Sisters and brothers,
Throughout history, working people have faced devastating setbacks in our pursuit of a better life. But even in the darkest moments, AFSCME members have pulled together and found the courage to fight on. The results of the presidential election and the loss of a pro-worker majority in the Minnesota Senate require us to muster the same resolve.
This is a crucial moment for our nation, our union and the middle class. The election of a man who opposes our fundamental values has left us all stunned. There will be time to analyze the results of the election, but we must meet our new challenges head on.
As AFSCME members, we will fight to protect public services, our contracts and our collective bargaining rights with greater urgency and determination than ever before. Our families, our communities and our lives depend on it.
Donald Trump has intentionally sowed fear and division with a campaign about personalities rather than policy. He now faces a decision about whether he will govern that way. We hope, for the sake of our nation and our diverse community – which includes women, people of color, those with disabilities, immigrants, and people of all faiths and traditions – that he will choose a different path.
Despite the outcome of the presidential race, we’re united to protect our progress in Minnesota. The raspy voices and sore knuckles of our 700+ member activists and staff are a testament to our tireless get-out-the-vote effort. Our volunteers reached out, making more than 15,000 calls to our members in targeted districts. Then, we joined our sisters and brothers at Area Labor Councils and Regional Labor Federations in more than 115,000 knocks and calls.
Our hard work paid off for many AFSCME-endorsed candidates. Congressman Rick Nolan defeated millionaire Stewart Mills in the 8th district. Beth Olson was elected to the St. Louis County Board and Debbie Goettel was elected to the Hennepin County Board. Two AFSCME members will join the Minnesota Legislature: Erin Koegel in Coon Rapids and Jamie Becker-Finn in Roseville. Steve Cwodzinski defeated Senate Minority Leader David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) and Erin Maye Quade picked up the Apple Valley House seat vacated by Republican Tara Mack.
AFSCME is a family and we are hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.
At a time like this, we don’t slow down. We double down. We will fight every day to defend our contracts and to protect workers whose rights are under attack.
We will never quit until every worker can earn enough to raise a family, own a home, send their kids to college, and retire with security.
Judy Wahlberg, president
Eliot Seide, executive director