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AFSCME Retirees: Also Bold, Brave, Determined!

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By Karen Gilgoff 2014 Convention
AFSCME Retirees: Also Bold, Brave, Determined!
The AFSCME Retiree Council gathered in Chicago for its annual meeting.

The AFSCME Retiree Council reelected its officers for another two-year term and made plans to step up retirees’ political involvement in the 2014 elections at its annual meeting, held in Chicago in conjunction with the recently convened 41st International Convention. More than 230 AFSCME retiree leaders attended the meeting, and more than 50 were official convention delegates.

Reelected were: Chair Gary Tavormina (New York Retiree Chapter 82); Vice-Chair Phyllis Zamarripa (Colorado Retiree Chapter 76); and Secretary Jim Moore (North Carolina Subchapter 165).

“It’s amazing how the AFSCME Retiree Council has grown since I first became involved,” Zamarripa said. “We now have almost 250,000 dues payers in 43 chapters. Just like the working members, we’re focused on organizing.”

The Retiree Council agenda included an organizing workshop and featured presentations by International staff on topics such as political and legislative action, Social Security and Medicare, pension protection, the Harris v. Quinn legal decision, PEOPLE fundraising and AFSCME Advantage member- benefits, all of which led to lively discussions.

The retirees also heard from two members of Congress, Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Stephen Horsford (D-NV), and from AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Sec.-Treas. Laura Reyes.

“We’re seeing attacks on collective bargaining, union rights, voting rights, pensions. We have to make our voices heard every day,” President Saunders told the retirees. He emphasized the importance of the elections this November, with 36 governors’ races and hundreds of state legislative races.

“It’s critical that we get rid of the people who are trying to destroy us, like Govs. Scott Walker and Rick Scott,” he said. “When it comes to fighting the bad guys, some of our best foot soldiers are the retirees. We clearly need your help this fall.”

“The retirees are ready,” Tavormina said. “In fact, we’ve been training for fights like this all our lives. For most of us, that’s a pretty long time.”

For more information on AFSCME Retirees, click here.