Candidate Questionnaire #5 - Why I want this role

For this election, the MSCF Elections Committee sent out a questionnaire with five questions. I’m pleased to share my responses to these questions throughout this week!

Question #5: What skills and experiences do you have that make you a good candidate for President? And, why do you want to serve in this particular position?

It was very important for me that I put forward my nomination to be President of MSCF on the first day that the nomination period opened. To me, it was a gesture of my total commitment to MSCF to serve in this role, regardless of how the elections in November went, regardless of where things like the “Reimagining Minnesota State” initiatives might go, and regardless of who else might decide to run. The importance of this work—the importance of what we do as educators and members of MSCF—does not change if our situation or circumstances become more challenging.

For me, this is the culmination of a 15-plus year journey defined by the belief that building a better world requires the twin forces of education and collective action. Throughout this journey, I have been a student of the labor movement, an organizer at the ground level, a practitioner of educating for justice, and a leader within our labor union.

In addition to my leadership experience at the local level, I’ve been deeply involved with MSCF at the state level, including my positions as an executive committee at-large member and my current role as MSCF Vice President. These positions have given me a depth of understanding about the challenges we face that is unequaled in this current race. I have been in the room and at the table as we have prepared for and met challenges such as the Janus decision, the elections in 2018, and this new Reimagining Minnesota State initiative. I am more than prepared to hit the ground running as your President; I have been preparing for this role my whole life, and it will be my honor to serve in it.

Social change and the role of labor unions in academia is far more than a passing interest for me—it has been an enduring focus of my academic training, my scholarship, and my work as an educator in the classroom.

It is important to understand that we aren't just an organization to be managed, we are a labor union. Effective leadership of a labor union requires an understanding of the labor movement itself, the history of labor in this country, and a sense of how present situations point us to what the labor movement and MSCF can become.

Our work needs MSCF more than ever. My experiences, skills, knowledge, and resilient hope make me the right candidate for this moment.