FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT (JUNE, 2002)

It is hard to believe that it is already June. Time flies when one is busy, and this year has been busy so far. When I started my first term of office as President last year, the outgoing President, Audie Lussier, warned me that things would always stay busy, and just when it seemed as there would be a lull, something would pop up to get my attention. So far, she has proven to be right.

Last month I wrote about the winning design for our Local's lapel pin. Yee Vue from Economic Assistance (EDAD) was recognized for his artwork at our party on May 10th.   Now you can see his handiwork in full color on our web site. You will see both Mr. Vue's original design and the final art rendering as done by Tigereye Design. After seeing how our pin is going to look, you will be looking forward to wearing it on your lapel, shirt, jacket, purse or wherever you decide to it looks best. So, go take a look at www.afscmelocal34.org and see for yourself.   While you are visiting the web site, spend some time looking around. You will find many interesting points of information. Our developer, John  Herzog, is always adding to the site. If you have articles, web sites, information that you think would be suitable for adding to our site, contact Mr. Herzog at afscme34@hotmail.com with your comments, suggestions, etc. I would suggest making a point of visiting the web site on a regular basis as we will start to use it to get information out to the membership much more frequently as more of our members telecommute fulltime.

One of the best parts of this job is getting to meet members and, in doing so, putting faces to names. All of us communicate with fellow members of the Local via e-mail or phone but how often do you actually get to meet those folks or even know that they are fellow Union members? After being a County employee for almost 22 years, I have had the opportunity to talk to lots of folks and now am getting to meet them as well. You also have no idea where you will be when you meet people. It can be standing in line at the Credit Union, sitting on a bus heading in to work, waiting for an elevator, at a community event, at a political convention. There you are doing your thing and all of a sudden someone walks up to you and introduces themselves and you end up having a conversation that has nothing to do with where you are.  The most recent time this happened to me was at a housewarming party for a friend.

Other people there were former and current co-workers and people I had communicated with in the course of work, but never met in person.  We had that moment of "your name is so familiar, I wonder why" to the moment of recognition  "Oh, yeah, I sent you an e-mail.... ".  In meeting fellow members, I learn more about issues that are important to them and how the Local can better serve the membership.  It helps to make our Local a smaller world.

The end of this month will find me in Las Vegas for our International Convention, along with our other delegates, alternates and guests. I am looking forward to attending this convention - my second one - for many reasons.  President McEntee's speeches are always electrifying and he should have much to say regarding the political races this year.  Secretary-Treasurer Lucy delivers inspiration in his speeches and you walk out of the convention hall feeling that you can climb mountains.  We will need some of that as we come back to our jobs.  There will be reports on the work of the Locals around the country which will give us ideas for how to better our working conditions - to include in our contract negotiations the next time - to show us how far we have come over the years.  There will be resolutions to read, discuss, and vote up or down with no item deliberated lightly. We will most likely hear speeches from politicians about the impact of the budget on our lives. If there are workers on strike anywhere in the city of Las Vegas, we will be "invited" by President McEntee to join him in a march of solidarity with their cause. But it will not all be work. There will be lots of fun, too. The opportunities to meet fellow AFSCME members as we visit their booths, participate in PEOPLE events,  and attend the hospitality rooms after the business of the day has been completed, all add up to fun. This will be a special year for me as I will be introducing my sister to Unionism. She will fly out with us and hopefully pick up the flavor of our spirit over the week that we are there. I thank you for being able to represent you at this terrific event.

Have a great month!

Jean