As we begin this holiday season and close out 2016, I want to thank you for the hard work and dedication you have shown throughout this year to our union. I also want to thank you for the kind words and compassion you gave me and my children after my husband died. While I could not respond to every message of support I received, please know that each one brought us comfort and held us up during very difficult days.
This time of year is certainly one of celebration. But it’s also a time for reflection. When I look back on 2016, I recognize that in our union and our country, voices rose against complacency and the status quo. We all wanted something different in our leaders and for ourselves, our union, our children, and our country. I believe that the various events of 2016 have changed us forever and have created an important opportunity for all of us to give more of ourselves to our union and community than ever before.
I don’t have all the answers for where we go from here, but I am inspired by these words of Walter Reuther written almost 60 years ago:
What we need to do is to keep the faith. Keep the faith in ourselves. And when the going is rough, as it will be, let us remember that the test of one’s convictions is not how did you behave, how did you stand up when it was convenient and comfortable. The test of one’s convictions is do you stand up for the things that you believe when it takes courage? Do you stand up in the face of adversity, in the face of controversy?
Let’s commit to challenging each other and growing in 2017, knowing that we can build an even stronger union and community – always together, always in solidarity.