Editorial: Fighting For a Country That Works For Us All

February 26, 2020

The power of working people is what makes America great.

Editorial_fa.jpgFlorida CNA Catherine Jefferson buried her murdered son in December. New York Capital Region CNA Taneisha Addison is petrified of losing the health insurance in the bankruptcy and sale of her nursing home. And New York City Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor Danisha Marrero worries that looming Medicaid cuts will be fatal for some of her clients.

This is where we are in the first months of 2020, a presidential election year, and three years into an administration that vowed to make America great again by destroying long-standing labor protections, expelling hardworking immigrants, cutting programs that serve our poor and vulnerable, expanding the exploitation of our natural resources, and cutting taxes for the wealthiest among us, all while embroiling the nation in military actions, trade wars, and diplomatic blunders.

1199ers know that the current moment is driven by a minority of wealthy and powerful decision-makers creating an excuse to turn away from the realities of other people’s lives. 1199 is big enough not to let them. 1199ers are uniquely familiar with the realities of systemic racism, health disparities, poverty, mass incarceration, corporate greed, and the legacy of America’s history. We also know that those things fuel our unique and proven ability to make change. President Gresham reminds us that, in addition to being workers, every one of us is something else— a mother, a brother, a sister, a breadwinner, a taxpayer, a homeowner, a student — and we each have a set of worries that keep us up at night and invested in the future of our country and the world.

In the coming months, we are going to start talking about our Union’s platform and the critical issues driving our work in the 2020 elections. We are going to be hearing more about good jobs, healthcare, safe communities, climate justice and more. We will be talking about ways we can push back on the division, vilification, and mythmaking currently holding sway in our country. We’ll be having real conversations about the critical importance of our participation in the 2020 Census, why we must register to vote, how we can get involved in our communities, and how our power to build a movement will navigate our nation onto the right path.

In the meantime, 1199ers will continue to do what we have always done: let injustice fuel our activism and fight for the future of our families, our planet, and a country that works for us all.

- 1199 Magazine: January / February 2020