The Electrical Worker online
December 2017

From the Officers
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Run. Fight. Win.

At the IBEW, we support a lot of candidates who stand up for working people. But no candidate we back understands what it's like to climb a utility pole, bend conduit or splice telecommunications cable like a member of our own Brotherhood.

That's why it's been so encouraging to see our members seeking — and winning — public office.

In New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Brothers Kevin Cavanaugh and Paul Feeney each won special elections this year to become state senators. Three IBEW members in New Jersey won re-election to the State Assembly in November and nearly a dozen more won local office in their towns and cities.

In Illinois, Chicago Local 134 wireman Marty Moylan, a member of the state House of Representatives, sponsored legislation fighting back against local right-to-work zones, working to protect collective bargaining rights for workers there. And in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Donald Norcross, a member of Folsom, N.J., Local 351, authored a bill to expand apprenticeship opportunities in the trades.

We're proud of Brothers Cavanaugh, Feeney, Moylan, Norcross and too many more to name here. And we're happy to support them when they run.

In Massachusetts, our active members and retirees got behind Feeney and put him over the top. And now they have an ally in the state Senate who understands what it's like to be a member of the IBEW. He knows what it's like to fight for a fair contract at Verizon because he did it in 2016. He knows what it means to worry about health care or where the next paycheck is coming from.

Brother Norcross is one of the only members of the U.S. Congress who knows what it's like to be an apprentice struggling to buy necessary books and tools while learning the trade, and that's why he worked to make it easier for young people to save for those expenses.

These are things you can't teach. You have to live them to understand what working people go through every day.

2018 is an election year in the U.S., and as working people and union members, a lot's at stake.

Over the last 12 months, we've watched important safety regulations rolled back and witnessed attacks on prevailing wage, project labor agreements and overtime pay.

So, as we look to next year and the federal, state and local elections that are coming, we'll be asking for help electing representatives at all levels who will fight to protect working families. But ask yourself something too. "Do I have something unique to contribute? Would my voice be a valuable one in my community?"

With the IBEW's caring and engaged membership, the overwhelming response is "yes." So run for school board or city council or your state legislature. Run for working families and union members. You'll find support from your union brothers and sisters.


Also: Stephenson: Energy's Future Read Stephenson's Column

Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International Secretary-Treasurer