You have spent a lifetime
successfully fighting for justice for working people. During
a time when the law restricts the rights of workers to organize,
for public employees to have won such rights then use them has
helped and inspired the entire labor movement. You have been
in the front ranks of that struggle.
Your election as Executive Director of AFSCME Council 31 has
continued a tradition of progressive leadership. Your work has
helped establish AFSCME as one of the leading unions in Illinois,
exemplifying what labor is all about: an unflinching commitment
to the dignity of work and of workers and a spirit of solidarity
among a membership as ethnically, culturally and politically
diverse as America itself.
Your leadership has sought to address some of labor's most important
challenges: in making organizing new members your union's most
fundamental and central tasks; in building alliances with community,
civil rights, religious and senior organizations; in fighting
to limit privatization; in forging one of the most aggressive
political and legislative programs in the state.
For this, your life's work, your dedication to building a stronger
labor movement, the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner Committee
is proud to present you with its 2001 award.