Labor Leader of the Week: Donna Edwards

Growing up in a household that regularly discussed the rights of workers, Maryland State and District of Columbia President Donna Edwards has always had a strong interest in legislation and political action. Being a trailblazer for women just came with the territory.



While at the AFSCME Council 92 (now Council 3) she led thousands of university employees and state employees to winning collecting bargaining. In 2001, Donna was the first woman elected Secretary-Treasurer for the Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO and in 2016 was the first woman elected to her current leadership role there as President.



"I grew up in a union household, my father was a union democrat, my mother was somewhat of a republican business person type," Donna said, "but we had discussions about people who supported workers. It wasn't partisan, it was who supports what."



Working in legislation and political action Donna has seen her fair share of important elections and she saw a real need to support battleground states this year. Maryland pulled the highest percentage in the primary for Joe Biden. When Donna saw they had more they could put into getting out the vote, she wanted to put all of that energy into the swing states.



"What's different for me this year is that we are fighting for our democracy," Donna said. "We are fighting for the American way of life I am struck every day by the nonsense that has been going on in the Trump administration. It has harmed everybody's life, whether they have the reality that it has or not."



For Donna, the fight for workers is the fight for democracy, and the hurt the Trump Administration has done to working people over the past four years is clear to her.



"When we look back at history, we really can see how much wealth has been stolen from the workers in the last 30 to 40 years," Donna said. "Dramatically how much less freedom we have at work, the freedom to feel like you're working in a safe environment, the freedom to demand from the boss 'I didn't come here to die, I've come here to work.' We have lost years of that history in just the past few months."



You can join Maryland and DC President Donna Edwards by volunteering in our battleground state of Pennsylvania! Volunteer to help be sure your sisters and brothers in Pennsylvania are ready too.


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