Public Service Recognition Week is May 5-11, 2013
Public sector employees play a vital role in helping our communities be better places to live and work. AFT-WI is honoring all of our public sector workers during this week and wanted to let you know about things you can do to support your local communities and participate in other public sector led events in your community as well.
We hope you will also consider registering your volunteer hours with us, so we can track our impact of our communities. Ann McNeary from the United Way Dane County has volunteered to track those union members who want to participate this year. Just call or email her to let her know what you are signing up for. If you need to, she can help get you signed up for volunteering as well.
Below are a number of volunteer opportunities that will be available during Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW). If you want to participate in one of them OR if what is listed below doesn't "fit" for you but you're still interested in volunteering, please contact:
Ann McNeary,AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison at email@example.com or 608-246-4355 to sign up or to arrange an alternate project.
Outside of Dane County - For those both inside and outside of Dane county, Saturday May 11, 2013 is the National Association of Letter Carriers food drive. On that day, letter carriers across the nation will be picking up donated food items. You might contact your letter carrier, local post office, or local food pantry to ask how you can help. They often could use some help for the food drive. At a minimum, consider contributing food items that day –plastic bags of non-perishable items will be picked up on that Saturday by your letter carrier.
For other opportunities outside of Dane County, here is a statewide list of “People Who Help" (click here) ,where you might find someone that can help you find an organization in need of a volunteer. In addition, Ann McNeary has offered to help people find volunteer activities as well.
Dane County Volunteering Opportunities
City of Madison Parks
Sunday, May 5, from 12 Noon to 3 pm
Do you enjoy being outside in the spring? Are you interested in natural areas and conservation? Join the Madison Area Weed Warriors this spring as they work on natural area restoration by pulling garlic mustard in several of Madison's conservation parks.
Volunteers should be prepared to work outside. Wear flat-soled shoes, work gloves, and windbreaker suit to prevent spreading seed. Bring drinking water. All training will be provided on-site.
Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR)
Remember the thrill (and sometimes the spill!) of taking those training wheels off for the first time? Help children master the art of the two-wheeler as a Madison School & Community Recreation (MSCR) Learn 2 Ride event-day volunteer! Individuals needed as Helmet Fitters, Bike Course Trainers, Bike Inspectors, and even Crash Helmet - the bike safety mascot! MSCR will host the event at two Madison elementary schools during the first full week of May:
Elvehjem (far east) - Sunday, May 5, from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm
Olson (far west) - Saturday, May 11, from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm
Sign up for one or both at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/70A0F45ADAE2EA31-learn.
Online orientation provided.
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County
Tuesday, May 7 or Wednesday, May 8 or Friday, May 10 or Saturday, May 11
Become a Habitat volunteer! Habitat is in need of weekday volunteers on our construction sites! Habitat build sites operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. We ask all interested volunteers to commit to a full day on site, which is 8:15 am to 3:30 pm
Habitat provides all the tools, safety equipment, and site supervision that you will need. We are currently building in Madison, Stoughton, Fitchburg, Brooklyn, and Verona.
For this opportunity, you can use our online calendar to sign up directly for volunteer days that fit in your schedule: http://habitatdane.volunteerhub.com/Events/Browse.aspx
City of Madison Parks
Saturday, May 11, from 10 am to 12 Noon
Volunteers who are interested in community-building and protecting our area waters are invited to join the neighbors of Brittingham Park and Monona Bay for their monthly work days. Volunteers will assist with trash clean up, lake weed removal and removal of invasive weeds, and overall lend a helping hand in maintaining our parks and community.
Training will be provided on-site. Volunteers should wear work clothes and work gloves. Much of this work involves cleaning up on the rocky shoreline. Volunteers may get wet. Due to the rocky, unstable shoreline, it is advised that this project be adults only.
Gay Straight Alliance For Safe Schools (GSAFE)
Saturday, May 11, from 12 Noon to 6 pm (or longer)
On the day of our special events, such as Walk/Run/Eat and Celebration of Leadership, we are always in need of volunteers to help with both set-up and clean-up. This is a great way to volunteer in a concrete way with just a one-time quick and easy commitment.
Must be able to lift 50 pounds and perform moderate physical activity.
Annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive
Saturday, May 11, from 1 pm to 6 pm (or longer)
This annual event is the largest single-day food collection, both here locally and nationally. Be a part of this by helping to unload donated food from letter carrier's vehicles.
This involves a lot of bending and lifting AND standing on concrete.
Thanks for all you do for all of us and for making the community a better place in which to live, work, play, raise a family, and retire! "Wisconsin works because we do!"
RECAP ON SPRING ELECTION
Dear AFT-Wisconsin members:
This week’s message is a summary of the many election victories our union had throughout the state. While we were disappointed that Ed Fallone did not win the State Supreme Court race, we have the landslide re-election of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers to make us proud. Tony, a longtime friend of the AFT and a strong supporter of public education, won decisively, 61% - 39%. We also have many local victories to celebrate. From Superior to Milwaukee to the northeast and southwest, AFT-Wisconsin members stepped up and ran for office, and our locals endorsed and led efforts to win local elections. We became much more engaged at the grassroots level than we have been in the past.
In the past, we have had significant state fed staff to guide our political efforts. This was typically done from Madison. This year, locals took the lead in recruiting candidates, and helping them get elected. This is a new direction for our union—but a VERY positive step in the right direction. The building of relationships at the local level has encouraged our members to become a much more dynamic presence in their communities. To all of you, I say: “Job well done!”
Bryan Kennedy, Ph.D.
RECAP ON THE SPRING ELECTION
Menasha—The Menasha Teachers Union local became a true example of a union that became engaged in local politics and made a real difference.
1. The Menasha Teachers Union recruited a candidate to run for the school board. The local then ran their own campaign and got Chad Bruechert (a former teacher in the district and AFT member) elected to the school board. What was amazing was that Chad ran a WRITE-IN campaign and won! AFT-W provided local election assistance to the local in this race.
2. The MTU also supported a WEAC member, who lives in Menasha but teaches in a neighboring school district, in a race for the Menasha City Council. Kaukana Teacher Michael Keehan won his Menasha aldermanic race.
3. MTU member Andrea Reichenberger’s husband Tim ran for the Kaukana school board and was elected in a six-person race.
4. Menasha also had a $30 million referendum on the ballot for the high school and it passed.
Milwaukee—Local 212 has long been an integral part of local politics in the city and county. This year was no different. The local at Milwaukee Area Technical College supported candidates for the Milwaukee Public School Board, for County Supervisor, and for Circuit Court Judge. Former AFT member in the Milwaukee Graduate Asst. Assoc., and now educator, Dr. Tatiana Joseph, was elected to the MPS Board. A number of other local candidates also won. AFT member (in Wisconsin State Public Defenders local) Ravae Sinclair was not successful in her bid for County Supervisor. Her opponent Khalif Rainey, an aide to Congresswoman Gwen Moore and a longtime friend to the AFT, won that race. Either one of the two county supervisor candidates would have been great and the AFT’s locals in the Milwaukee area were divided in their support of the two candidates.
Chippewa Falls—Past President of the Chippewa Falls Federation of Teachers, Melanie Schaller, now retired, was elected as a write-in candidate to the Chippewa Falls School Board. Because of her former union position, Melanie ran a stealth campaign until the last few weeks before the election. She managed to fend off last minute, significant opposition from a Tea Party group and won a seat on the School Board. The CFFT was very involved in Melanie’s campaign and are pleased to have their former president on the school board.
Superior—Concerned about relations with some members of the School Board, the Superior Federation of Teachers went out and recruited several candidates for the school board. The SFT had the candidates appear at a forum at the Labor Council where they were endorsed by the Superior Federation of Labor. One of their endorsed candidates (Do we have the name of the successful candidate?) was successful in the school board election. The SFT received assistance from AFT-W to run a local campaign.
Eau Claire—Several AFT-W members and spouses stepped up and ran for office in Eau Claire. UWEC faculty member Richard Spindler was the top vote getter in the Eau Claire school board race. Catherine Emmanuelle, wife of UWEC professor David Jones, was elected to the Eau Claire City Council. In addition, former WEAC teacher’s union leader and former Eau Claire teacher Christine Hambuch-Boyle was elected to the Eau Claire School Board.
Hortonville—The Hortonville school district had two referenda before voters—one was a $25.5 million capital expenditure to build a new elementary school and renovate the high school, and other for $370,000 in operational expenses. The capital referendum passed but the other narrowly lost.
Wisconsin Heights—Wisconsin Heights school district had an operational referendum on the ballot to increase spending by $1.9 million each year for the next two years. It easily passed, 59%-41%.
Same-day registration referenda in Dane County and the City of Milwaukee—Both Dane County and the City of Milwaukee ran referenda in support of maintaining same-day registration. Both passed overwhelmingly. The Dane County referendum won 82% YES to 18% NO. In Milwaukee, the split was 73% - 27%. The South Central Federation of Labor supported the Dane County initiative. The Milwaukee effort was spearheaded by AFT Local 212.
Anti-Citizens United referenda—A number of municipalities ran referenda against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. These ballot questions asked if the United States Constitution should be amended to define a person as a human being, limit constitutional rights to human beings, and to call on Congress to get corporate money out of politics. A number of our members in Chippewa County worked on the referendum effort there. It passed 68% - 32%.