As 2016 closes we say goodbye to a real hero, Ohio space pioneer U.S. Senator John Glenn. We also join the nation in greeting a new Congress and President.
Winston Churchill was correct when said “The price of greatness is responsibility.” As President, we owe Donald Trump a fair chance to become a thoughtful president who leads America with dignity and respect to both law and custom. We owe him a fair chance – but not a free pass.
After more than a year of front-page campaigning we can’t forget it’s not all about Donald Trump. Congress must confirm appointments, approve Supreme Court appointees, ratify trade deals, and enact budgets.
With few exceptions we are facing the same individuals that vowed to make Barack Obama “a one term president,” pushed anti-union laws and cuts to Social Security, and waged an eight-year battle to deny Americans access to affordable health care.
It’s the same with state and local government. Gov. John Kasich deserves credit for vetoing bills that would have weakened air pollution rules and struck down legislation allowing Ohio lawmakers to do away with state agencies and departments. However, despite gains, the legislature remains stacked against us.
Still, our union carries on the work of representing its members on the job, negotiating strong contracts and organizing new members.
The future is always uncertain. But, I’m certain AFSCME Council 8 leaders and members will meet these challenges with the same energy and solidarity that has always won the day for workers.
On behalf of First Vice President Harold Mitchell and the officers of AFSCME Ohio Council 8, I wish you a prosperous 2017. A new year where we are engaged in the work building a better life for our members and all working American families.
John A. Lyall