According to Al Neal:
- This wasn’t the first time I’d met Cathy. We met back in 2014, and she was one of the early labor leaders I connected with. From that first encounter, I was awed by her fierce commitment to fighting for social justice and workers’ rights.
Cathy Sherwin's professional life started within the ranks of organized labor.
“I was an organizer for a CWA Local here for a long time before I ended up at another union local,” she said, “and during the Labor 2010 elections campaign, I was released to go work on that with the national AFL-CIO. Afterward, they brought me on full time as a communications coordinator for the Midwest region—I spent eight years working for the AFL-CIO, traveled across the Midwest, and did what I could to help out.”
“I realized I was going to have to work somewhere and be able to go back to school if I wanted to get back to having a good job, and working fast food allows me to earn a bit of money to supplement my retirement income and be able to attend school full time.” | Al Neal / People’s World
The local Fight for $15 campaign, Show Me $15, was no stranger to her either.
“I was involved in the very first strike with Show Me $15 in 2013. I ended up going to one of the conferences in Detroit and, being the Midwest comms person for the AFL-CIO, it just made sense for me to stay looped in and help organize support from our labor community,” she said.
And following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in Aug. 2014, Cathy was out in the streets along with Show Me $15 organizing and demonstrating for police accountability and an end to racial injustice. “I was out there and did a lot during Ferguson October.”
Cathy would have been out there every night during the fightback of 2014, but tragedy struck.
“Shortly after Ferguson October, while I was on the road for work, I ended up being rushed to emergency surgery. I was only 38 when they operated and found that I had glioblastoma brain cancer,” she said. “I had to take early retirement from the AFL-CIO and take care of my health.”
Over the next two years, Cathy said she devoted her time to being an officer with the local chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and a volunteer activist. She spent part of that time also looking for work within the labor movement, but “kept hitting brick walls.”
“I realized I was going to have to work somewhere and be able to go back to school if I wanted to get back to having a good job, and working fast food allows me to earn a bit of money to supplement my retirement income and be able to attend school full time.”
Cathy’s end goal is to attend law school and likely become an advocate for workers, “but it’s a long way away,” she says. “For now, I’m just a new community college freshman.”
She pauses momentarily before breaking into laughter: “To tell you the truth, 10 minutes after getting hired, I gave someone over at Show Me $15 a call to organize the store.”
Pandemic aside, Cathy has been doing what she can to help the fight for Black Lives and makes it a point to pull over and cheer along with demonstrators, wherever they may be.
“I would point to Missouri as an example of what organized labor is capable of when it comes to making real change for working people—look at the fight to raise the minimum wage, the defeat of right-to-work. And we would all be falling behind if Fight for $15 wasn’t growing and showing the links between all social justice movements. Now, when it’s possible to make a long-lasting change, it would be almost reckless not to seize this moment, not to fight for racial and economic justice, and to not vote Trump out of office.”
Fiain Kvinna shared an event to the group: St. Louis Democratic Socialists of America. August 11, 2018 · This event is happening next weekend! The DSA National Director, Maria Svart, will be speaking, along with Megan Ellyia Green and Cori Bush.
Hannah Allison August 27 2018:
2018 Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards
St. Louis Democratic Socialists of America, May 13 2018.
Thank you to the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society for a wonderful event at yesterday's Hershel Walker Peace & Justice Breakfast!
"Cap the Rate and Raise the Wage!"
Progress Missouri May 6, 2012 · ·
This is what democracy looks like! More than 350,000 signatures submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State to Cap the Rate and Raise the Wage!
Did you and your friends sign the petitions? Tag the photo here! — with Frank Kovarik, Bob Minor, Derek Wetherell, Charlie Edelen IV, Eric Meyer, Montague Simmons, Joseph Anthony, Richard Von Glahn, Jim Kottmeyer, Jeff Ordower, Trista Soendker Nicholson, Caitlyn Adams, Cathy Sherwin, Matthew Patterson, Alexandra Townsend, Alyssa Soendker, Lara Granich, Mary Clemons, Wayne Brekhus, Robin Acree, James Powell, Julie Terbrock, Bradley Harmon, Aaron Burnett, Reese Erick Forbes, Jonathan Byrd, Amy Smoucha, Jimmy Lappe, David Martino, Lenny Jones, Mary Still, Eva Kathleen Schulte, Kim Clark, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Nancy Cross, Jeff Mazur, Dick Wilson, Brendan Smith, Roy Temple, Sarah Wood Martin, Adam J. Shriver, Phil Snider, A.J. Bockelman, Tianna Soendker and Shannon Duffy.
Tony Pecinovsky March 25, 2009
Made with PicDoodle: http://apps.facebook.com/picdoodle/view?drawing_id=28e14a2813f241d8&ref=photos — with Richard Von Glahn, Angie Evans Holman, Cathy Sherwin, Aaron Burnett, Dawn Berkbigler, Aaron Margolis and Julie Terbrock.