CHICAGO – AFSCME President Lee Saunders today announced that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees nearly doubled the goal set in January 2014 when the union launched its “50,000 Stronger” organizing campaign.
“Today, we are 92,155 members stronger, with new members from EMTs to home care workers, and we will continue our fight for the middle class and the future of this country,” Saunders declared. Delegates to the union’s 41st International Convention who heard his opening day remarks yesterday jumped to their feet and roared their approval, applauding, stomping their feet and clapping for several minutes. “Our opponents want to deplete the labor movement of resources, steal our power and silence our voices,” he said.
The better-than-planned results of the 50,000 Stronger campaign, which was launched at an internal leadership summit in January, were particularly sweet for the union and its members, coming as they do on the heels of Harris v. Quinn, a Supreme Court decision that undermines AFSCME’s ability to represent home and child care workers.
Included in the 90,000-plus new members are more than 20,000 of those home care workers, who were the target of the lawsuit which was funded by the National Right to Work Committee.
“Just two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court undermined the freedom of home care workers and child care workers. But if anybody thinks we are giving up because things got harder, they are wrong,” Saunders declared.
The union sees its successful organizing campaign as a clear indication that face-to-face organizing is the proper response to what has been an onslaught of attacks on public service workers.
Hearing: Compressor station proposed near farms in New Sewickley Twp:
July 23, 2014 – 6:30pm New Sewickley Township Municipal Building 233 Miller Road Rochester, PA 15074
Kretschmann Farm is an organic farm serving many of us in the greater Pittsburgh area. This isn’t just about Kretschmann Farm, this is about ALL of the farms and their ability to continue providing us with produce that is free of frack toxin.
The production of healthy food with the benefit of clean water and air is one of the values of the environment and the most treasured of resources.
THE ISSUE: 7/23/14 conditional use hearing on a Marcellus gas compressor station that would be built adjacent to Kretschmann’s farm – this meeting might be the one where the supervisors grant permission for the plant.
ATTEND: RESIDENTS OF NEW SEWICKLEY TOWNSHIP AND ALL INTERESTED PERSONS:
Hearing on proposed construction of the Pike Compressor Station Facility by Cardinal PA Midstream, LLC on an 11.2 acre gravel pad on Teets Road in New Sewickley Township.
The New Sewickley Township Board of Supervisors will continue the public hearing from Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the New Sewickley Township Municipal Building, 233 Miller Road, Rochester, PA 15074 to July 23, 2014 at 6:30 to obtain any additional public comment on the Conditional Use
LETTER FROM THE KRETSCHMANS July 15, 2014
Greetings from the Kretschmanns,
I wish I could talk about the what might shape up to be the best early potato crop in years, or how nice the tomatoes look, picture perfect fields of broccoli and cauliflower, or how excited we are to see the winter squash growing beautifully after being planted using our innovative new no-till system.
But unfortunately we are totally preoccupied with stopping a Marcellus gas compressor station from being sited on a property adjoining our farm in the rear. We are shell shocked and beside ourselves after the surprise phone call last Wednesday from a neighbor about a meeting of the township board of supervisors at which they were to decide the issue.
In eight hours we and several other neighbors came up with enough questions for the board to delay decision and continue the hearing on 7/23 at the township building. But we are told it will be an uphill battle. The small group of neighbors calling ourselves the Bulldogs for New Sewickley Health has alerted hundreds of residents, who also knew nothing about these plans.
We don’t like to bother our subscribers with issues outside our farmer to consumer relationship and deny many requests by outside groups to contact you. But this is about the future of your food supply–make no mistake.
It’s about the future of our farm. Thus, we respectfully ask, beg, that you write the board of supervisors voicing your concerns about the safety and integrity of your organic food supply. As citizens of Pennsylvania, we all have “a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and aesthetic values of the environment.” (Art.27Sec1PA Constitution) The state, and thus the township is the trustee of these common resources to preserve them for all of us.
Surely the production of healthy food with the benefit of clean water and air is one of the values of the environment and the most treasured of resources. We know you are busy-with-life. Please consider taking the time to send a letter to the supervisors insisting they fulfill their duty to protect the safety of your food supply. We are taking this very seriously and have engaged legal talent including the attorney who successfully confronted the free reign of the gas industry all the way to the PA Supreme Court. We need your help now, as the 7/23 conditional use hearing might be the one where the supervisors grant permission for the plant. If you’re a parent, also appeal on behalf of your children who grow nourished by this wholesome food. If you’re a doctor or health professional appeal on the basis of prudent concern for one’s health. Other professionals can lend a hand as appropriate. If you know anyone who could help out in the media, political, business, or legal arenas please let us know. We certainly are not asking for this kind of response based on the basis of NIMBY–not in my backyard. It’s simply that an extra-ordinary number of Pittsburgh area consumers are consuming food from our farm in a raw and unprocessed form. That’s a special case and you have a right to it’s quality.
We will be setting up a more automated a petition line, but you can send petitions to the Board of Supervisors c/o twp manager, New Sewickley Twp. Importantly, CC us in the e-mail, or simply send it to us and we’ll print and forward it. Please be respectful. Don served for many years on this board with the current Chairman. Please put “NST petition” in the subject line so we can make sure it is introduced into the official record. We thank our many subscribers who have supported us for decades by buying our organic produce and thus making us the thriving organic farm which we are.
This has allowed us to laugh at the lease agreements sought by the “land men”. We haven’t and won’t sign. We need your help at this time in this special way. Salient talking points are the potential danger to your organically raised food supply and the farm which produces it. We are confident the public good can prevail if we all step forward together. We will be putting together more information as we get a little ahead of this breaking wave.
Busy as bees, we are sincerely, Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew