Gerald W. McEntee

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Gerald McEntee


Gerald McEntee is the President[1]of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He is one of the co-founders for the Economic Policy Institute and served on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Quality and Consumer Protection in the Health Care Industry during the Clinton presidency.

New Directions conference

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In May 1986, Democratic Socialists of America "supported" a New Directions conference in the Washington DC Convention Center. Conference organizer was Jo-Ann Mort of DSA.

The conference, supported by DSA, will bring together activists, analysts and elected officials to develop new directions for the Democratic Party and the broad democratic left.

Initial sponsors of the event included Reps. Charles Hayes and Barney Frank, labor leaders William Winpisinger and Jack Sheinkman (ACTWU), Joyce Miller (ACTWU and CLUW) and Jack Joyce, (Bricklayers), feminist leaders Gloria Steinem and Judy Goldsmith and policy analysts Robert Kuttner, Jeff Faux and Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Gerald McEntee addressed the conference.

DSA Health Care Speakers Tour

In the keynote of the 1991 Democratic Socialists of America Health Care Speakers Tour, Audrey McLaughlin, Leader of the New Democratic Party, met with members of Congress, trade unionists, and media in Washington, D.C. Democratic Socialists of America, AFSCME, and the American Solidarity Campaign organized a Congressional breakfast, press luncheon and labor reception for McLaughlin. They also set up meetings with House Majority Whip David Bonior, Congressman Marty Russo, UMWA President Richard Trumka, and AFSCME President Gerald McEntee.[2]

Campaign for America's Future

In 1996 Gerald McEntee, AFSCME was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America's Future.[3]

AFL-CIO socialist takeover

Circa 1994, AFSCME president Gerald McEntee approached the AFL-CIO with his idea for Project '95, a coalition effort aimed at retaking the House, for the Democratic Party, but AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland demurred. With that, McEntee and fellow Democratic Socialists of America supporter John Sweeney began canvassing their colleagues about Kirkland's removal. In short order, they amassed support from a coalition that included not just the core of the old CIO (the Auto Workers, Steelworkers, Mine Workers), but the Machinists, Ron Carey's new-model Teamsters, the Carpenters and the Laborers.

What began as dissatisfaction among top labor leaders with the Big Sleep of the Kirkland era evolved in the course of the year to the most profound move to the left since the founding of the CIO. Sweeney formally joined DSA and assumed the presidency of the U.S.s largest labor federation.[4]

"Changing of the guard"

Democratic Socialists of America leader Jose LaLuz told DSA's Democratic Left, of Fall 2000;”[5]

"I’m reminded of Jeremy Brecher’'s article A New Labor Movement in the Shell of the Old in which he raised some critical issues regarding the need to transform the culture of unions and the Federation when John Sweeney became elected President. I have the utmost respect and admiration for brother Sweeney and his leadership team, Linda Chavez-Thompson and Richard Trumka.
AFSCME’s role, and more specifically Gerry McEntee’'s leadership, was instrumental in the “changing of the guard.

"Progressive coalition"

According to Democratic Socialists of America member and journalistHarold Meyerson, the "progressive coalition" of labor unionists which ousted conservative AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland in 1994-95 and replaced him with DSA member John Sweeney was led by Gerald McEntee, John Sweeney, Richard Trumka, and George Kourpias (all identified DSA affiliates). The coalition selected Trumka as Sweeney's running mate against the conservative faction's choice Tom Donahue.[6]

Democratic Socialists of America member?

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AFSCME International President Gerald McEntee and International Secretary/Treasure William Lucy placed an advertisement in Democratic Socialists of America's Democratic Left, Issue #4 1998, page 10, "AFSCME proudly salutes Democratic Socialists of America"

In 1999 San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America member Michael Pugliese wrote (in reference ot Gerald McEntee)[7];

BTW, for what it's worth McEntee, is one of the DSA notables in the labor bureaucrat column. As is John Sweeney.

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

On April 26, 2012, at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance members and supporters celebrated the group’s 20 years of addressing the workplace affecting the 660,000 APA union members and as the bridge between the broader labor movement and the APA community.

The 20th anniversary ceremonies also honored AFSCME President Gerald McEntee, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and the group’s first director Matt Finucane for their important roles in APALA’s founding and growth.

McEntee was the leading voice on the AFL-CIO Executive Committee for establishing APALA, and Arlene Holt Baker said he “fought for nuts-and-bolts support of APALA’s first programs, and he mentored the fledgling organization’s first leaders.”

Chu, the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus—and a longtime activist in her union, AFT—was elected to Congress in 2009. She is a strong supporter of APALA and its work, said APALA leader Gregory Cendana.

Finucane, now NEA’s senior liaison to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, was instrumental in building APALA’s organizing, political and advocacy programs.[8]

Economic Policy Institute

Gerald McEntee serves[9]on the Board of Directors of the Economic Policy Institute-led by Democratic Socialists of America member Lawrence Mishel.

Wellstone Action

In 2009 Gerald McEntee was listed as a member of the Advisory Board[10] of Wellstone Action, a Minnesota based organization based on the political legacy[11] of that state’s late ‘progressive” Senator Paul Wellstone.

Wellstone Action and Wellstone Action Fund combine to form a national center for training and leadership development for the progressive movement. Founded in January 2003, Wellstone Action's mission is to honor the legacy of Paul and Sheila Wellstone by continuing their work through training, educating, mobilizing and organizing a vast network of progressive individuals and organizations.

References