FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT (MAY, 2002)
am beginning my column this month with a request for members
to think about those words from Winston Churchill.
I believe that we have a golden opportunity to show
that there are a number of us who willing to act responsibly
by stepping forward to serve as election
judges for the primary and
general elections this year.
You have seen the article in the Hennepin County
Weekly that comes to us via the County e-mail. You have
probably also read articles in your local newspapers asking
for help as we are facing a critical
shortage of judges this year.
Hennepin County has one of the most efficient and
accurate voting systems in the country but it will not work
at its optimum level if there are not enough judges to make
it work. Without enough judges, there will be substantial
wait times at the polling sites.
In order to be an election
judge, you must be: eligible to vote; be able to read, write
and speak English; not be a candidate in the election; not
be a parent, spouse, child or sibling of another election
judge (at the same polling place); attend required training;
and declare your party affiliation (State law requires this
to make sure that no more than half of the election judges
at a polling place are from any one party).
You can work either the primary
(September) or the general election (November) or both.
Like jury duty, Minnesota law allows you time off
from work with full pay if you give 20 days prior notice to
your employer. If you are not employed, you receive an
hourly wage for both training and service. If interested,
contact the Hennepin County Election Division at
612-348-5151 or go online at the following address: http://www.co.hennepin.mn.us/taxsvcs/vote/geninfo.htm
to obtain more information. If
you do not live in Hennepin County, but are interested in
serving as an election judge in your city, check with your
local Election Division.
I have been fortunate to have worked with a wonderful
group of election judges the past two years. The hours were
long and the work was sometimes overwhelmingly busy but
knowing that I was part of a free election process,
something that is not available to many people around the
world made it all worthwhile. Election judges are essential
to the voting process as they are the ones responsible for
opening the polling sites, making sure that the ballots are
handled correctly, certifying vote totals and best of all,
meeting all sorts of new people.
Please think about serving in
this crucial role in the election s process.
to the winner of the Local
34 lapel pin design contest and
a $25.00 savings bond. Yee Vue, a worker in the Elderly and
Disabled Division of Economic Assistance won with his design
of a circle with two hands joined under a colorful umbrella
with a rising sun. Yee used these words to describe his
design: the two hands shaking represent partnership, coming
together or appreciation. The umbrella represents
protections, shelter or a roof for all of us. The colors of
the umbrella represent our diversity, different
nationalities and different cultures. The shining sun
represents our hopeful future and strength with the rays
representing reaching beyond our dreams, goals and
accomplishments. The circle of the pin is "all Union
members coming together as one Local."
join the Executive Board in thanking Mr. Vue for his
We will have an enlarged copy of his design at the
May 10, 2002 Inaugural Ball for all to see.
have received the Call for the 31st
Annual Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Convention
held May 22 - 27, 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The March 20,
2002 Executive Board passed a motion to send up to two
delegates with the Local paying up to 4 days lost time,
$50.00 per diem for 6 days, registration cost of $170.00 per
person, and transportation (including to and from the
airport) with the delegates to be elected at the May 1, 2002
General Assembly. If you are interested in putting your name
forward for this election and are not able to attend the GA,
please contact Jean Diederich at 348-0266 or by e-mail by no
later than 3:30 PM on May 1, 2002.
NOTE: you must be able
to show that you are you a current CBTU member as of the
date of the election in order to be considered for the
election. You can contact at (202) 429-1203 to find out how
to join if you have not already done so.
is an election year and the role of the PEOPLE Committee will be extremely important, as
we become involved in the races for various political
candidates. The goal this year is to form not only a
telephone tree, but also an e-mail tree with home e-mail
addresses of members interested and willing to work on
campaigns for our endorsed candidates. You will see more
about this at a later date from the PEOPLE Committee Chairs
once they have appointed at the May General Assembly.
I encourage each of you to think about what you can
do to help get our candidates elected. It may be working on
a mailing or doing a door knock or literature drop. Maybe
you will decide that, even after being on the phone all day,
you still have the stamina to do some more phone work at a
phone bank. Whatever it is, the time and effort will be
greatly appreciated. We
need YOU! (Note: Contact either Jean Diederich or John
Thorson at Council 14 to express your interest or inquire as
to what you can contribute).
Executive Board voted to send $500.00 to the Ronald
McDonald House of the Twin Cities
them in their campaign to add on to their existing housing
so that they can help more families. This expansion project
will add 15 more guestrooms, a new classroom, a half-court
gymnasium, and a new office building as well as improving
the common areas such the kitchen and dining room. Our
assistance will help more families battling critical health
issues by increasing the capacity from 33 to 48 families;
expanding their ability to serve patients referred from
pediatric sub-specialties such as cystic fibrosis,
cardiovascular surgery and neonatology; enlarging the
in-house school and the Family Resource Center whose
services are invaluable to families struggling to balance
practical daily needs with overriding concerns for their ill
child - especially those faced with a lengthy stay; and
creating a safe and friendly environment by vacating the
alley between the buildings and physically connecting all
If you would like to read more about the Ronald
McDonald House and get more information about their program,
you can call 612-331-5752 or visit them at their web site
at at www.rmhmpls.com.
to all of you who came out to vote on April 10th for our new
officers. Please join us at the May 1st GA meeting as we
take our oath of office and take care of the business of our
tip for the gardening season - wear lots of sunscreen!