Aug. 15, 2017

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Workshops educate, motivate members

uupdate 8-15-17

UUP’s future relies on the willingness of its members to take on the important work to keep the union vibrant and strong.

UUP President Fred Kowal brought that message to more than 40 members of the UUP Presidential Strategic Planning Committee to open the committee’s two-day meeting Aug. 14 and 15 in Syracuse.

Committee members listened intently as Kowal talked about the necessity for UUP to build an “army of activists” to deliver the union’s message to state legislators and publicly push UUP’s agenda in their districts. Later, members took part in workshops designed to hone their skills as advocates.

Albany Chapter President Aaron Major, above, gives a report during a workshop breakout session. Also pictured are, from left, Cortland Chapter member and Executive Board member Rebecca Bryan, VPA Jamie Dangler, and Upstate Medical University Chapter members Paul Stasior and Carl Pettengill.

“You are our greatest natural political resource,” Kowal said. “We need your energy and commitment. We need you to go back to your chapters and build on what we learn over the next couple days so that our army of advocates will grow.

“We are building something new here,” he continued. “In this day and age, the structures of the past aren’t going to operate. What we need is the ability to have power in our political advocacy and use that power for the benefit of our members.”

uupdate 8-15-17

UUP VPP Tom Tucker, above, helped lead the two-day workshop, along with committee co-chairs Paula White, above, and Pamela Malone. VPA Jamie Dangler and statewide Secretary-Treasurer Jeri O’Bryan-Losee were also in attendance.

"In light of the surge of political attacks on organized labor, it’s never been more important than now to organize and mobilize our biggest asset—our membership,” said Tucker. “Our future depends on it.”

A new way

Tucker said the union will set up regional networks of activists who will focus on in-district advocacy, signing new up new members and activating members interested in becoming involved with UUP. He urged members to join local and regional labor councils and federations, and use social media to make the union’s message heard.

Members discussed effective ways to build relationships with local legislators, including attending fundraisers, scheduling in-district meetings, and attending local town hall meetings and other events where legislators may be speaking.

The workshop also focused on recruiting chapter members to join the effort, and setting goals for political engagement in 2018.

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