During the last weekend of August, Y.O.U.N.G. (Young Organizing Unionists for the Next Generation) hosted its Virtual Young Leadership Training through AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practice Departments. This training was designed to provide young unionists with tools to be successful AFGE activists and leaders. The class covered topics such as Robert’s Rules, how to build a professional resume, the role of money in unions, how to be an effective leader, and the power of voting.
Over 300 AFGE members registered for this event. Through participation, our attendees learned about the inner workings of AFGE. We were proud to have Robert’s Rule of Order broken down by Y.O.U.N.G Committee Chair Kendrick Roberson, as well as other training workshops such as Resume Building, The Power of the Voter, and AFGE’s budget was explained by NST Eric Bunn.
Additionally, the Y.O.U.N.G Leaders Training issued their first-ever Y.O.U.N.G Leadership and Activism Awards. These awards were designed to recognize AFGE members who have excelled, furthered, and uplifted their communities and young professionals. Y.O.U.N.G. was proud to present three different awards. The awards include:
Lift Every Voice Award: The Lift Every Voice Award recognizes an individual who is active in their union and has demonstrated a commitment to lifting every voice while mobilizing, educating and motivating young workers and leaders, recruiting members, and working with other unions and union-friendly organizations.
Outstanding Community Activism Award: The Outstanding Community Activism Award recognizes an individual who is active in their community by volunteering with non-profit organizations, phone banking and neighborhood canvassing for pro-union candidates, and organizing with the community to help raise awareness on how important the union is for all workers.
Humanitarian Award: The Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual who has taken extraordinary measures to aid those in their community during the coronavirus pandemic. This individual selflessly provided masks, anti-bacteria cleaning supplies to those in need and helped raise money to aid families impacted financially by the pandemic.
Lift Every Voice Awardee – Raquel Rushing:
Raquel’s nominator described her as an amazing YOUNG activist. The nominator goes on to say, “Raquel goes out of her way to not only make her local thrive but also the district's Y.O.U.N.G program. She is the chief steward and Y.O.U.N.G coordinator of her local, community activist, writer, blogger, podcast host, poet, and t-shirt creator.
“She gives back to the labor movement the way only a millennial would in an extraordinary way. Raquel shows up whenever and wherever she is needed and always with a ‘what you need me to do’ or a ‘this is what we’re going to do’ mindset. She leads meetings, hosts, and organizes drives, she’s on candidate screening calls, involved in her CLC but most of all she takes it all back to her local and shares with her members and the young people around her.
“There is never a time that I called Raquel and she wasn’t ready to do whatever it took to make it happen. Her go-getter attitude, her love for people allows her to lift the voice of her local, district, this federation, and her community. Activists are not created they are born, and Raquel was born for this.”
Outstanding Community Activism Awardee – Annie Lee:
Annie’s nominator described her as an active member of the San Francisco (SF) community in her time outside of her civil rights work with the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. The nominator goes on to say, “Annie volunteers extensively to raise awareness about the union and workers’ rights. For instance, she helps manage the AFGE252 Twitter account to amplify the union’s message and attract new members. She also volunteers for pro-union candidates, including door knocking for Josh Harder (D, CA-10) and phone banking for Katie Porter (D, CA-45) during the 2018 midterms.
“Annie was so effective in phone banking for Democratic House candidates that she received recognition from her representative, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In addition, Annie chairs the SF Municipal Transit Agency’s Community Advisory Committee for the Geary Rapid Project, a public transit project for one of the most popular bus routes west of the Mississippi River.
“She believes that transit justice is a critical part of the labor movement because safe, reliable, and affordable transportation is critical to workers’ access to jobs. Lastly, Annie is a weekly volunteer at Glide Memorial Church, a beloved SF institution that, among other things, provides housing for low-income elderly and families with children.”
Humanitarian Awardee – Bobby Orozco Jr.:
Bobby is the President of AFGE Local 1260 that represents TSA Officers for the southern half of California. The nominator of Bobby for this award has this to say about him: “Bobby has created an executive board that is representative of the workforce and their communities. Bobby has sought out the best, brightest, and most diverse group of union activists. Bobby is extremely active with the LA Young workers organization. Working tirelessly to raise the voices of young workers and assist in unionizing this younger generation.
“Bobby has, with the help of his executive board, transformed AFGE Local 1260 into one of the strongest locals in the district and one of the strongest locals in Council 100 (TSA) nationwide. Bobby has done all of this by empowering people to be the best activist they can be and creating a unifying vision for a stronger union.
“Bobby listens to all opinions and works to create committees and sub-committees to empower employees to find simple solutions to the complex problems TSA officers and activists face every day. I cannot express enough the admiration I have for Bobby Orozco. He has helped empower me to become an extremely well-recognized director of legislative and political affairs and I'm an old man.
“Bobby inspires future generations of union activists wherever he goes. Bobby has continued his great work even during this time of the pandemic. Bobby ensures that the executive board and local stewards are taking this time and opportunity to participate in AFGE national training on EEOC rights and reasonable accommodation requests.
“During this pandemic, Bobby worked with the communication committee to create a COVID-19 sub-committee to ensure that TSA Officers are receiving the most up to date and accurate information on COVID-19.”