Early this year, I received an invitation in the mail. As President of Local 434, I am inundated with mail--all of which is sent to my home address. I do read all correspondence sent from the AFT or IFT, even if it seems mundane or does not apply to us. This invitation however, intrigued me. It was a chance to apply for the AFT-IFT LEAD program (Leadership, Education, and Development).
Only in its second year, it gives locals a chance to pinpoint issues and work as a team to solve them. I immediately asked our executive council for approval to apply. Happily we were accepted as one of only five locals in the state of Illinois to participate in this program.
On January 23-25 myself, Rich Hodson, Jen Stenger and Chris Roedl spent an entire weekend working on defining our areas of concerns and crafting solutions that we felt were achievable. We feel confident in our goals and will work diligently throughout this next year. (Lisa Quandt is the final LEAD team member.)
We were exhausted yet somehow energized, renewed in our commitment to powering forward to strengthen member engagement and reach out to the community. We actively encourage member participation, and we want you to know that we are here for you.
Yours in Solidarity,
Proud alumnus, union member, and educator in District #201 since 2006.
Dr. Hentze is the author of High Finance with Hentze, a monthly blog that provides news about District 201's current financial state.