March 2018 - Supporting Candidates that Support Labor
While concern abounds regarding the political climate surrounding Washington D.C., things are looking great for Lansing. I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Lansing Inauguration held at the Lansing Center on New Year’s Day to witness Mayor Elect, Andy Schor be sworn in by Hon. Louise Alderson of 54A District Court as the first new Mayor of Lansing in 12 years.
The Inauguration started off with the posting of colors by the Lansing Police Department Honor Guards and the National Anthem was sung by the Lansing Children’s Choir. The Master of Ceremonies was conducted by Former State Rep, Former At-Large City Council Member, Joan Bauer. In addition to Mayor Schor, Peter Spadafore and Kathie Dunbar were sworn in as At-Large City Council Members, Brian T. Jackson as Fourth Ward Council Member, Jeremy Garza as Second Ward Council Member, and Chris Swope as Lansing City Clerk.
So why is this great for Lansing? These candidates have consistently supported the wages, benefits and rights of working people. When union contracts come up for negotiation, it’s essential that unions have a voice on local city councils and school boards who can speak up for workers. Working in collaboration as a board with labor in mind, sets the tone for those assurances. For instance, good labor contracts with developers benefit building trades workers when labor-friendly officials support the construction of public buildings with union labor. Additionally, labor friendly officials provide a voice for unions through the engagement with community services and by fighting for public policies that benefit working men and women and protect the rights of minorities.
City council members enact ordinances, set policies, and develop an annual legislative agenda for the City. They also oversee the city budget, address issues and concerns in the community, respond to constituents' concerns at neighborhood meetings, through written correspondence, and telephone communication. They also serve on subcommittees that deal with specific issues such as public safety, youth and family issues, and community services.
A lot of time and effort go into the decision making process before union support is granted to a candidate. Unions have the resources to activate lobbyists, conduct door-knocking campaigns and monetarily support the endorsement of candidates. Having these candidates on speed dial is an invaluable asset to local labor leaders and their members, having these candidates on labor’s side is priceless.