|(Above) Participants in the union's first lobby day listen to instructions before heading across the State Street to the capitol. (Below) Members Fred Yungbluth, Diedre Mahoney-Clark and Derrick Williams talk PERS with Rep. Jeff Reardon (second from right).
75 Political Department
Over 30 people representing
12 different Oregon AFSCME local unions participated in Council 75's first
lobby day. The March 19 event targeted local government employees and issues; a
similar event set for April 9 will target state employees and their issues.
Members came March 19 from
Local 88 (Multnomah County), Local 189 (City of Portland), Local 350 (Clackamas
County), Local 350-5 (City of Milwaukie), Local 697 (Columbia County Roads),
Local 1442 (Columbia County Courthouse), Local 2067 (City of Salem), Local 2621
(City of Medford), Local 2746 (Clatsop County), Local 2909 (City of Albany),
Local 2909-1 (Albany Transit District) and Local 2975 (City of Corvallis).
We also had a great presence
of staff dedicating some or all of their time, including Oregon AFSCME Staff
Representatives Kate Baker, Neil Bednarczyk, Stacy Chamberlain, Randy
Ridderbusch and Evan Wickersham, plus Council 75 Communications Director Don
Loving. It was very helpful to have them guide members through the capitol and
give confidence to those members who were unsure about the lobbying process.
We scheduled meetings with
34 senators and representatives. In some cases we met with staff; in some
instances we also pulled representatives off the House floor to meet with
members who were constituents.
We began the day with a
brief training that included talking points for the members. In addition to
PERS, which is an overarching message for any group all the time, the focus of
the local government lobby day included the health insurance exchange, local
government insurance pooling, county-based cigarette taxes and raises for IDD
Again, our second Lobby Day
is scheduled for April 9 and will focus on state government and state employees
issues. However, local government members who were unable to attend on March 19
are welcome to come on April 9 — we will accommodate you! And retirees
are also welcome at any event. Please e-mail me
to RSVP and/or for more information. A flier for the event is attached to this