About 150 Oregon AFSCME
members, family, staff and guests gathered Sept. 28-30 at Sunriver Resort in
Central Oregon for the Council 75 2012 Leadership Training Conference.
The Leadership Conference is
held each year and alternates east and west side of the Cascades; the 2013
event is scheduled for Lincoln City. Participants at Sunriver were greeted at
Friday night's opening session by Oregon AFSCME Executive Director Ken Allen.
"This is always one of my
favorite union events because I see so many faces I don't know — new
people becoming involved with our union," said Allen. "That's a very good
The feature session included
Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men on "Creative Campaigning." Bonanno led attendees
through a discussion of his group's tricks of the trade, plus exercises
designed to serve as brainstorming for local union actions. The event wrapped
up with Marcus Widenor of the University of Oregon's Labor Education and
Research Center (LERC) leading an interactive session on building the union
through emphasizing its history and telling our stories.
On a side note, Sept. 30 was
also Widenor's last official workday before retirement. At his session's close,
Oregon AFSCME President Gary Gillespie presented Widenor with a card, gift and
a large retirement cake shared by all.
In between Bonanno and
Widenor, Leadership Conference participants chose from four workshop topics: a
political workshop with Council 75 Political Director Joe Baessler; building
local unions while involving new members with Oregon AFSCME Organizer Dan
Abernathy and Council 75 Staff Representative Becky Steward; identifying
leaders in the workplace with Council 75 Organizer Sushma Raghavan; and a
social media workshop team-taught by AFSCME International Communications
Department staffers Blaine Rummel and Chuck Westover, assisted by national
union trainer Debra Kidney.
Participants also had the
opportunity to grill Allen with questions during what has become an annual "Q
& A with the Executive Director" session during the Saturday luncheon.
You can click here
to jump to a photo gallery of the event. Once there, make sure you are in the
"Details View" (the link should take you there). It's then easiest to click on
the first picture on the upper right and, once that picture opens, use the
arrow buttons to navigate through the rest of the photo gallery.