Highlights from 2019:
Another fine year for organizing! At SEIU Local 888, we made progress on our strategic plan for a “sectoral” approach to collective bargaining. It led to a local-wide campaign to bring more recognition to nearly 1,000 food service members and highlight the gender-based inequities in their pay.

In addition to my role as chief of staff at Local 888, I really enjoyed the opportunity to help members negotiate contracts at the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) and at Boston University. We had very satisfactory outcomes with both employers. At CAAS, the employer proposed an 80–20% split on health insurance premiums, but members successfully maintained their contributions at 11% and won raises too! At BU, members won their first-ever “across the board” wage increase (instead of all merit pay) and their contract campaign inspired not-yet-union library staff to win a “self-determination” NLRB election that doubled the size of the bargaining unit.

Our Revolution Somerville and the Somerville Stands Together coalition continue to build a strong movement for good jobs and affordable housing. We ran a strong campaign to elect Marianne Walles for Mayor and successfully re-elected our slate of progressive city councilors who won in 2017.

I was appointed to the city’s new Job Creation and Retention Trust which began meeting in January and held its first public hearing in October. We are hoping to make some substantial grants in the community early in 2020!

With Bernie’s announcement of a second presidential run, we resurrected Labor for Bernie to win support for Sanders and build the political revolution. Working with my son Caleb on the campaign makes it extra special fun!

By far the biggest development in 2019 was our purchase in January of a second home in Lanesville, (pop. 266) a village in Gloucester Mass. The house is a serious “fixer-upper,” requiring extensive renovations that, while challenging, are a great source of personal satisfaction.

Most of the links below are to my online pictures stored on Google. They create a nice “photo diary” of what was all-in-all a great year. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

· Began preparing for negotiations with CAAS, Jan. 10
· Began teaching “Managing with Labor’s Values” with Marcy Goldstein-Gelb at the Harvard Trade Union Program, Jan. 11
· ORS Citywide meeting, Jan. 13
· Closed on our new house in Lanesville, Gloucester, Jan 17
· Weekend in NYC Jan. 18–21
· “A Labor Movement 2020 Election Strategy,” co-authored with Peter Olney in Organizing Upgrade, Jan. 22
· Our Revolution Massachusetts General Assembly, Jan. 26
· “David Vs. Goliath: How Unions Can Take On Corporate Power,” Labor Guild workshop with Myles Calvey, Jan. 28
· Began serving on the Job Creation and Retention Trust board, Jan. 29

· Somerville City Council hearing on Royal Hospitality Workers, Feb. 11
· Finished teaching “Managing with Labor’s Values” with Marcy Goldstein-Gelb at the Harvard Trade Union Program, Feb 13
· Santa Fe vacation February 17–23, 2019

· One Question: “Should the American Left unite behind Bernie Sanders?,” co-authored with Peter Olney, stateofnatureblog, Mar. 4
· Ken Geiser’s 75 birthday party, Mar. 30

· Brandeis librarians contract celebration and swearing in of new stewards, April 10
· Local 888 rallies against a scheme to privatize the Groton-Dunstable Schools cafeteria,

April 10
· Vacation in London and Florence, April 13–20, 2019
· Negotiations with BU begin, April 24
· First Marianne for Mayor campaign meeting, April 29

· Marianne files election papers for Mayor, May 6
· Negotiations with CAAS begin, May 7
· SEIU Local 888 Public Defenders swearing in ceremony and reception, May 14
· Dave Sickler and the new working class book tour, May 15
· Fund Our Future rally, May 16
· ORS citywide meeting, May 19
· Bernie Sanders rally in Manchester, NH with Caleb, May 28
· Somerville Democratic Caucus meeting, May 30

· Labor Notes “Troublemakers” conference in Worcester, June 1
· Marianne wins her first union endorsement from IBEW Local 2222, June 5
· Lanesville housewarming, June 15
· Marianne for Mayor kickoff party, June 20
· JWJ reunion and Eleanor Roosevelt awards ceremony, June 27

· Fourth of July vacation to Lanesville and Hudson Valley, June 29-July 7
· “Beating Trump and Building Working Class Power in 2020,” co-authored with Peter Olney in Socialist Forum, July 8
· “How a Telephone Workers’ Strike Thirty Years Ago Aided the Fight for Single Payer,” co-authored with Steve Early, Jacobin, July 13

· Public Defenders demand collective bargaining rights at State House rally, July 18
· ORS Candidate Forum, July 24
· Marianne wins endorsement from UFCW Local 1445, July 29

· Vacation in Maine & Lanesville
· Mass Labor for Bernie social, Aug. 28

· Labor Day, Boston and Lawrence! Sept. 2
· Vacation on Cape Cod, Sept. 7
· Somerville preliminary election, Sept. 10
· State Democratic Convention, Sept. 14
· Tentative agreement reached with BU after 10 members attend negotiations, Sept. 17
· Farm Aid 2019, Sept. 21
· Our Revolution’s Larry Cohen meeting with Somerville and Labor for Bernie, Sept. 24
· Car accident results in my car being totaled! Sept. 30

· BU contract ratified, Oct. 2
· Rally with Battery Wharf hotel workers, Oct. 4
· “New California Regulations Strengthen Workers in the Ride Share Industry,” co-authored with Peter Olney, Stansbury Forum, Oct. 6

· Honk! Festival 2019 and SST in the Honk! parade, Oct. 12 &13
· Food Service Workers Recognition Week, Oct. 15–18
· SEIU Local 888 Leadership Conference, Oct. 19
· “A transformed Davis Square must not leave local residents and business wanting,” LTE published in the Boston Globe, Oct. 21
· Wage Theft community briefing, Oct. 28

· Somerville municipal election, Nov. 6
· Bought a new car, Nov.9
· Somerville Jobs Trust public hearing, Nov. 12
· Grassroots organizers rally for Bernie Sanders and the political revolution, Nov. 15
· ORS presidential debate watch party, Nov. 20

· BU NLRB self-determination election victory, Dec. 17
· SEIU Local 888 Bylaws reform referendum vote wins, Dec. 20



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