Spring has sprung in the Lansing labor community which undoubtedly means we recently wrapped up winter with another Oldsmobile Outdoor Club, Winterfest. The club, which will soon celebrate its 80th year, began as a Union and management organization for employees of Oldsmobile. Its mission, which still stands today, is to continue the outdoor recreation heritage of the wonderful state of Michigan through family-friendly events.
In addition to the effort needed to simply exist, as with any organization or club, the Oldsmobile Outdoor Club requires members and person-hours to plan and organize events. The club has had a dedicated support system for much of its history, with members giving their time, energy, and knowledge to ensure its success. Though the club has worked to adjust events to match member demographics more closely, it is also having to contend with contraction due to societal forces. It is my observation that we have shifted more of our energy to consuming and criticizing while investing less in actual doing. The consequences for the club have been an aging and shrinking board, scaled-back events, and fewer new members. For the Lansing labor community, it means reduced interaction between members and with the community, which I fear will lead to further erosion of organized labors power and influence.
This does not have the be the reality. Even though it may seem life is busier, an honest look within will reveal that the time is there, but we must commit. I ask that our members who enjoy the outdoors challenge themselves to make that commitment. To not only consume but also contribute to ensuring a highly functional club that appeals to a broad swath of our members. This effort will not only offer hope for another 80 years for the Oldsmobile Outdoor Club, but it will be for the good of Unionism and outdoorsmanship.
Though I am already on the verge of a typical cliché springtime article, I would like to take the time to put out a reminder that mid-term elections are right around the corner. Working-class Americans, particularly those in Labor, must always be prepared. We cannot fall for the propaganda that leads us to believe that we have no interest in politics. We cannot allow the partisan and cynical nature of today's politics to relegate us to the sidelines. It is tough, it is noisy, and it sometimes feels as if it is all for nothing but let me ensure you it is not. If those who came before us simply gave up when it got hard, can you imagine how much more dire our situation would be? Workers must vote, and we must protect our interests because we know that our labor agreements are subject to the actions of those in office. We need to let everyone know that we care about labor law enforcement, investments in American jobs, lowering costs for families, better health care, and investing in education. Finally, let it be known that we will be deciding on a Governor, an AG, a Secretary of State, and a plethora of other positions from the State level down to the ever-important municipal level. I will see you and anyone you can grab, at the polls on August 2 and November 8, 2022!