NDU Continues to Grow Influence
Along with increasing our membership
By Nick Archuleta
Unless you have spent this past year in a deep hole, you have no doubt noticed that the 2016 Campaign Silly Season is in full swing. After seeing what has come to pass for high minded political discourse, particularly on the Republican side of the race, no one would fault you for crawling into the darkest recess of the aforementioned hole.
Name-calling and vitriol have replaced civility to such an alarming extent that I am wondering if any of those involved ever took a basic Civics course. Even my son wonders if this is the best we can do. And he’s in middle school!
Still, as public school teachers, university faculty, education support professionals and public employees, every decision that affects our work-day lives is a political decision. That fact necessitates that North Dakota United continues to grow our influence as we grow our membership. This idea is so important that the ND United board of Directors has made increasing the size of our political footprint one of three strategic principles that guides what we do at NDU.
To that end, NDU staff and I have repeatedly reached out to legislators, agency heads and other government officials as they attempt to chart a course through the rough economic waters in which we find ourselves. Through our efforts we have successfully shared the concerns of our members and the impact that their budget cutting decisions have on the lives of public employees.
In another example of increasing our government relations function, NDU, in collaboration with the ND Farmers Union and the ND AFL-CIO, convened the first Candidate Academy. This is an excellent opportunity to front-load the election process. The Candidate Academy was open to anyone, Democrat or Republican, who shares our commitment to labor rights, reasonable agricultural issues, and great public education. By all accounts, the event was a success featuring great presenters who covered every aspect of running a successful campaign. I am proud of Stuart Savelkoul (NDU) Jessica Haak and Kayla Pulvermacher (NDFU), and Andrew Bushaw (ND AFL-CIO) for their outstanding efforts in organizing this important event.
Looking forward, you can expect to see much action around the other two strategic principles adopted by the NDU Board of Directors: Increasing membership and increasing the level of activity among our members. You will be pleased to know that NDU has more members now that it did when the merger occurred two and a half years ago and that we have had roughly 265 members attend the two NDU Advocacy and Bargaining Conferences we have conducted.
NDU is trending in the right direction but we are going to need all of our members to make NDU the transformational organization that I know it can be!
Originally published at medium.com on March 21, 2016.