Meet Your Local 88 Candidates!

Presidential Candidates

Jackie Tate

My name is Jackie Tate and I am running for your union President on the Solidarity ticket. As a Black woman with Mexican, Indigenous and white heritage, I have a commitment to fairness, equity and justice for ALL of our members. In my 28 years at the County and as a proud member of AFSCME local 88, I have served on our union executive board for 20 years, been a steward/ lead steward for 10 years, negotiated contracts, assisted with the library funding campaign, supported our sub locals TPI and CCC and bring a historical perspective, commitment to speak truth to power, and proven leadership. I come from a union family and some of my earliest memories as a child are traveling around the state with my very brave, black, single mom who was a President for the State employees union in the ‘70’s. Like many of you, I was raised with a commitment to public service, worker solidarity and a focus on both racial and social justice and the belief that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and it is our responsibility to make a more just and equitable world for ALL of us. It is those beliefs that have guided my work with both the community and our union. And sadly, I have seen County management talk about diversity, equity and leading with race while embracing white supremacy culture in their hierarchical and paternalistic leadership, refusal to implement policies that center equity and worker experience and failures to address employee retention, training, support, safety and burn out. And I have seen a lack of management accountability while becoming increasingly punitive towards workers. I am running because I want to see the County be a great place for ALL workers! Where we don’t just talk about equity but it is embedded in all our actions, policies and practices and we are free to bring our whole selves to work and be valued, appreciated and free to do our jobs with the proper training and support. Where managers are both held accountable but also supported and well trained. And where workers have a seat at the table in decision making, setting policy and are treated as the subject matter experts they are. And I am committed to member engagement, communication, mentorship and transparency. If elected President of our union, I will fight for our members and center worker needs, experiences and well being in everything I do. The County works because We Do!

Manuel Arellano

I want to thank Karin Sandwick and several Union Stewards for the nomination and their support as a candidate for President of Local 88 and for the members who believe in me to lead our Union for the next two years. I am the first Latin American and the first library employee to run for the Presidency of our Local. In the Library, I've led a team of represented workers to accomplish several important goals. We’ve secured our employee's ability to decide for themselves whether they want to take on the responsibility of being the Person In Charge (PIC) in our locations. We've negotiated a transition to a higher classification and secured higher compensation for all Library Clerks, who've been stuck for over 8 years in a dead end position. We've worked with County Security Leaders to address the problem of physical and emotional violence against our members in our public locations. I will continue to push for trauma leave and a safer workplace. Through it all, we've dedicated ourselves to a new standard of communication and staff involvement. During my term, I will strive to serve every member in Local 88, dedicating my efforts to support all our Union siblings regardless of their job, values, skin color, creed, national origin, gender, political beliefs and sexual orientation; all of this is Solidarity! I will concentrate my efforts on applying race equity lens in our daily operations. Through racial equity, we encourage one another to apply our unique talents in creative and collaborative work, take pride in our achievements and celebrate our differences. I recognize, value, and affirm that our rich diversity contributes to the excellence of our community. My priorities are to improve communication among Members, Stewards, Lead Stewards, Department Committees, E-Board and Cabinet. I will advocate for a Violence Free Workplace and continuously challenge systemic racism and the cycle of oppression in all County Departments. I understand the need to be responsible with our Union resources. I will do my best to make sure that all members are paid fairly, treated equally and compensated for their unique skills and services. I will also work for more equity for our members who experience disabilities and push back on managers who try to suppress members' legal rights to workplace accommodations. Si se puede!

Vice Presidential Candidates

Grant Swanson

As a part of the Solidarity ticket, I bring 17 years of Local 88 experience to the role of VP. Our union dues have been spent on my education in the labor movement, and I want to repay this investment back to you. I have been Local 88 VP, represented the library on our E-Board for 14 years, was County Sector VP at Council 75 (the statewide umbrella AFSCME union we are a part of), and represented Local 88 at Council E-Board for 8 years. In the broader union movement, I was a Co-Chair of Portland Jobs with Justice for 5 years and was among the final recipients of the University of Oregon’s LERC Summer School’s U-Lead certificate. I have seen our workplaces (County, TPI, and CCC) reinforce white supremacist/colonialist culture time and again over the years. As a long-standing member of our Multnomah county negotiations teams (since the 2007 contract); I have seen us amplify our racially diverse members’ voices that offered concrete solutions that centered our members’ experiences, only to have these proposals either outright rejected or only getting half-measures that weren’t well implemented. I would continue to support, amplify, and seek out racially diverse perspectives when making decisions. Primary among my goals is increasing engagement through building solidarity among members and the broader Multnomah County community we serve. I would like to see more groups working on more issues that are important to them and teaching each other how our union can be a vehicle of change to implement the reforms they seek. We are creating better channels of 2-way communication between our members and union leadership. We believe this will give us the data we need to fight for and win for our members in the workplace. Solidarity With Members, Not Management!

Darlena Hale

I am Ms. Darlena Hale, and I am running for Vice President of Local 88, as a proud
Melanated Black Woman. As one of the local 88 Trustee’s to the Treasurer for this 3
year term we are responsible for all financial reconciliations and a Executive committee
representative (E-Board member), Co-chair of the Employees of Color for 3 plus years,
while in this capacity we in leadership addressed many facets of the Workforce Equity
Strategic Plan (WESP), engaged with the Board of Commissioners to raise awareness of
ongoing member issues and concerns. As union steward for nearly five years, I have
fought for the rights of members from many backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, genders
and creeds, to ensure quality, union representation and as your VP, my goal is to
continue upholding that standard. Racial equity means providing access and equitable
treatment to communities of color that may not understand their rights. A culturally
responsive lens is imperative, however education on the application of that lens is vital.
To build a strong union, embedding equity has to be a priority regardless of one’s race or
ethnicity, because we MUST be a united front in order to build solidarity. Reigniting the
union’s presence, participation, activism and overall understanding of “POWER” that the
union possesses is one of my greatest priorities. By educating members through
training, workshops, new employee orientations, ensuring timely and responsive
communications from council and rebuilding trust amongst our members is vital for the
success of the local. Our members’ voices are the union, every voice matters! No one’s
voice is louder than the others regardless, there are no favorites, we are in this together.
Though some have the ability to be vocal, while others may not, every member has a
voice to use and if I’m selected as your next VP, I will continuously encourage you to use
it, even if your voice shakes.

Treasurer Candidates

Cindy Sierra

I’m Cindy Sierra and I’m running on the Solidarity Ticket to be your next union Treasurer. I bring a unique combination of over 15 years of procurement and financial expertise, a fresh perspective (2 years at the County), and a dedication to the well-being of our union. I am determined to be a fair and impartial information resource for all. I will value unbiased, reliable, and consistent information; and am dedicated to fiscal transparency. As a Queer Puerto Rican woman racial equality, to me, means that every individual, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, deserves equal opportunities, rights, and treatment in all aspects of life. In my professional role, I actively promote diversity and inclusion by fostering an inclusive workplace culture where individuals from diverse backgrounds feel valued and heard. Promoting racial equality requires a collaborative effort; and I am committed to staying informed about current issues, and continuously improving our efforts to promote equality. As Treasurer, I will continually educate myself about racial disparities and biases to better understand how they may manifest within our union’s financial practices to ensure financial practices are fair, inclusive, and legal. I will advocate for inclusive financial decision-making processes, where the voices of marginalized communities are heard and taken into account; while working to include diverse backgrounds' input on financial matters. In the short term, I intend to use transparent communication with members and will actively seek their input to ensure their needs are met. I’ll accomplish this by using reporting, meetings, surveys, suggestion boxes, and online forums. Longer term, my goal is that members trust I’ll be accessible to them, involve them in the decision-making process, and hold myself accountable to advocate for their concerns. Members should vote for me because I’m committed to amplifying member voices, advocating for needs, and eager to make a difference for all.

Matt Davis

For the past 6 years, it has been my privilege to serve as the Treasurer of our union,
working diligently to ensure our financial strength. With a keen eye for detail and a
commitment to accuracy, I have meticulously managed our numbers, ensuring error-free
financial records and transactions. As your treasurer, I hold myself to the highest
standards of accountability, integrity, and trustworthiness. I understand the importance
of confidentiality, ethical conduct, transparency, and responsible financial
decision-making. My dedication is rooted in the pursuit of financial stability and growth
for AFSCME Local 88. Throughout my career, I have encountered and successfully
overcome complex financial challenges from previous administrations. Drawing on my
expertise in interpreting financial data and my high level of problem-solving, I have
consistently identified optimal solutions for cash flow management, investment
strategies, and risk assessment. This helps in my goals to achieve the best possible
financial outcomes for the organization. The financial landscape is ever-evolving,
subject to constant changes. However, with my deep understanding of finance, I am
well-equipped to adapt to shifting financial regulations, market conditions, and
unexpected international circumstances that impact our financial institutions. I am
looking forward to the next 2 years of serving our members as your treasurer. It is an
exciting opportunity to continue contributing to the success and prosperity of our union,
and I look forward to your support in this journey.

Secretary Candidates

Hilary Zust

I’m Hilary Zust and I’m running for Secretary of Local 88, as a part of the Solidarity ticket. As an active union member, and dedicated union activist, my experience includes E-board, steward, and two cycle contract bargaining delegate. As someone who has participated in labor trainings; I have the knowledge, and attention to detail to get the work done. I’ve advocated for better wages in market adjustment studies; increased worker safety, and am a strong advocate that all workers deserve a living wage. In my role with our union, I have seen the impacts that policy rooted in white supremacy culture has on our members; and I know we deserve better. I am fully committed to leveraging our members' experiences, and continuing to push for accountability, when it comes to diversity and equity needs at County, TPI and CCC. It’s imperative that we support practices aligned with our members' lived experience; and that we give space at the table, and a voice to those who are affected by these decisions. I have a strong commitment to members from marginalized communities, who are often disproportionately impacted by policies that harm, rather than help them. My short term, and longer term priorities are to build relationships with our members; utilizing a strength based approach toward member engagement. I am committed to increasing engagement with member activities, increasing trust, and highlighting the importance of solidarity with our union siblings. I will continue to advocate for increased worker safety, better mental health resources, and a fair and equitable contract for all members. I am dedicated to expecting the same level of transparency from our union leaders as we expect from our employers. We can’t assume we already know what members need. We need to ask, and continually revisit this topic. Partly through gathering data; but more importantly through asking those who are affected to have a seat at the table. I am dedicated to amplifying our members' voices; and to supporting future union leaders through ongoing mentorship and continued opportunities for growth. Members are the true heart of our union; and as your union Secretary, I will be committed to making this the core of everything we do.

Niyia Batugo

My name is Niyia Batugo. Members should consider me because of my passion for seeing our members excel at their work, be able to communicate effectively with their supervisor and peers regarding operational decisions, and feel protected in their role so that they can make a living wage and retain the ability to provide for themselves and their family. I’ll go to bat for that, in any capacity, as long as the union will have me. Racial equity in my opinion and experience, means being understanding of, caring about, and working to address the wants and needs of POC in an effort to undo and overcome the various inequities that have derived from the remnants of white supremacy. It is being culturally aware and culturally responsive to those that are most marginalized in our community and workplace and being an ally and co-conspirator in helping to support their goals and aspirations. When it comes to my work and how I would embed racial equity into it, I would do so by leading with race. This means developing meaningful relationships, placing an emphasis on communication, and building trust with our union members, all while acknowledging and celebrating the racial component of how they show up in the world, and honoring how that shapes their world view and their experiences in the workplace. My short and long term priorities mirror in that my goal in both these areas is to 1) reaffirm confidence in the union and the mission for why we exist, as well as, 2) grow our membership and ensure that everyone knows that they are heard and supported. Additionally, I would like to be a part of the process to promote more social outings that allow for our union to meet and engage regarding issues that matter to us. Consistency is critical in ensuring everyone has a voice at the table. I would do this by making sure we have multiple monthly meeting times that happen both virtually and in person in order to allow for greater opportunities for our members to participate and exercise their voice. I would work with the other union leaders to create surveys that ask out members how we could be working better on their behalf. These are just a few of the things I would do in order to ensure our members feel hears and well represented.

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