Skip to main content

The MN GOP made it easy to have a focus for AFSCME Council 5's annual day of communicating with our legislators. A host of "solutions in search of problems" amendments have been proposed. What it's really about is that Gov. Dayton vetoes their crazier bills, so they are using ballot initiatives to try to get around him. Today was our day to let them hear from public employees.
Photobucket

details below the orange squiggle

My local union, 3937,  sent a large group this year, 39, and our sister local at the University of Minnesota, 3800,  sent 60, so we were about 1/10th of the thousand or so registered, but it looked like more than that showed up. We began with a choice of 2 workshops, either on the law making process or on messaging to stop the amendments proposed for the ballot in November. I chose the amendments messaging; we also learned who in our state belongs to ALEC, the force behind most of our bad legislation and ballot initiatives.

Then we all gathered for the "red meat" speeches in the general session.

Photobucket

Mike Buesing, President of Council 5, soon to retire, gives his last Day on the Hill welcome.   and went over the right wing threats: the proposed RTW amendment , what we call Rob the Worker (aka Right to Work), the Voter ID amendment, the Supermajority  (for raising taxes) amendment, and the anti-marriage amendment which is already going to be on the ballot. Unsafe, Unfair, and Unnecessary  is our message for the RTW amendment

Photobucket

Chuck Loveless, Director of Legislation for AFSCME International, got us caught up on what's going on in DC , for any who have not been watching/reading news! Julie Bleyhl of the Council 5 political staff gave us more detail on the amendments and how to talk to our legislators about them.

Then we grabbed a quick box lunch and met up with other attendees from our own legislative districts to organize for the afternoon at the Capitol. Soon we were out on the buses, jackets not really needed this year-amazing weather for MN!
Photobucket

We slowly but surely filled the rotunda and upper levels
Photobucket

Eliot Seide, Executive Director of Council 5, got us fired up and chanting. I think the camera men were getting blown away be the loudness. I was right behind them, but my zoom was acting up so I did not get a good picture of Eliot this year. Our other speakers from locals around the state talked about the work they do and how the extreme right wing agenda would impact them.
Photobucket
Victoria Johnson from Local 744 talked about how the Voter ID amendment would disenfranchise likely Democratic voters. Jess Anderson(pictured above), from Local 66, explained how the Supermajority amendment  is really about protecting the super-rich from paying their fair share of taxes. Daryl Arola, soon to retire from the Dept. of Natural Resources, talked about attacks on our pensions. Lisa Thompson of Child Care Providers Together told us why day care providers need a union. Unfortunately I missed part of her speech since we had one of the earliest appointments with a legislator.

However, the appointments turned out to be meaningless as everyone had been called into session. (Personally, I suspect the Republican majority did this on purpose to avoid talking to us)  My district's reps, all good solid progressives, were kind enough to come out and chat with us when we paged them. Mike Nelson  (MN46A) was very knowledgeable about pensions and how unnecessary the GOP attacks on them are.

Photobucket

Our new Senator from District 46, Chris Eaton(on the right) was actually an AFSCME member for 20 years. She did not mince words about how stupid she thinks the proposed amendments are.
Photobucket
She also impressed me last week by leading a moment of silence for Trayvon Martin at our Senate District convention.

Our patience was rewarded when we finally got Deb Hilstrom (MN46B) out to talk. She is also Deputy Minority Leader and VERY busy. I did not get a photo but her aide did, so I may post that later. Deb reminded us outrage is not enough, there also has to be action!

After a quick debriefing, I was finally able to get a yoga break and then head home;  a good day, a little hard on the feet but enlivening for the brain.

7:06 PM PT: and here we are, photo courtesy of David Gross, leg. asst. to Sen. Eaton

Photobucket


Originally posted to nicolemm on Tue Mar 27, 2012 at 06:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site