2015 has been a year of firsts for AFGE, and November was no exception. Over three days and across two cities, AFGE held our first-ever presidential forum with two leading presidential candidates: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.
Both Sanders and Clinton met with members of the AFGE National Executive Council and presidents of ten large and small AFGE bargaining councils to answer tough questions on the issues that matter most to federal employees and our families, like pay, retirement security, health care costs, and voice in the workplace.
We had previously reached out to ALL presidential candidates including Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Jeb Bush through questionnaires to gauge their positions on issues important to AFGE members. Three candidates – Clinton, Sanders, and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley – responded, while the remaining candidates from both parties failed to submit responses.
As federal employees, our choice for President of the United States is critically important; the individual we chose will be our boss for the next four years, and hold enormous sway over our pay and jobs. We need to make sure that whoever occupies the White House values our work and our mission, and that’s what this forum process is all about.
At the forum, both Clinton and Sanders emphasized the need to restore the pride in government service, among other things. It took many years of hard work to build this union to the point where potential leaders of the free world are coming to discuss your issues. Let’s continue to grow our union, mobilize our fellow public servants, and build a union that’s Big Enough to Win the future of our choice.