Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor United

Lately my days have been filled with opportunities to discuss our shared issues with those in and outside of organized labor groups in Alaska.

I had the privilege of being named the Labor Leader of the Week. You can view the profile at the labor coalition website. The address is

I was at "Election Central" on Tuesday night as results came in very slowly from across the state. There weren't too many surprises, except the closeness of the battle in the Republican primary for Alaska's one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Wednesday evening was a wonderful chance to host a table at the AFL-CIO's banquet. I was honored to dine next to George Cannelos of the Denali Commission. We discussed NEA-Alaska's concerns regarding rural teacher housing. He was very receptive and agreed that more needs to be done in this area.

On Thursday, FEA and ESSA leaders, as well as Vice President Tim Parker and Past President Bill Bjork helped me present early endorsement checks to Scott Kawasaki and David Guttenberg. We've now given these checks to nine true friends of eduction. There is much to do in helping them get re-elected.

The biggest news of the week is undoubtedly the selection of Governor Sarah Palin to be the running mate of John McCain. As I greeted the members of the Anchorage Education Association Executive Board on Friday morning, it was impossible not to quote what I certainly believe fits the announcement, "We live in interesting times"!

I'm off to the cabin for a couple of days and then it's on to assist in the LKNEA (Lower Kuskokwim) membership drive. I'm not sure about all the places on the list, but am very happy to be asked to assist in Nightmute and Tununak.

Please have a restful and safe Labor Day weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Much To Do!

Wow! There is so much to be done I need to consult my calendar several times each day to know what's coming up next. Tomorrow I head for Kodiak to work with KIESA and KBEA in their membership drives and member meetings. Today I had the pleasure of presenting early endorsement checks to four of the nine legislators we approved through our PACE process. The checks could not be given earlier due to special sessions. It is not allowable for legislators to accept campaign contributions during regular or special session times. So far, checks have been delivered to Beth Kerttula, Harry Crawford, Berta Gardner, Max Gruenberg, and Hollis French. I also look forward to working with new Anchorage Education Association President Jim Lepley at the Alaska State Fair on Saturday. If you're in the area, please drop by to say hello.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Membership Drives Are Underway

On Monday and Tuesday of this week I had the pleasure of helping the Northwest Arctic Education Association and the Northwest Arctic Education Support Professional Association with their membership drives in Kotzebue. We enjoyed ice cream together, signed up new members, and connected with long time friends. I even got a chance to catch up with a second year teacher in Buckland who was my student when he was in the sixth grade! OK, truthfully it made me feel old, but also rewarded to see a former student beginning a career in education.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Welcome to the President's Blog!

Hello Everyone! One of my highest priorities as your new president is to expand the ways we communicate with each other. This blog space is where I plan to update you with news of my activities, meetings, and events. I welcome you to view my postings, as well as make comments. I want to know your thoughts and look forward to reading them. Please write respectfully. I will try to post something new each week if possible. I am carrying my camera with me so that I can share photos too.

My best to all as we begin an exciting new school year!