AFSCME elects first African American president and first woman secretary
Lee A. Saunders and Lara Reyes
Washington, D.C.—Delegates to the 40th International Convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), elected Lee A. Saunders as president and Laura Reyes as secretary-treasurer of the union representing 1.6 million public service workers this week.
Saunders received 683,628 votes to 582,358 for opponent Danny Donohue. In the race for secretary-treasurer, the union’s second highest ranking officer, Reyes, received 661,413 votes to 603,624 for Alice Goff. The election was administered by the American Arbitration Association.
“Both Laura and I are committed to our members and cherish this union,” said President-elect Saunders. “We had a vigorous and energetic campaign, but now the union will pull together to win victories for working families and our members all across this great country. We know that Wall Street and their allies are engaged in an all-out assault against our members and the services we provide. They know that AFSCME stands in the way of their efforts to destroy the middle class. We are united in our commitment to stand up for the men and women who care for America’s children, nurse the sick, plow our streets, collect the household trash and guard our prisons. Our members are a cross-section of America, not some elite group as our opponents try to claim. We are energized and ready for the battles ahead.”
Secretary-Treasurer-elect Reyes said that she would “work night and day for the working families of America. Together, we can and will stand up for fairness and for an end to the scapegoating of public service workers. We will pull together in communities across America to find real solutions to the problems facing so many families.”
Gerald W. McEntee, who retires Friday after 31 years as AFSCME president, said the delegates’ decision to elect Lee and Laura “strengthens our leadership and will enhance our ability to face the challenges that await us around the country.”
Saunders will be the fourth president of AFSCME since the union’s formation 75 years ago in Madison, Wis.
Saunders also becomes AFSCME’s first African American president, while Laura Reyes becomes the first woman Secretary-Treasurer.
The convention held the first debate among candidates for union leadership in the history of the labor movement in the United States. Saunders and Reyes will be sworn-in and address the convention on Friday morning during the last day of business.
Nearly 1,200 DUI arrests were made throughout Los Angeles County during 10 days of beefed-up law enforcement efforts designed to combat drunken driving in connection with the Fourth of July holiday period, authorities reported Monday.
I was thinking to myself a while ago that you don’t get in life what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. Have you have ever settled for less than what you deserved? Me too. I’ve found in my career, and in my personal life, that negotiation is truly an art form. I’ve learned from those experiences, and I’d like to share with you, in this limited space, a systematic approach that you can use to get what you want in most negotiations.
Police have arrested a man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in an area of South Los Angeles where a possible serial rapist had already struck at least three times since Friday morning, authorities said.
An officer saw an injured, unconscious woman on a bus bench at Manchester and Normandie avenues just before 12:55 a.m. and her suspected assailant fleeing, said Officer Roger Aguirre of the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street Station. A perimeter was quickly set up in the area and a police dog located the suspect about 2 a.m., he said.
The United States Supreme Court has refused to take up the appeal of a California attorney who has lost lower-court challenges to Barack Obama’s presidency based on a claim he wasn’t born in the United States.
The case originated with Rancho Santa Margarita-based attorney Orly Taitz and Ramona, Calif.-based lawyer Gary G. Kreep.
An apparent armed robbery attempt at a Burlington Coat Factory outlet in Inglewood ended peacefully today as the suspects surrendered after allowing workers to walk out.
The incident at 3150 Imperial Highway began about 7:10 a.m., said Inglewood police Lt. Neal Cochran, adding that at least one suspect was armed.
Some workers inside the building saw three men wearing ski masks enter the business and notified police, Cochran said. A SWAT team was sent to the scene, and a standoff ensued.