Gerald W. McEntee
- 1 New Directions conference
- 2 DSA Health Care Speakers Tour
- 3 Campaign for America's Future
- 4 AFL-CIO socialist takeover
- 5 Democratic Socialists of America member?
- 6 Battle in Seattle
- 7 Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
- 8 Economic Policy Institute
- 9 Wellstone Action
- 10 "The 99% Spring"
- 11 References
Gerald McEntee is the Presidentof 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
- 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.
Campaign for America's Future
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.
"Changing of the guard"
- "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.
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.
Democratic Socialists of America member?
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"
- BTW, for what it's worth McEntee, is one of the DSA notables in the labor bureaucrat column. As is John Sweeney.
Battle in Seattle
According to the Communist Party USA's Tim Wheeler , "most farmers understand that they are no longer strong enough to resist the onslaught of agribusiness by themselves. They are actively looking for allies to fight the agribusiness common enemy. The National Farmers Union is actively recruiting farmers with the concept that only with union solidarity can they hope to win in the struggle against the monopolies. The NFU has developed a close working alliance with the AFL-CIO. Several thousand farmers traveled to Seattle in Nov. 1999 to join organized labor, environmentalists, youth and other progressive groups to shut down the World Trade Organization. A few months later, these same forces brought about 3,000 farmers and their allies for a "Rally for Rural America" in Washington, D.C. It was co-sponsored by the NFU, the AFL-CIO, the National Coalition of Family Farmers, the Corn Growers Association, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and a dozen other rural organizations and movements. It was an impressive outpouring of Black, Latino, and white farmers from every region of the country.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, and Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minn) delivered powerful speeches in which both zeroed in on the key questions: a fair price to the farmers for the commodities they produce; tough enforcement of antitrust laws to break up the agribusiness conglomerates; a ban on feedlot factory farms that are polluting the air, land and water across the country. Gerald McEntee, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, delivered a strong blast at the agribusiness profiteers and appealed for farmer-labor-environmental unity.
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.
Economic Policy Institute
In 2009 Gerald McEntee was listed as a member of the Advisory Board of Wellstone Action, a Minnesota based organization based on the political legacy 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.
"The 99% Spring"
- DEMOCRATIC LEFT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1991, pages 8-10
- CAF Co-Founders
- Dem. Left, July/August 1995, page 22
- Dem. Left, Fall 2000
- Dem. Left, July/August 1995, page 8
- CPUSA, If You Eat, You're Involved in Agriculture: Report from the Rural and Farm Comm.
- AFL-CIO blog , APALA Celebrates 20th Anniversary, 04/27/2012, Mike Hall
- THE 99% Spring, Who are we/ accessed April 20, 2012