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Letter from National President John Gage: 2012 Legislative & Grassroots Mobilization Conference

Dear AFGE Activists:

On behalf of the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, I would like to invite you to the AFGE 2012 Legislative and Grassroots Mobilization Conference. Your attendance at the Legislative Conference will be critical next year as the second year of the 112th Congress gets underway. We will need to make sure that all the Representatives and Senators understand just how important public employees are to the functioning of our great democracy. Many of those elected in 2010 have attacked the pay, benefits, and jobs of federal employees. Our job will be to continue to fight against those attacks.

This conference, which will be held Sunday, February 12 through Wednesday, February 15, 2012, will focus on issues and strategies vitally important to the future of AFGE and all federal and D.C. government employees. (Departure date is Thursday, February 16.) Conference attendees will spend Tuesday, February 14, and Wednesday, February 15, lobbying their Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. D.C. Government employees will lobby their elected officials in the D.C. Council as well as Members of Congress. Please note that you must make appointments with your Senators, Representatives, and Council Members in advance.

So please join other AFGE activists for four days of learning and lobbying. We will be meeting again at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, located at 400 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. In the meantime, you can join AFGE’s Legislative Group on Facebook to stay on top of all of the issues AFGE is taking to Capitol Hill. To become a member of the group, search ‘AFGE Legislative’ after logging in to your Facebook account. Once you locate the group, click ‘Ask to Join Group’ to be approved by an administrator. If you have any trouble joining the group, please email Chelsea Bland at blandc@afge.org.

If you have a Legislative Action Fund (LAF) check, please bring it with you to the conference because we have reserved time on Sunday or Monday for a formal presentation.

AFGE will be hosting its first Legislative and Political Training aimed at Young Organizing Unionists for the Next Generation (Y.O.U.N.G.) at the Conference. The training will be held on Sunday evening, February 12th. It will encompass discussions on current legislation affecting young workers, the importance of young workers getting involved in the upcoming 2012 elections, and highlight AFGE’s GOTV efforts and Voter Protection Program. The training will be followed by a social event. More details will be provided.

Please fill out the attached form to register for the AFGE 2012 Legislative and Grassroots Mobilization Conference and return it along with your registration fees to AFGE National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. as soon as possible. We also are offering you the convenience of registering online and paying registration fees with a major credit card in the Members-Only portion of AFGE’s website (www.afge.org). Checks to cover registration fees for those who choose to register online still must be received by January 23rd, to be eligible for the pre-registration fee of $275 per person, and $75 to attend the Civil Rights Luncheon.

For reservations at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, please call (800) 233-1234 and ask for the AFGE 2012 group rate. Our special rate is $308.00 (including tax) for single or double occupancy. You can also make your reservations for the Hyatt online by clicking on the link provided in the Legislative Conference section in the Members-Only portion of the AFGE website. The number of rooms is limited so call now. Please note: the cutoff date for hotel reservations is January 6, 2012.

As you may remember from last year, smoking is not permitted in restaurants, bars, or other public areas within Washington, DC. Therefore, smoking in the hotel lobby, restaurant, bar, and meeting space will not be permitted. Smoking will be permitted outside the hotel and in designated “smoking” guestrooms.

This is a crucial moment for federal and D.C. government employees. We must educate our elected officials about the value of our work and the importance of our workplace rights. Together we will create campaigns to build a stronger pro-worker bipartisan coalition in the 112th Congress.

Sincerely and in solidarity,

John Gage

National President

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