Department & Division News

Inaugural Legislative Conference Builds Political, Union & Community Strength

Sondra Cosgrove, president of the Nevada League of Women Voters,
speaking during the general session panel presentation.
Also pictured are (l–r) Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard;
Larry Cohen, chair of Our Revolution;
Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP;
and David Driscoll-Knight, interim field director at the AFL-CIO.

(This article first appeared in the January-February 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)  

The inaugural Legislative Conference was a resounding success, leaving attendees with tools to protect workers’ rights and prepare for the 2018 midterm elections. On Oct. 1, nearly 300 APWU members learned how to build political, union and community strength during a full day of workshops, an intensive general session and regional breakouts.

This was the first official Legislative & Political training conducted after the convention resolution Legislative Conference and Training was passed at the APWU’s 23rd Biennial National Convention in August 2016. The conference also fulfilled the adopted resolutions on Beyond Bernie – Building a Movement for Economic and Social Justice and Exploring New Directions for Labor in Electoral Politics by conducting workshops in the morning on advancing our legislative priorities via referenda and ballot initiatives, as well as by joining with other organizations to fight for economic and social justice.

The conference’s general session kicked off with opening remarks by President Dimondstein and Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard, who outlined the threats we face as workers in this political atmosphere and how we have the power to enact change at all levels of government. Next, a panel of nationally recognized  leaders and social justice activists (pictured above) discussed what their organizations were doing to fight back against corporate privatizers and what APWU members can do to get involved.

APWU retiree Donald Sevre from the Minneapolis
Area Local asks a question to the panel during the
general session.

Following the general session, attendees joined their respective regions for breakout sessions facilitated by Central Regional Coordinator Sharyn M. Stone, Eastern Regional Coordinator Mike Gallagher, Northeast Regional Coordinator John H. Dirzius, Southern Regional Coordinator Kennith L. Beasley and Western Regional Coordinator Omar M. Gonzalez. In these breakouts, the groups learned about local/state ballot initiatives and significant races coming up in 2018.

Coming Soon to Your Region

Northeast Regional Coordinator John H. Dirzius 
facilitated a discussion of
local and state political issues
during his regional breakout.

“The participants at the Legislative Conference are ready and willing to step up and take a new approach to get organized for the 2018 midterm elections,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard.

Regional-level trainings will be offered in 2018. The trainings will be open to all APWU officers and members (including retirees), and the Auxiliary. Look for more details about the trainings on or in upcoming issues of The American Postal Worker.