. Now, they are participating in union meetings and one has just been elected local vice president. We know we must educate our young members, because they are AFSCME’s future.”

— William CoplandCommunity Corrections Specialist - Kennewick Department of Corrections, President of Local 1253, Council 28 (Washington)
Arie Walker

“We are ensuring our young members realize that they can be leaders and that they have a critical role to play in keeping their union strong. It’s up to them to protect the gains that have been won by older workers.”

— Arie WalkerAccount Technician - Department of Children and Family Services, Local 1805, Council 31 (Illinois)
Lisa Edwards

“My number one goal is helping young members participate. They are always eager to get involved. And the best thing about all of this is that even though we think we’re teaching them, they are teaching us, too!”

— Lisa EdwardsGraphics Specialist - Martin County School District, President of Local 597,, Council 79 (Florida)
Blanca Quintero

“Many of us are natural leaders but aren't able to develop to our full potential. AFSCME has given us valuable opportunities to learn from one another, to change, to grow and value ourselves for who we really are.”

— Blanca QuinteroHome Care Provider - UDW/AFSCME (California)