Saundra Williams

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Saundra Williams


Saundra L. Williams is President of Metro Detroit AFL-CIO.

Democratic Socialists of America connections

In June 2006 David Bonior addressed[1]a Detroit DSA fund-raiser for Bernie Sanders.

On June 25th, DSA PAC held a fundraising reception at UAW Local 909 in Warren on behalf of Representative Bernie Sanders who is running for an open Senate seat in Vermont. Over 140 people attended. The event raised over $12,000 for the Sanders for Senate campaign. Hosts for the event included former U.S. Representative and former House Minority Whip David Bonior, U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr., UAW Vice-President Richard Shoemaker, and Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams.

2007 Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner

Over 250 people attended the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America 2007 Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner held at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn on Saturday, November 17. The dinner honored State Representative Alma Wheeler Smith and American Federation of Teachers-Michigan President David Hecker. Michigan State AFL-CIO President Mark Gaffney delivered the keynote address—a PowerPoint presentation on the threat of Right-to-Work (for less) legislation in Michigan. The dinner co-chairs were Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams and retired UAW Vice-President Richard Shoemaker. The Bill Meyer Group provided entertainment.

David Hecker captured the mood of the evening in his acceptance speech:[2]

Alice and I are proud lifetime members of DSA and have been so for about the past twenty years.We both go back to the days of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC). I realize merger with the New American Movement (NAM) some twenty-five years ago demanded a name change, but I much prefer the name DSOC. Why? Because it says ‘Organizing Committee.’ Our ability tobe effective is based on our power. We build power through organizing. You all know that. You do it every day. In fact, if Ethel Schwartz, Selma Goode, and Helen Samberg haven’t talked with you tonight and persuaded twenty of you to attend yet another event, I would be disappointed..."

Michigan Coalition for Human Rights

In 2007/08 2007-08 Saundra L. Williams, President Metro Detroit AFL-CIO , served on the Advisory Board of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.[3]

Michigan Medicare event

Michigan Alliance to Strengthen Social Security and Medicare presented “Health Care for All,” a forum on Rep. John Conyers, Jr.’s U.S. National Health Insurance Act (HR 676) featuring Marilyn Clement (National Coordinator for Health Care NOW), Olivia Boykins (Special Assistant to Representative John Conyers, Jr.), and Democratic Socialists of America member Richard Shoemaker (retired UAW Vice-President and former director of the UAW General Motors Department and UAW Community Action Program) and moderated by Metro AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams—Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 (1358 Abbott Street, Detroit). Conact for the event was Democratic Socialists of America member Maurice Geary.[4]

Gray Panthers dinner

Oct. 6. 2007 the Gray Panthers of Metro Detroit held a Dinner at United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 876—The honorees include Saundra Williams, Elaine Crawford, Louis Green, Father John Nowlan, and the Raging Grannies. Keynote speaker is U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. Contact for the event was Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America affiliate Ethel Schwartz.[5]

2010 Detroit DSA Douglass-Debs Dinner

Over 200 people attended the eleventh annual Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn on May 8th, 2010. Local 600 was the home local of the hunger marchers of the 1930s and is adjacent to the site of the “Battle of the Overpass” which launched Walter Reuther into national prominence.

The Douglass-Debs Dinner is the annual fundraising event for Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America . 2010 honorees were UAW Vice President James Settles, Jr. and Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams. The dinner co-chairs were UAW Region 1A Director Rory Gamble and American Federation of Teachers-Michigan President David Hecker.

In his acceptance speech, Settles promised that the new UAW leadership which is expected to be elected at their convention in June, would be more progressive in its political orientation.

Bill Fletcher, Jr., the Director of Field Services and Education for the American Federation of Government Employees , delivered the keynote address. His topic was “Right-Wing Populism.” Fletcher warned that progressives ignore the threat of right-wing populism at their own peril. He traced the history of this phenomenon from the Andrew Jackson administration . He mentioned the “Birthers,” the “Oathers,” and the Tea Party movement as manifestations of right-wing populism. He challenged the Left to confront right-wing populism and expose the fatuousness of their ideas. Failure to do so may be self-defeating as some of the ideas of the right-wing populists (e.g., conspiracy theories, condemnation of political and media elites) could prove seductive to a portion of our base.[6]

Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center

In 2007, Saundra Williams was a member of the Honorary Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Workplace Justice Reception & Silent Auction. The reception, which was held on Nov. 14, 2007 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. The guest of honor at the reception was Andy Levin, son of Congressman Sander Levin, and Deputy Director at the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.[7]

In 2009, Saundra Williams was a member of the Host Committee for the Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice Reception & Silent Auction which was held at the Atlas Global Bistro, Detroit. The reception, which was held on Nov. 18, 2009 is the annual fundraising event to benefit the far left National Lawyers Guild-affiliated Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice. Remarks were made by Steve Tobocman and the Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award was presented to Marilyn Mullane, Executive Director, Michigan Legal Services.[8]

Van Jones award host committee

Screenshot of Essential: Advocacy for Community Justice reception (click image to enlarge)

On November 18, 2010, the far left Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice presented "The Maurice Sugar Voice for Justice Award" to Van Jones "Human Rights Activists and Green-Jobs Advocate", at the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, 660 Woodward Ave, Suite 300.

Members of the Honorary Host Committee were;[9]

2011 11th Annual Douglass-Debs Dinner

Greater Detroit DSA newsletter, November 2011

Over 200 people attended the 12th annual Frederick Douglass-Eugene V. Debs Dinner on October 1st at UAW Local 600 in Dearborn. The dinner honored Reverend Ed Rowe, senior pastor at Central United Methodist Church, and the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan (ROC-Michigan). Reverend Rowe was honored for his lifetime commitment to social justice, civil rights, and workers’ rights. The event honored ROC-Michigan for its recent successful campaign to improve wages and working conditions at Andiamo Restaurant. Congressman Hansen Clarke presented congressional citations to both awardees.

The dinner co-chairs were Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO President Saundra Williams and UAW Vice-President James Settles, Jr. The Bill Meyer Group provided entertainment and led the audience in singing “Solidarity Forever” and “The Internationale.” Keynote speaker was William Greider, national affairs correspondent at The Nation.

DSA National Director Maria Svart also addressed the Douglass-Debs Dinner.[10]

References