By: Sardebra Wright, President
The time has come for my term as President to come to an end. In 2013 when I took office, my goal was to expand on what our previous President Wilhelmina Ford had achieved. We became more active with the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and I was chosen as a delegate for the state convention. We also convinced President Annette Taddeo to recognize and assist the American Postal Workers Union in getting the public to back us in our fight against Staples and Congress. In fact, the Florida Democratic Party made some of our goals a part of their agenda. We had access to Democratic politicians and candidates, gaining their support for postal workers and retirees everywhere.
We also worked with the unions comprising the South Florida AFL-CIO which helped us to understand their goals and allowed us to get rid of the myths surrounding postal workers and the entire postal service. Most people were unaware that the postal service is self sustaining, receiving no money from the federal government. Once people realized we generated our own money, they became as indignant as us about Congress saying that the postal service cost the government money. They joined us in saying to Congress “if we get no money from you, how are we costing you money?” We had the backing of our sister unions to fight Congress’ attempts to make the postal service a piggy bank for their every whim.
Under my leadership, we established a website to keep our members informed and allowing members free advertisement of their businesses. We also have a Facebook page to show members the fun side along with the serious side of our retirees. The retirees organized a Retiree of the Year event honoring former President Wilhelmina Ford and showcasing the talents of many of our young entrepreneurs in the community.
Like everything else in life, there will not be sunshine without rain and unfortunately the rain came from within. However, we weathered the storm and agreed to disagree. Isn’t that what adults do? Well, at least adults with common sense anyway. This is a volunteer position, with no compensation whatsoever. You have to have a heart to make things better for other people and be willing to help those in need. I will always want to help others, but it’s time to give someone else the opportunity to expand on my vision for this organization as I attempted to expand on Wilhelmina’s.
As I said there have been some bumps in the road. We’ve lost some members including June Brooks, one of our oldest members. We have retirees who have faced and are facing physical challenges. In all these circumstances, I have tried to be supportive because I’ve gone through the same things and it’s important to have someone say “I am here if you need me”. It may be a telephone call or a visit, or a turkey during the holidays. If I can help then I will, and that will never change.
I urge all of my fellow retirees to follow their dreams. Don’t think that you are too old to go back to school, or take a trip to Paris, or sell your home and buy a condo on the beach, or even find your soul mate. Age is just a number and 100 years is just a day to God, so go ahead and live. Let’s all work together to make sure that our retiree chapter serves our needs and gets the answers to our questions.
It has been my pleasure to serve as your President these past years. It has been a pleasure to work with Wilhelmina Ford, Thelma Jones, and Ricardo Cumberbatch, my fellow officers, as well as Alberta Ray Cutler, Stanley Gold, Jean Perry, Margaretta Cooper and Robert Alicea, along with other dedicated s members. I’d like to congratulate our incoming President Charlene Butler who takes office in November. Don’t worry I won’t be too far away, I’m the new Vice President and Sharon Forbes is the new Treasurer. I’m looking forward to serving the retirees in a new position with a new vision. See you in November Retirees!
In Union Solidarity,