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WSLC Convention begins Thursday in SeaTac

SEATAC (July 25, 2019) — Following is an opening message from WSLC President Larry Brown to the delegates attending the 2019 Convention of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, which begins this morning at the SeaTac DoubleTree Hotel. See the agenda here. Follow the action on Twitter using #WSLC2019.

Dear Sisters, Brothers and Friends,

Welcome to the 2019 Washington State Labor Council Convention. This year our convention theme is “Looking Back. Moving Forward.” We are honored that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka will deliver the keynote address for us on Thursday morning. We will also hear from Governor Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, and King County Executive Dow Constantine over the course of this convention.

We will be “looking back” with a panel on the 100-year anniversary of Seattle’s General Strike and the Centralia Tragedy, with a peek at the future for the labor movement in Washington state and across the nation. (And speaking of our future, we’ll hear from Sioux Falls AFL-CIO President Kooper Caraway, the youngest CLC president in the nation.) Other panels will discuss labor’s current Social Justice Campaigns, Intergenerational Communication, and the Future of Work.

You will have a hard time choosing between 10 different informative workshops; luckily some of these workshops will be repeated. Topics range from digital organizing, union-led training, race and the labor movement, the war on workers, and more. If your union has several delegates, you may want to coordinate so your union can cover all of the workshops.

New this year will be early morning yoga and exercise boot camp. And in an effort to make our convention welcoming to all, there will be a prayer room, a space dedicated for parents to feed infants, a gender-neutral bathroom, and a meeting space for Friends of Bill. We will increase our reliance on electronic distribution of documents with downloadable files and less paper.

Thursday evening, July 25 is our COPE BBQ, located down the street from the hotel at the IBEW 77 Hall. (Thanks to IBEW 77 for the space and to IAM 751 for the use of their grill!) This year, we’ve added a BBQ cook-off fundraiser, where pit master Secretary Treasurer April Sims and yours truly will vie for your votes to win the title. Take a sample and vote for the winner by putting your donation to COPE in the “Larry” bucket (or April’s bucket, if you must). The beer and soft drinks will be cold and the food will be good. Following the COPE BBQ, join in the fun of our Casino Night at Maxi’s, all to benefit the Foundation for Working Families, our homegrown charity that assists union families in their time of need.

Friday night is the Women’s Committee silent auction and our banquet, where we will be entertained by Toucans Steel Drum band and a Spoken Word presentation by Christian Page. We will be short on speeches and long on fun.

Saturday, we wrap the convention with debate and votes on resolutions, setting the course for our council in the future, and potential COPE endorsements.

We hope you will enjoy, learn, contribute to the debate, and help us grow the strength of our labor movement in Washington. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask any member of the staff of the WSLC.

In Unity,

Larry Brown, President
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO

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