Voting is Our Priority
(This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Southern Region Coordinator Kennith Beasley
I trust that all APWU members had a Happy Holiday Season and New Year.
During 2018 we had countless things to be grateful for. We are still standing in spite of the White House’s unnecessary, unwarranted attacks on the Postal Service. Our challenge now in 2019 is to stay focused on strengthening our resolve to continue to safeguard and protect the public Postal Service and our jobs.
We were excited and energized in 2018. Let us carry that same enthusiasm over into 2019. Together, let’s make this year better by firmly growing in height, width and depth in our roles to liberate and free the Post Office from those who want to sell it to private corporations.
Protecting the Right to Vote
The law says that you cannot be denied the right to vote on account of your race, sex, color, age and national origin, but there were many types of unconstitutional voting suppression in 15 states in 2018 – more blatant than in other recent elections. Voting is the life blood of the people in a democratic society. It is the determining factor on the quality of our everyday life. While we all vote individually, together we collectively influence politicians’ decisions.
Let’s register all the unregistered voters we can! First make sure your family and friends are registered. Then you can join a registration initiative group like Get Out the Vote and ask the public to cast their ballot.
It is imperative that every postal worker vote. The momentum is in our favor, because of voter turn out, many of the red southern states now have a good chance of voting in more worker-friendly politicians.
In 2018, the United States voted in a majority Democratic congress. Remember, we are never out of the woods as long as greedy privateers and profiteers are around. With the results of the mid-term elections, we now have validating proof that we can take our power back when we vote.
I and the other coordinators Sharyn Stone, John Dirzius (retired), Mike Gallagher and Omar Gonzalez are asking all postal workers to keep your focus and energy on making voting a top priority for all postal workers. It will greatly benefit us all.
Now let’s together make 2019 a great year.
The Right Attitudes
Some of our people know how to act and how to react in any given situation, yet too many can be their own worst enemy. We all have a right to agree and disagree without acrimony between each other. Some good locals are backsliding because of a simple and powerful word called, “attitude.” Attitude is the difference in progressing and regressing when engaging with our peers and others.
Life can be like a chess game. Its important that we learn from our mistakes by applying and strengthening our skills through leading, teaching, listening and learning from each other about the value of patience, tolerance and teamwork.
The old adage says that attitude determines altitude. As postal workers, “Let’s go high when they go low.” Always maintain a positive attitude with each other for the good of ourselves and others.
John H. Dirzius
Our fellow coordinator John Dirzius will be retired by the time this article is printed. I am honored to have worked with him and have nothing but the deepest respect for his commitment to the APWU.
To me, he was a quintessential trade unionist. I am sure he will keep on serving in other ways.
John will certainly be missed by all of us – the Executive Board, the members and especially his fellow Coordinators. I will miss him sharing with us his foresight, experience, input and his knowledge of postal issues.