Your UDW Delegates at Work!
UDW members, staff, and delegates want to thank AFSCME
their hospitality, and for assuming the costs
of our delegates
housing while in Chicago.
The following Elected UDW Delegates attended the 2006 AFSCME International
Convention in Chicago:
Editha Adams; Shirley Adams; Gerald
Ashby; Gale Banuelos; Sandra
Mike Bocancea; Kathleen Brennan; Denise Brown;
James Butler; Colleen Campbell; Saundra
Alice Dolida; Annette Dorsey; Feel Goode; Willie Green;
Gustavo Gutierrez; Monica Johnson;
Tanya Kelly; Gloria King; Chris Long; Rudy
Christine Nguyen; Laura Reyes; John Stevenson; Ngoc
Hoa Thai Tran; Pat
York; Carrie Young.
Photo, Feel Good
UDW Delegates on the convention floor.
The AFSCME Convention;
21st century forum
Delegates at the AFSCME convention voted on resolutions
that will literally shape the future of our union.
Faced with a “newfound audacity from anti-union
business leaders and the politicians they bankroll,” AFSCME
President Gerald W. McEntee said that our union is poised to
enact the 21st Century Initiative, a top-to-bottom strategic
overhaul of AFSCME and a bold, new plan for change.
|Photo, Jim West
This forum was so revolutionary, it kept members engaged and excited
for seven hours straight!
UDW staff Lin Chrivia, Gary Voice, Jovan Agee ,
and Rhonda Walker,
assisted AFSCME to facilitate this ground-breaking event.
session - a 21st century Town Hall meeting - computer
linking allowed every delegate on the floor (4000 plus) to input
their ideas and opinions which were then displayed on huge screens
throughout the room.
were then polled and the entire delegation could simultaneously "brain-storm" ideas
for the union.
UDW Facilitator Rhonda Walker remarked on how the Town Hall Meeting
kept everyone's attention:
wondered if we would be capable of retaining the interest of
our fellow members for most of the day. Everyone from
various locals, states and positions showed great interest and
appreciation. The meeting was conducted with a lot of
enthusiasm that flowed throughout the room. We are
all looking forward to the next town hall meeting."
Jovan Agee, UDW's political director in Sacramento
as well as a facilitator at this event also stressed the innovativeness
of the Town Hall venue:
"The Town Hall meeting was a great idea. It allowed union members'
voices to be heard and provided union leadership with information
that is important if we want to continue to be successful."
Many UDW delegates also talked about the Town
Hall Meeting as the most impactful event of the convention see
UDW Delegate Cecilia York
Speaks on AFSCME Resolution:
"I am a Volunteer Member Organizer – I rise in support
of this resolution. There is a Chinese saying that literally translates
as 'the aim is useless without a way' Our aim is
to increase membership, expand and promote the labor movement.
Our 'way' is through organizing. In Aug 2005 UDW
organized and signed over 5000 new members. Some of these
Volunteer Member Organizers are here today. I would like to acknowledge
their presence and ask the UDW delegation to please stand – Thank
You!.. Brothers and Sisters – please do not hesitate to support
this resolution because organizing is an important component of
Photo, Jim West
UDW Delegate Cecilia York speaking on the convention
floor for a resolution to facilitate union organizing.
UDW Delegates in Chicago
Following are some of the delegates (and UDW staff) experiences
and impressions of this historic event which will shape the future
of AFSCME as well as UDW in the 21st Century:
"I want to thank all the members for your support and for
your faith in me to be your delegate. I was proud and honored.
- Being a member of UDW I have been fortunate to see it grow and
be a part of that process. We are growing and we are not alone.
During my visit at the convention I was overwhelmed with the Unity
across the country. The strength of becoming one in the same fight.
It was awesome to sit down with so many sharing the same hopes
and dreams. We are UNITED."
“I was inspired by listening to Hilary Clinton speak at
the convention. I believe she would make a very good president
and I feel all UDW and AFSCME members need to think real hard about
how the present administration is treating our working and middle
class when they vote in 2008.”
" The AFSCME convention gave me chance to look at
how are our union works. Specifically I learned how to do collective
bargaining for higher wages, good health and medical benefits and
pension plans for the union members. The convention showed how
to bring solidarity to union members – both with UDW and
AFSCME – how
to work together.
The Town Hall meeting was a great experience. As I understood,
it was the largest Town Hall Meeting of that nature in the history
of the United States . Throughout the convention we learned how
to vote on issues, resolutions, and amendments that are important
to our union. I thought the Town Hall meeting was a great example
of that democratic process.
I felt Gerald McEntee and William Lucy to be outstanding leaders
because they instilled confidence in to the union membership and
focused on truly relevant issues.
I so enjoyed being a delegate and representing UDW. I want to
say thank you very much to all the members who elected
me as a delegate. I’ll do my very best to be a good union
member, and if possible to continue this work and participate in
the next convention two years from now. I would like to focus on
doing work for UDW and making this a bigger, better, and stronger
"There were so many people from all walks of life coming
together and agreeing!
This is the first time I actually saw such a vast number
supporting the rights of home care workers – rights
that are so fundamental there should be no question about them at
all. There were people
from all over the nation, working together, to build solidarity.
One event was a rally for the hospital workers from Resurrection
Hospital . I was so impressed by the speech from a priest who talked
to us about the workers difficulties – they couldn’t
even organize a union because the management fought against it and
many people who worked in the hospital had medical coverage
that was so expensive they couldn't’t afford to keep their
children covered. There were thousands of us in
the streets – raising
our voices, picketing, even dancing, in support of our fellow workers
from this hospital! "
"I’m really thankful for the chance to represent UDW
at this convention. The delegates all came together so well to
do our job and we formed a truly cohesive group. I
would like to see IHSS become a federal program so that the disabled
and elderly can get these essential services in every state. In
California we are a model for other states."
think the Town Hall Meeting was very informative, I
liked the round table discussions – all the ideas that can
be shared and brought up in this format. Issues can be gone over by Mr. Sweeny
and his staff for the enhancement and growth of the union. These
ideas can then be addressed in all future delegate conventions.”
Campbell, San Diego
||"My experience at the AFSCME 2006 national convention
was one of great enthusiasm for our members. The ideals of
this union were high, and very precise; to fit the needs of American
working people. Where government is dissipating - we
are emancipating! The future we hold in our hands can
greatly benefit the working families of America. I see a great
slogan of the past come to focus 'We the people, by the people,
for the people!' is once again coming alive. Solidarity
was affirmed for this working class of citizens wanting a better
America; to focus on this struggle for the American Dream as it
seems to slip away from us. We need our recognition and are
willing to stand up and take our place. It is our government
and they are working for us. Wake up America!
Dolida, Santa Barbara
UDW Delegate Feel Good, with AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Bill
Lucy at rally held to show support for the hospital workers
of Resurrection Hospital
"This was my first national convention, and
oh boy, was it informative! There were representatives
from all 51 states. I met people from every state except
convention was a history making event in several ways. First,
the 21st Century Initiative was voted in, which will create
a political college to train our future leaders in organizing,
politics, and campaigning, Secondly, A NATIONAL HEALTH CARE
FOR ALL CHILDREN proposal was passed, which means every
child in America will have FREE health care. (I am proudest
to have voted on that) The 3rd was It was the site of the
Biggest Town Hall meeting ever held. The
Town Hall meeting was the greatest thing I participated in. WE got
to voice our opinions and discuss everything at the table.
Every table had 8 to 10 people with no two people who knew
each other at the same table or two from the same state.
I was very pleased that we all were thinking alike.
was also a rally held to show support for the hospital workers
of Resurrection Hospital who have been on strike for 4 years
now. The number of people who showed up was great, It looked
like a sea of green with picket signs floating in it. That
was truly Beautiful to see so much support, and AFSCME pledged
$1,000,000.00 per year in support until it is resolved.
think the conference was a huge success, and members
will be hearing about the things that are going to change
this country for the working class. I am proud to
represent the U.D.W."
Feel Good, Santa Barbara
"This union has helped me, and I feel a genuine obligation
to give something back in return. I want to thank all those who
voted, for trusting me with this responsibility. I am particularly
proud to help represent the Hispanic community within UDW.
feel our number one commitment should be to building our communication
with our members. We need to let our providers know about
all the resources that are available in our union. At the convention
all the delegates worked together both locally and nationally on
building a more powerful network. Afterwards there was a strong
feeling of unity and power!"
-- Gloria King,
brothers and sisters”
heard the words, many many times, but actually being with and
feeling the support and warmth of so many brothers and sisters
I never knew I had, was an experience that has changed my life.
The town hall meeting;
"first ever" and another life
...four thousand union member delegates, at four hundred tables
each table with a laptop computer and the laptops wired to a central information
The team sorted
our input into ten categories and displayed these categories on big screens
on the walls around the convention hall. Our ideas suggestions and strategies
were then voted on with the same kind of electronic input devices they use
for the TV show “who wants to be a
they poll the audience.
We could vote for our top three categories in terms of the ideas and solutions
we thought were best. Immediately after we voted, the results were displayed
on the big screens. Bar graphs showed the percentage
of votes for each category. It was amazing that when we were not too well
informed about an issue at our table there would be awesome ideas from other
members in the hall.
I got was that we were tapping into a four thousand member brain that was
capable of amazing genius and power in problem solving.
I was proud
that our leaders, after decades with the union, were so progressive in implementing
the ultimate exercise in union democracy. Truly we set a great example in
leadership for the American democratic process. I look forward
to the next convention in the hope that this kind of technology will be
used for the whole of the week long convention.
The AFSCME "ACE" -- 21st century computer
center at the convention;
also built an enhanced membership data base that can be accessed with the
use of a computer, an internet connection and a carefully protected password
unique to each user.
This data base has the potential to become an incredibly
powerful tool in terms of serving members during political campaigns, membership
drives and contract negotiations. The new data base, called ACE
(AFSCME Campaign Engine) is being used in ten states and is coming to California
My sense of this development is one of excitement and anticipation it strikes me as being an extension of the town hall meeting style, using technology that will give members a greater voice and more power in the unions decision making process.
but not least, we have leaders at the top of AFSCME who do
not mince words when they tell it like it is, about the gutting
of Middle America in favor of tax breaks on the “unearned income” of
I am very proud to be part of this union, and the AFSCME conference
was an AMAZING experience!
Rudy Lopez - Kern County
I felt this trip to Chicago was like a spiritual journey – one
that I was destined to travel. I’ll tell you why – because
knowledge is power and this convention was all about knowledge,
all about power, and all about bringing those
truths back to the people so they can live better lives.
I deeply appreciate the trust that was given to me by all those
that voted for me as their delegate. I will take that trust to
heart. Everything I learned I will bring back to the members and
their clients so I can help them recognize their rights and be
empowered. Home care workers need recognition and respect
for their work. They need the confidence to stand up for
their rights. I am very blessed to have worked with members
in Kern, in San Luis Obispo, in Orange, and in Riverside. I know
that through spreading knowledge throughout this state – with
every home care worker – we can develop a spiritual
community of caring souls who help one another. That
is what this work is about.
"This was a great learning opportunity – a
real eye-opener on how an international union works. I
never knew the enormous scope of national issues that AFSCME deals
was honored and proud to take part in amending the AFSCME constitution,
which forms the basis of how our union is run. I also met
many new people and friends in this union. I want to thank
all the people who voted for me. I am glad that I went as a
UDW delegate and am very happy to represent them."
- - Clara
|| "I want to thank members who voted for me to
become a delegate at the AFSCME convention in Chicago. AFSCME has
a strong voice for us all on the national level and that is very
important. I learned a great deal and I hope
that in the future I will be able to help many UDW home care workers
with that knowledge.
At UDW we focus on training and educating members, and our union
listens to us. We discuss, research, and fight for our members. I
was so proud to be with UDW at the convention. In Chicago every day
I took a bus from the hotel to the convention center. It was a chance
to meet with others and talk with them, which was so interesting. I
hope UDW workers and their clients have more chances to get together
and help each other in the future – that is important because
we all need to support each other in what we do. When we
met at the convention we all become united in one cause. AFSCME organized
this event very well. Through the whole time
at the convention I never felt tired or bored!"
Ly Nguyen - UDW Staff Translator, Orange County
"I enjoyed going to the convention and facilitating with translation
for our Vietnamese delegates and members. I learned a great deal
from this experience; how to motivate and connect home care workers
with their union, and how to make the union stronger. Many of our
delegates were attending an international convention for the first
time. They were excited to learn about how UDW is supported
by thousands of national AFSCME members and that makes
us very powerful when we come together as one."
"The AFSCME convention was an inspiring and enlightening
experience to be around not just other caregivers from United Domestic
Workers from all around the state but also other people who care
so much about the working class from around the country. I
will remember the experiences, the people I met and the lessons
it taught me forever."
Mendiburu, San Diego
| “I was proud of how our delegation came together
- we all gained in maturity and activism during
our experience in Chicago. It was very exciting to be with thousands of other union
activists under one roof, to experience the process of how a national
union works...At the next
convention I'll aim to be up for placing better in the PEOPLE Fun
was surprised and pleased by all the people who voted for me; I
want to sincerely thank UDW and all the members who trusted me
to be their delegate in Chicago . I know so much more about our
national union now, and why we need our affiliation with AFSCME.
I learned that national policy impacts home
care workers and
every one of us needs to be involved and to vote.
understand more about how our dues are spent to serve members and
to support elected officials who can help UDW members. When I got
to the convention center I was amazed at how crowded it was and
how many people are represented by our national union. It was the
first time I have visited a big city in America . I listened to
all the speakers; Senator Hillary Clinton
and AFSCME president Gerald McEntee were particularly interesting.
I learned a great deal from hearing these leaders and also from
the convention workshops. I especially
liked the Town Hall meeting on the last day – it
showed us how our votes were meaningful.
It was a way for the
union to listen to the members; help them, and fight for them.
I promise to bring everything I learned back to the members of
UDW and to help them. I want UDW to be bigger
and stronger. Thank you for letting me represent you!
Hoa Thai Tran, Orange
"This was my first convention as a delegate.
It was an honor to be elected as one of the 39 UDW delegates.
Much effort went into this convention by AFSCME; the information,
books and supplies, etc, every thing put into a nice package
for the thousands of people who attended. I learned a lot about
Unions and the people who are dedicated to preserving Unions
in this country. As a member of UDW, I look forward to working
with other members to improve our union and implement ideas
learned at the Convention. Lets move
UDW into the 21st Century!
-- Patricia Ward,
"This was a wonderful convention -- it got my adrenaline flowing
again! It is the camaraderie of AFSCME as a whole and was an experience
that no one should miss. UDW members are still in an uphill battle
for a decent living wage. If we get health insurance that’s
great – but we must set aside our personal
differences and agendas and work towards these common goals. As one union together,
we can do it."
Cecilia spoke on the floor of the convention, in favor of resolution
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