Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Message

A Holiday Message, a renewal reminder and an invitation to members of Pride at Work.

We have a lot to celebrate this year despite the fact that working people have suffered in this economic recession and find their rights, benefits and financial security being undercut by conservatives and corporate-bought politicians. The good news: working people are taking it to the street and demanding fair economic and social justice change.

Pride at Work Rochester - Finger Lakes is proud to be part of this successful mobilization:

• PAW has actively supported our union brothers and sisters – providing rally signs, parade and event decorations, help with phone banks and canvassing, photography and internet promotion of labor issues. PAW can gratefully say the support has been reciprocated. Issues of LGBT equality are now routinely addressed in contract negotiations and the pressure of Rochester’s labor community was certainly the factor that moved NY Senator Jim Alesi to be the first GOP legislator to publicly support NY marriage equality.

• Marriage Equality passed in New York in 2011 and PAW members Bess Watts and Anne Tischer were recognized by the Rochester Labor Council and Monroe County Legislature for the part PAW played in that success.

• PAW supports grassroots movements like “Occupy”, “Move to Amend” and “Band of Rebels” plus labor initiatives like the “We are One” campaign as we change the public focus to support working people rather than the interests of the financial elite. Success can be measured by the passage of the NY State “Millionaires Tax” this year. On-going education of the public on worker issues like “globalization”, the effects of “corporate personhood” and the attacks on bargaining rights is essential.

• Bess Watts, President of the local chapter of PAW was elected to the PAW National Executive Board and received a standing ovation after her report on “best practices” done in the Rochester chapter highlighting effective education and relationship building between labor and the LGBT community we have done here.

• We will continue our work in 2012 addressing the statewide passage of the Gender Employment Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) the repeal of the anti-gay Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

• PAW’s only financial resources are provided by membership support of individuals and organizations. This year we have a new easy online renewal process. To see how it works please go to this link to join or renew your membership: (A membership is a great holiday gift).

We recognize that it is our strong allies who make our success possible. Which is why we are honoring Linda Donahue of Cornell Labor Relations at our annual “True Colors Awards Dinner”. Linda has been a PAW member, mentor and committed LGBT rights advocate since the beginning. Please join us as we celebrate her contributions on March 15th. For tickets go to:


No comments: