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CLUW contingent gathers in Garfield Park prior to the March on Washington
"The energy was electric...we all felt it. This was a true demonstration of the power that women possess when we come together on one accord. I feel blessed to have shared in that moment and I am looking forward to the movement." Karen Bellamy-Lewis, IFPTE
As we prepare for CLUW’s upcoming convention with the theme of “Women: Taking It To The Streets” the most inspiring event encapsulating that theme this year was the Women’s March on Washington. CLUW members participated enthusiastically in DC as well as throughout the country.
A few of their impressions are expressed here and in the 2017 Women's March Photo Gallery, which we invite you to view.
“It was electrifying. The energy was unbelievable. I shared the experience in DC with my 18 year old daughter. We spent many hours with 2 women who were in their 70s and this was not their first march in DC. They told my daughter, this may be your first but it won’t be your last. You will always be responsible to stand up for your rights, to stand up and fight back. January 21st showed me we have numbers, we have the power. It is now the time to organize, mobilize and to win back our country. I think they woke a sleeping giant and then poked that giant in the eye.” Cori Gambini R.N., CWA
“What meant the most to me was how many young people were there, and how many of all ages have never attended a women's rights march before. A giant force has been awakened and unleashed! I feel very optimistic they won't let us go backwards.” Kathy Black, AFSCME
“I helped as a Peace Ambassador at the San Jose, CA March - and I am happy to report peace making skills were not needed. In 40 years of participating in rallies, dating back to Vietnam, I have never been to a more enjoyable, celebratory, peaceful gathering advocating for change. In a city not known for March turnouts (with San Francisco so close by) San Jose knew 2 hours before the start that expectations would exceed the most optimistic predictions - this despite rains that have been torrential in California (just a bit that day). BIGGEST MARCH in the City in over 20 years ago. Close to 30,000 marchers of all genders, religious affiliations, nationalities, color, ethnicities, political philosophies, ages (including a proud group of 4 generations of women), disabled helped by able-bodies, etc, were all on the same page - WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS, adding that it also applied to underserved rights. No arrests, no violence, and new friends were made. It was truly a celebration of diversity & human rights. It has COMPLETELY renewed my faith and my resolve. I LOVED IT. Si se puede!” Nancy Biagini, CWA
“There was such a coming together of so many people from all walks of life to make a stand. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of family at this march. “ Stephanie Reynolds, AFSCME
CLUW President Connie Leak invites you to “Come join us in Detroit where we will continue to ‘Take It The Streets’ and where that fightback spirit evidenced in January will be soaring as we make it known – NO Turning Back!”
The 2017 Midwest School for Women Workers will be held from July 16 -20, 2017 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison School for Workers. For more information, email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or download a Save the Date flyer here.
The 2017 Northeast School will be at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, MA, from Saturday, July 22nd through Wednesday, July 26th. For more information, email them at: email@example.com, download a Save the Date flyer here.
The 2017 Western Summer Institute for Union Women will take place June 28 -July 1 at Ala Moana Hotel, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The theme is "Continuing the Legacy: Responding with Direction, Unity and Strength". The coordinator is Leslie Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org ; or 808.689.2764. Download Save the Date flyer here. More information is available on their website, including registration, schedule, and hotel and flight information
The 2017 Southern Women Worker Summer School will be held at Highlander Center, Newmarket, TN, from July 20 - July 23. The theme is "Building Worker Power in the South!". For information, contact Susan Williams at Highlander Center: at Susan@highlandercenter.org; 865.360.7042. Download Save the Date flyer here. Register online here.
On March 17th at the opening of the NEB meeting President Connie Leak outlined some of the challenges we were facing under the GOP/Trump Administration, but that we were up to the task as our convention motto expressed “ Women: Taking It to The Streets” and that is what we would be doing. Since this NEB was the last before our convention in Detroit in September much time was spent by committees planning and making recommendations.
We were pleased to have Donna Edwards, Secretary-Treasurer of the MD and DC AFL-CIO and Carlos Jimenez, Executive Director of the Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO participate and welcome us to the area.
Congressman Jamie Raskin Addresses CLUW NEB
On March 18 Congressman Jamie Raskin was greeted by CLUW NEB members and observers decked out in their new CLUW t-shirts with the slogan “Can You Hear Us Now?” (see photo above)
He expressed that he was particularly pleased to join us, not only because he respects CLUW but also because the NEB (held at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring, MD) is in his district. In acknowledging his recent race for the House of Representatives as a first time congressman, he shared that he was outspent 20 – 1 but he had something his opponents did not have, “I had the labor movement on my side.” He urged us to “keep fighting, keep building, keep organizing and it’s a great pleasure to be your ally in Congress”. You can find his complete remarks here.
Diane Babineaux, CLUW Vice President and members of IAM who
expressed their appreciation upon her pending June IAM retirement.
What's New at Coalition of Labor Union Women
Thank you to CLUW VP Diane Babineaux, IAM and Tanya Hutchins who produced this video.
On March 16th in spite of Storm Stella 65 dedicated CLUW members from throughout the country participated in a Capitol Hill Lobby Day visiting with US Representatives, Senators and Legislative Staff to let them know what was needed for working women and families. A busload left the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring, MD (where the NEB meeting was scheduled the following day) and greeted local members at the Briefing Session (Lobby Day Flier) which took place at the Capitol Visitor Center. The timing could not be better since the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (the GOP’s American Health Care Act) had been introduced on March 6th and hearings in the Senate on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court Justice were set to begin on March 20th.
CLUW President Connie Leak welcomed the group encouraging them to continue to “fight for women’s issues.”
Janet Hill, National VP (USW) provided an overview of how much is at stake.
The Healthy Families Act was just introduced the day before by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D CT) in the House and Sen. Patty Murray (D WA) in the Senate. Rachel Lyons, Sr. Gov’t Affairs Mgr., National Partnership for Women & Families described this short term paid sick leave bill acknowledging that at least 41 million private sector workers in the United States cannot earn a single paid sick day. An estimated 22 million women are affected. Find more information in the CLUW fact sheet here.
Sarah Christopherson, Policy Advocacy Dir., National Women’s Health Network reviewed the GOP’s American Health Care Act that will cause 24 million people to lose health insurance at the same time that it provides an average tax cut of $7 million for the 400 richest families in America. Also women would no longer be able to use this insurance at the highly qualified provider of their choice if that provider is Planned Parenthood, which would be barred from receiving federal funds. Planned Parenthood is often the only provider in rural and other underserved areas. More information can be found here.
CLUW members were galvanized to let their legislators know of their opposition to the “Right to Work” Bill. Cecelie Counts, Legislative Representative, Government Affairs, AFL-CIO reviewed the impact of similar bills in the states where there are lower wages and income, lower rates of health insurance coverage, higher rates of infant mortality and poverty, less investment in education and higher workplace fatalities. See fact sheet here. Read more here.