By Jackie O’Shea
MNA Political Organizer
Change isn’t something that happens in a vacuum. As a labor union, we know continued education, organizing, and mobilizing are key. We must stand together as workers, united in one voice, if we want to create the change we desire. This is how we beat back profit-driven employers that would dismantle our rights to collectively advocate for change to better our working conditions and our patients. Politics is no different.
As with our contracts, we know singular wins don’t translate to lasting power in our workplaces. Just like with employers, we need to hold politicians accountable at the ballot box and at the Capitol. Our elected officials control whether the door to change will open in order to pass legislation to solve short staffing, implement stronger workplace violence prevention, and firmly establish healthcare for all. Nurses’ powerful stories and experiences hold the key. We can bust that door wide open.
This past election saw MNA-endorsed candidates win with large margins, thanks to the thousands of nurse hours on the phones and on the doors. We now can open that door to change with our collective voice and our political power. It isn’t enough to vote for a candidate and hope they will do the right thing once they are sworn in. We must take our political power from the field to the Capitol this legislative session.
We are gearing up for the start of the Minnesota Legislative Session on January 8. Nurses need to get politically involved this session by telling your powerful stories that will affect your working conditions, the lives of your patients, and the health of our community. Please attend MNA Day on the Hill is on February 11-12, 2019, which is our largest advocacy event of the year. Nurses from across the state will come together and advocate for urgent action on the most pressing issues facing your nursing profession, including short staffing, workplace violence prevention, and healthcare reform. Let’s make sure every facility in Minnesota is represented.
The only way to create change is to fight for it. My job as one of your political organizers is to help engage and organize nurses in the political process at all levels. Want to create change at the bedside, in the workplace, or for the community, feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org