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July 2018

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Proud to Be a Puerto Rican IBEW Member

It makes me very happy that my IBEW brothers and sisters throughout the United States have volunteered their time to help restore electrical power to Puerto Rico. It makes me so proud to see these companies sending their workers and making a big effort to help. My family members, including those still living in Puerto Rico, are very grateful for these locals and companies stepping forward. Thanks to all of you who went to help.

Jose M. Vega, Local 3 retiree
New York

The Union Difference in Alabama

Late last year, Doug Jones beat Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate. Doug is the first Democratic senator from Alabama in 25 years, and while the media gave most of the credit to women voters, I want to point out the union men and women down here, including retirees, who put him in the Senate.

James T. Burnside, Local 558 retiree
Sheffield, Ala.

Government for the Rich

As I was reading your cover story about gerrymandering [May 2018 Electrical Worker, "How Politicians are Killing Democracy One District at a Time"], I wanted to remind all union brothers and sisters and their families that the obvious agenda of right-wing, anti-union groups like ALEC, Prosperity Action, etc. and the super-rich families funding them is to reduce the government to a weak and ineffective entity. This is being done piece by piece, law by law and district by district. The politicians these groups support are defunding the government by cutting taxes on corporations and the rich. When they're done, the everyday worker will pay all the taxes and have no say in the decisions that affect our lives, giving all the power to the rich and corporate elites and leaving us with a gutted government.

Democracy is the only equalizer between the powerful elites and the rest of us, and we must not allow their agenda to take our freedoms from us. This November, union members must get off our backsides and vote our paychecks, our families and our country.

Robert Wentworth, Local 445 member
Battle Creek, Mich.

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

Giving Thanks for an IBEW Career

Thirty-seven years ago, I was bartending and not really sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was sure I didn't want to travel the normal road most women took at the time. I was an athlete, a biker, an academic, more than a little rough around the edges. I was inducted into Local Union 415 in 1982. I owe my life, my successes, my prosperity, my integrity and my moral compass to the mentorship of the IBEW members who've crossed my path. No, it is not for everyone and it is misleading to believe that everyone is cut out for the sacrifice of blood, sweat and tears required to make a successful journeyman. But for those successful individuals, the world is your oyster. Thankful for the opportunities made available through the IBEW.

Lori Valdez, Local 415 member
Cheyenne, Wyo.

Solidarity Wins

Responding to "Law Repealing Bank Rules Opens Door to Another Great Recession," of this issue:

We brothers will survive through thick and thin. I truly believe that we will survive and prosper through whatever our country goes through as long as we stick together and fight for our common ground. In brotherhood everyone wins.

Zach Leute, Local 113 apprentice
Colorado Springs, Colo.