Friday, May 07, 2010

I think Lorena Gonzalez might be my new best friend

Photo below: Richard Barrera, Lorena Gonzalez, Evan McLaughlin (see story at end of this post)
I went to the rally at Logan Elementary today to stop education budget cuts. David Lagstein of ACCE (formerly ACORN)announced a list of corporations that don't pay their fair share of property taxes in California. Another speaker was Lorena Gonzalez of the Labor Council.

I had the chance to talk to Lorena after the rally. Unless I'm badly mistaken, she liked me a lot. Well, maybe I am mistaken. Come to think of it, I think she resented it when I talked about the top-down management of the teachers union. I said that teachers are not encouraged by the union to be thinkers. She seemed confident that she knew more about the teachers union than I do, but since I started teaching before she was born, and I've become closely acquainted with CTA officials and lawyers, I think I have the edge regarding this particular union.

But it occurs to me that Lorena might not really have any power at all to make any union more democratic. Perhaps keeping her position requires her to stay "on message" just like the rank and file teachers I was talking to her about.

I do want to thank Lorena for the wonderful work she does for workers and their families. An example of this is her effort on behalf of healthcare reform.

Statement by Lorena Gonzalez on Passage of Health Care Reform
Statement by Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer/CEO Lorena Gonzalez on Passage of Health Care Reform

SAN DIEGO – (Sunday, March 21, 2010) – Lorena Gonzalez, the Secretary-Treasurer/CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO, made the following statement following the House of Representatives’ passage of a health care reform bill this evening:

"For the past year, the men and women of San Diego’s Labor Movement joined millions of Americans in calling on the President and Congress to reform our nation’s broken health care system. We told Washington we wanted a system that put people before Health Insurance companies by making healthcare accessible and affordable for everyone by lowering costs and expanding coverage.

"We live in a county where a half-million people have no medical coverage. With the passage of health care reform tonight, we know that thousands and thousands of San Diegans are on the pathway to obtaining the health care they and their families need.

"This bill means long-term health security – and that’s the most important thing for our future, and our children and our children’s children...

San Diego Politico
Monday, March 31, 2008
Labor Council Unanimously Re-Elects Lorena Gonzalez as Secretary-Treasurer

The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council’s delegates voted unanimously to re-elect Lorena Gonzalez to a four-year term as Secretary-Treasurer and CEO on last week.

The delegates, a representative body of members from all 119 local unions affiliated with the Labor Council, declared Gonzalez the winner of the regularly-scheduled election after no other candidates were nominated.

Gonzalez served as the Labor Council’s political director from September 2006 to the end of last year, when Jerry Butkiewicz stepped down from the position.

“It is an honor to represent the working families that make up the Labor Council,” Gonzalez said. “I look forward to growing San Diego’s labor movement during the next four years and beyond.”

Labor Council President Mickey Kasparian nominated Gonzalez.

In addition to winning another term themselves, Kasparian and Gonzalez were re-elected alongside First Vice President Sandra Oleson, Second Vice President Virginia Cobb and Sergeant-at-Arms Ricardo Guzman...

Evan McLaughlin, who now works for the Labor Council, won an award for journalism when he was at Voice of San Diego:
2007 SPJ Awards Winners
July 30, 2007
The San Diego Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced the 2007 Journalism Awards June 28.
...Political/Government, Daily Reporting/Writing
Honorable Mention: Andrew Donohue Voice of San – Still Wearing the Pants
2nd Place: Evan McLaughlin, Daniel Strumpf Voice of San – San Diego Wrestles with Military Past
1st Place: Evan McLaughlin Voice of San – Board Stiff
Judges’ Comment: A well-written explanation of how a small group of entrenched supervisors are able to completely dominate San Diego County.

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