Everybody should have a union…. It gives us a voice. It gives you the power to change things that need to be changed.

~ Leslie Williams, 32BJ Member, New Jersey

Jay Etheridge

District: Division: ,

Jay became a shop steward for the union two years ago and, as he increased his activism on the job, he realized that it was also important for him to get involved in political action to elect officials who will support working people. Jay has also spread the word to other members about why political action is important.

I attend the rallies and I have done campaign volunteering.  We need to get politicians elected who support the working class. We don’t want anybody to act against us or look to break us down– understanding that started to motivate me and other members. I’ve gotten others to do door-knocking, hand out flyers and go to rallies. I try to get the whole group that I’m a steward for to take action every day.

Jay contributes to ADF and encouraged many other members to contribute as well.

We have to contribute: it helps and it’s important. We need to be able to support our activities for political action. We need to be able to support elected officials that pass legislation that is important to working families. For many members, immigration laws are important and we want politicians to back our position. We’re stronger together. When we all contribute a little, we get a lot. We have to work together so we’re able to keep the things we have, like our health care and other benefits.

So, how did Jay sign up so many members?

I explained to them what ADF was and I explained to them how ADF affects us. As we started going to rallies and being more active, other members saw what the contributions are for. I showed them that we are the union and the union works for us and we work for our union. They also understood that it’s important to have political support when we are negotiating our contract. The support of elected officials is well needed and appreciated. We are out there supporting them and they support us.


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