by Jaimie Sorenson, AFSCME Council 75 Representative
On Saturday, July 23, 2011, volunteers from the City of Troutdale, AFSCME members of Local 3132 from the recreation department (in orange t-shirts) partnered with the Multnomah County Library Troutdale branch AFSCME members of local 88 hosted Truck Town. This free community event was aimed at educating children about the work that is performed with these large trucks while having fun. Several large service trucks filled the parking lot giving children a chance to climb on and in the vehicles to learn about these big trucks. Trucks that were available to explore: Multnomah County animal control, Waste Management-garbage collection, long latter fire truck, Ambulance, Police cruiser, Multnomah Co. Sheriff’s dept. with a boat in tow, Fed EX, and the U.S.Coast guard with a kayak.
Fun was had by all. Children had a chance to express their love of big trucks in paint. They rolled toy trucks in paint then onto their paper. Some children too their masterpieces home others donated their works of art to the newly opened library. This branch as only been open a year but is already making its place in the community. This is likely to become an annual event given the impressive turnout.
From a strictly union perspective this event was especially good for me. I attended to support the members I represent, both Local 88 and Local 3132. In the conversations I had two local 88 fair share payers decided to fill out their membership cards and expressed an interest in the current contract bargaining, even asked to be added to the email update list. The best part of this event for me was introducing members to each other. Members from both locals had no idea they were both AFSCME and some of the library members didn’t recognize that animal control was part of local 88 as well. I think all members involved in this event walked away with a better understanding of their union, AFSCME. They left encouraged to keep making these union connections and recognized that the drivers of the other trucks were also represented by unions such as Teamsters, Firefighters, FAPPO and more. Coincidentally some other community volunteers were members of Oregon Education Association (OEA) we engaged in a brief conversation about how we’re all under the AFL-CIO.