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North Texas Jobs with Justice met at the UNITE-HERE! union office on the evening of July 11. After a formal vote to finalize our by-laws and a discussion of our general structure, everyone joined in talking about future plans. The point was made that our organization, even without funds or formal backing, had played a good role in the progressive movement this year.
We now have a bank account and can begin collecting dues and donations from progressive organizations.
The Workers Rights Board hearings that we began on the immigration issue should be continued, Willy Gonzalez asserted. The group agreed that the format was a good one, but that the topics, speakers, and physical setting need to be varied in future. We projected a hearing on the general topic of obstacles to organizing in North Texas. Not only unions, but virtually all kinds of progressive organizations face terrific problems as they try to carry out organizing. We projected the idea that progressive organizations might benefit from hearing other "in the trenches" organizers explain their problems and successes.
To that end, we are soliciting input from the many activists in North Texas as to the best speakers, the best time, and the best setting for such a public meeting. Each of us will be talking over ideas with other knowledgeable activists in coming days. One idea is to target a date close to, but before, Labor Day. After Labor Day, nearly all organizations will limit their activities to elections.
A speaker worth considering would be the Director of Organizing for the national AFL-CIO. Stewart Acuff, who also happens to be a long time Jobs with Justice leader and a former organizer for Dallas ACORN, has indicated that he would be willing to come to Dallas if it can be worked into his schedule. Our Steering Committee and local labor leaders would need to agree before a final decision is made.
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