This year, AFGE’s Legislative & Grassroots Mobilization Conference was the largest in our history with more than one-thousand union activists in attendance. Many of these AFGE members came to our annual gathering for the first time — and they're more fired up and ready to go than ever.
Rosita Tipton (pictured bove) flew in from Michigan. She retired from the Social Security Administration in 2010 but has been active in Local 3272 where she serves as Legislative and Political Coordinator. Rosita said it was exciting to see AFGE brothers and sisters from other agencies. She was delighted to hear other union leaders speak about the labor movement and how we are all connected. Rosita reported her meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill were productive.
“It’s been an exhilarating experience,” Rosita said, reflecting on her discussions with lawmakers about the work of SSA employees and the services they provide to the American people. “I’m inspired to go back to Michigan and inspire others.”
Theresa McMoore agrees. As the president of AFGE Local 1212 in Hawaii, she has voiced the concerns of SSA employees for years. She understands the importance of solidarity and our union’s role in making our government better. And her experience as a first timer at AFGE’s Legislative Conference lived up to what she had expected.
“It’s very empowering,” she told us. “I can’t wait to go back and talk to our members.”
Local 1230's Legislative & Political Coordinator Carolyn Bauer, a TSA officer from San Jose, California, said she enjoyed meeting members of Congress during District 12's Breakfast on the Hill. It was nice to know that they appreciate public service and unions.
At the breakfast, Rep. Jacky Rosen (NV-3) shared that her mother worked at a unionized factory and was able to retire because of that extra amount of pension she received. The congresswoman is also familiar with issues at the Department of Veteran Affairs as her husband is a VA radiologist.
“Being able to advocate and feel like your voice is being heard is something that I want to pass on to members. You feel valued,” said Bauer.