President's Corner


January 2021 Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Local 150 VP Kevin Burke: All Politics is Local

Another round of Local elections in Illinois brought a lot of encouraging news with only a few bad spots. While we saw a few friendly mayors defeated by anti-union challengers, the victories far outnumbered the losses. In Rockford, Tom McNamara was elected to the office of Mayor, and several friendly candidates defeated Aldermen who supported Bruce Rauner’s so-called “Turnaround Resolution.” In such a large city, this was a big victory, and it came in large part due to Local 150’s support.

Even more exciting are the results from our members who ran for local office. Throughout our Districts in Illinois, 18 members ran for office in contested races, meaning they had opposition. 14 of those members were successful while only four were not. These offices range from Township Trustee and Highway Commissioner all the way up to Mayor and Village President. Having members in these local positions couldn’t be more important.

In many cases, retired members who have never gotten involved in politics have found that they are far more qualified to serve in positions like Highway Commissioner than current incumbents. These offices are critically important as well, since they often oversee bidding and contracting multi-million-dollar road maintenance projects.

Nobody understands the value that union workers bring to our communities better than we do, which is why we always urge members to run for local office. If you have a desire to do so, please reach out to Political Director Pat Bataillon, and we can help you determine whether it is a good fit for you.

This will be especially important moving forward, as Illinois, Indiana and Iowa all deal with anti-union policymakers trying to give workers the short end of the stick. If you run for office, Local 150 can almost certainly endorse you and support your campaign, and this election showed that we can win when we are in the race.

There is no better way to protect our future than to have an active hand in determining it. Congratulations to all the members who ran. Whether you won your election or not, we are proud to stand with you, and we look forward to helping the next round of candidates who stand up to take the lead in the fight for our livelihoods.



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