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Megha Desai is a public defender in Multnomah County, Oregon. In a given week, she might work upwards of 60 hours. Right now, she has about 145 open cases.

All-knowing sources of information. Tour guides to the highways and byways of history. The friendly voice of a morning story time.

Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to help rally the community around 1,300 AFSCME sanitation workers who had gone on strike.

In the 1980s, I was living and going to school in Minnesota when women who worked for state government won a big victory. They got the state to increase the pay of women in “female dominated jobs” by passing a pay equity bill. In other words, they put a dent in the gender pay gap. As a student, I researched and wrote about the process of crafting, passing and implementing that legislation. And I learned something that I have never forgotten: the union made it happen. And not just any union. Our union: AFSCME. 

Day on the Hill gives AFSCME members an opportunity to learn about the legislative process, then use that knowledge to engange in meaningful conversations and build relationships with the people we elect to represent us at the Capitol. It’s a chance to come together as one and have a real impact on the decisions our elected officials make about our work and our lives. Remy Huerta-Stemper (Local 34) says talking to our legislators is a crucial part of making sure workers’ voices from all parts of the state get heard.

Sharing Our Stories

Seven AFSCME members from across Minnesota shared their personal stories with House Speaker Melissa Hortman and more than 1,000 members of our AFSCME Council 5 family. The workers came from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, but their stories shared one solid thread: their AFSCME values and the value of the services we provide that make Minnesota happen.

This year’s Day on the Hill rally in the rotunda did not disappoint. In another major first for our Council, our sister union, MAPE (Minnesota Association of Professional Employees) and AFSCME held a joint midday rally. Union members packed all three floors, filling the rotunda to its brim.

MAPE’s Executive Director, Lina Jamoul, opened the rally by firing up the crowd and declaring, “Together, we are 60,000 workers strong.That's 60,000 workers committed to workplace democracy and a just economy that works for everyone, not just those few at the top.”

Nearly a thousand AFSCME members from across Minnesota converged at the State Capitol on March 26 for our biggest, most impactful event of the year: Day on the Hill.

Our union gained more than 9,000 dues-paying members and nearly 19,000 dues-paying retirees in the last year, suggesting that billionaires and corporations are failing in their effort to “defund and defang” public service unions.

Workers in Missouri and New Mexico have chalked important victories against anti-worker laws that would have robbed them of their voices and the right to bargain collectively.

In Missouri, two separate anti-worker measures, HB 1413 and SB 1007, were halted by state courts last week.

AFSCME social workers fight for the right to continue providing high-quality service to their elderly patients, who are among Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents.