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January 2018

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How to Extend a Hand

I was fortunate enough to represent employees on a statewide lobbying team for six legislative sessions, from 1990 to 1996. It gave me a great education on how legislatures function, how the committee process works and what happens in the last days of the legislative session.

We visited many legislators' offices and had discussions regarding the issues that concerned our membership. I remember a particular conversation with a legislator who represented the district where I lived. He did not understand why our president never communicated with him. It left a lasting impression on me.

Although members from the other side of the aisle are sometimes seen as the enemy, they can also become allies. It is imperative that we build relationships with our representatives regardless of their party.

When calling, writing or visiting legislators, explain:

  1. What organization and issues you represent
  2. How the issue/legislation you are contacting them about affects you
  3. What your opposition will tell them about the issue/legislation

Remember, never supply false information. If you do not know the answer to a question, find out and get back to the legislator with the information.

Present your issues clearly and concisely. Know your subject matter thoroughly, both your side and the opposition's. The better educated you are about your subject, the better you will be received.

Although you may be on opposite sides of an issue, you can still build a relationship that can benefit your organization in the future.

David P. Rovaldi, Local 26 retiree
Inverness, Fla.

IBEW_Facebook  From Facebook: Every month the IBEW Facebook page receives thousands of comments from our dynamic and engaged community of members and friends.

Happy Birthday to the IBEW

RE: Commemorating the 126th anniversary of the IBEW: This is my favorite quote from former AFL-CIO President Thomas Donahue: "The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor." One of the reasons I believe wages have been stagnant is because of the assault on unions. When unions are strong, so goes the economy, even for nonunion workers.

Kathy Bollen Jamieson, Retired Local 15 member
Downers Grove, Ill.

Years of Service

We are lucky to be part of the IBEW. Looking forward to getting my 65-year pin.

Brian M. Davis, Retired Local 595 member
Dublin, Calif.

Saying No to GOP Tax Plan

Put that union ticket in your boot where it belongs. Never will understand why union members would support a party that makes no bones about destroying our union.

Travis Patterson, Local 191 member
Everett, Wash.

Safety is Key

Regarding November's cover article, "The New World of Arc-Rated Gear," I trust no one when it comes to working circuits even if I have seen it locked out. Check everything. Make sure you check yourself and don't be complacent.

Alan Meade, Local 666 apprentice
Richmond, Va.