We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

UNIONS are very important for the work force. Discovering Democracy Research Fair tonight!

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John Eyster
Thursday, May 30, 2013

UNIONS are very important for the economy and work force. Discovering Democracy Research Fair tonight!

This is the last Discovering Democracy IV student opinion before the research fair tonight. SARA STEED is convinced that UNIONS are very important for healthy economy and workers. What do YOU think?

TODAY I share the last STUDENT OPINION STATEMENT from Discovering Democracy IV students before their RESEARCH FAIR tonight from 7 – 9 pm in the library at Milton High School. I remind you that this a very valuable opportunity to talk with young adult citizens about the significant public policy issues they researched throughout this school year and delved into as part of the Discovering Democracy field study. Tonight they share their research portfolios with their own personal public policy recommendations on the issue each student researched. I know I am looking forward to learning and dialoging with the DD IV students this evening. YOU are welcome! See you there?

SARA STEED based her selection of a significant public policy issues on the fact that her parents are both members of local unions and benefit from their union memberships. Read her OPINION STATEMENT and consider her case and then comment. What do YOU think?

Here is SARA STEED’s statement:

“Hello to everybody reading! My name is Sarah Steed. I was lucky enough to be able to travel with Discovering Democracy on field study to Washington, DC this past March. The topic I chose to research was labor unions, and why they are more of a benefit to the work force. My parents are members of local unions, so this topic hits home for me.

“I was lucky enough to schedule four interviews during the time DD (Discovering Democracy) spent in the nation’s capital. The first day, while most of my classmates were off meeting Senators and Congressmen, I was making my way around Washington DC alone to three of them.

The first one took me a few blocks away from the White House to meet with the AFL-CIO speechwriter, Robert Struckman. When I left the group to join the rest of the early morning commuters on the metro, I was shaking in my nerves. Once I hopped on Metro, however, I found it was easier than I had anticipated. Giving myself plenty of time to get places was something I had found extremely beneficial that morning. I arrived about an hour early and had the chance to walk the few blocks to see and take photos of the White House.

Upon returning to the AFL-CIO building, and checking in with security, I was pleasantly surprised when Mr. Struckman walked up to where I was waiting and invited me to go along with him to get a coffee.

Our interview started on the streets of DC and even though I was not able to write what we said while walking, he provided me an insight on the topic of labor unions that I hadn’t thought of before. One of the things Mr. Struckman said that I 100% agree with, ‘…the best assets of labor unions with infrastructure are the abilities to give stability for the long run.’

“My second interview was with a member of Senator Baldwin’s staff in the Russell Senate Office building where the Right to Work law, which has been passed in twenty-four states, was mentioned a few times. This staff member believes that this law is unfairly attacking the labor unions and is doing this by violating the contract between a company and labor unions.

“My last interview of the day was with an employee of AFSCME, Gary Storrs. This was another interview where the Right to Work law and the Wisconsin’s Act 10 bill were mentioned. His opinion on these were that they are open ways of weakening labor unions and therefore removing political opposition that comes with having labor unions. Thursday was a long day of meetings, but it was also a long day that provided me with new information and experiences.

“On Friday I met with one last person to get an opinion on my topic. The Republican Party is normally not in favor of labor unions, so it was important that I get an interview to gain Republican perspective. I intervidewed a member of Republican Congressman Sean Duffy’s staff. One of the negative points vis-a-vis labor unions he articulated was that it is often difficult to find a balance with negotiating. Not only did I hear the opposition’s case on labor unions, but I also learned positives and negatives of both the Right to Work law and Act 10 bills.

“Based on my own personal experiences, as well as the interviews I experienced in Washington DC on DD field study, I believe that labor unions are a real benefit to the country’s economy, work force, and its workers. Anyone with questions or comments, please feel free to speak to me at Discovering Democracy’s research fair tonight (Thursday, May 30th, 2013 from 7 – 9 pm in the library at Milton HS). Hope to see many of you there, and thank you for reading my opinion!”

As invited by SARA, YOU are welcome by her and her colleagues to come to the DD Research Fair tonight to dialog with them on their significant public policy issues. The Research Fair is open to the public and free. Come to the library at Milton High School between 7 – 9 pm tonight. I continue to assert that civil dialog is key to a healthy democracy. Share this kind of dialog with the DD IV students. Everyone is welcome!


Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 9:20 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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