Thursday, July 31, 2014

Carol goes to boot camp

Today I have a guest blog, from our friend, Carol Adams.
Carol retired from Backus Hospital in December and since then has been very active as the Backus Federation of Nurses Political Liaison.
We are so lucky to have her working for us (Carol does all this without compensation!)
She has become known and respected statewide and nationally within our union and outside it.
She is also a trusted advisor and good friend to me.
Recently, she spent a week in Pittsburgh at AFT Political Boot Camp and sends us this report:

Retirement has been busier than ever.  I've been working as your political liaison, getting to know your elected officials and attending political events. The Backus Federation of Nurses is well known on the state and federal level and is very well thought of by AFT.

Recently, I was very privileged to attend AFT's Political Boot Camp for five days in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  It was five days of intense classroom work and practical experiences with a group of 40 from all over the country.  We were divided into diverse groups of six.  My group included a college educator from New Mexico,  teacher from Florida, a Rutger's administrator from New Jersey, a teacher who is the political chair for the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, our mentor, a political director from Washington, DC, and myself, the only nurse present in a group of 40.
Together we learned to devise a campaign overview, a campaign plan, improve communication with members, legal and compliance issues, and devise a budget and calendar.  We also had practical experience by participating in a phone bank and labor walk, reaching out to members of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.
I learned a lot from both the classed and my very seasoned team mates.   We were given homework to develop a campaign outline to increase PFT's member participation in the electoral process. 
The pressure was on!
Teams became very competitive. The teams presented their projects to the President of PFT who was quite enthusiastic about ideas developed by the different groups.
Starting August 4th, I will be working for AFT as a Congressional Coordinator for District 2, where I will apply what I have learned in Pittsburgh. It's a temporary position through the election, and I am excited to start.
In Solidarity,

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