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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Pride at Work and the Mark Stenglein Endorsement

Hi Tim:

I'm Eva Young from Lloydletta's Nooz. I'm looking into the Greg Gray vs Mark Stenglein race. (I do a blog, so I do have a personal opionion in that race, and favor Greg Gray for a number of reasons). I noticed the CLUC endorsed Mark Stenglein. I assume this endorsement was because of the stadium. Your constituency group marketing material says:

Pride at Work
Pride At Work is affiliated as the newest constituency group of the AFL-CIO. The purpose of Pride At Work is to mobilize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community around organizing for social and economic justice.

We see full equality for LGBT Workers in their workplaces and unions. We work towards creating a Labor Movement that cherishes diversity, encourages openness, and ensures safety & dignity. We aim to educate the LBGT Community about the benefits of union membership for LGBT working people, and to build support and solidarity for the union movement in the LGBT community.

We intend to do this in the spirit of the union movement's historic motto, "An Injury to One is An Injury to All." We oppose all forms of discrimination on the job and in our unions based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, religion or political views.
Local contact: Tim Geelan at the Minnesota AFL-CIO,

EY: First of all, how is it beneficial to gays to join unions? Generally gays have gotten domestic partner benefits through having employee groups, who end up having top and valuable people in the company helping to make decisions on these things. The recently passed Minneapolis ordinance about requiring contractors to offer dp
benefits if they offered benefits was written in a way to exclude union contractors. A local Fortune 500 company has recently begun offering DP benefits. Why? Because one of their top researchers told them he was leaving and taking 5 or 6 people with him if they didn't.

I remember well when AFSCME dropped the negotiated DP benefits from it's contract to get it through the legislature. If they'd kept it in there, they would have put Tim Pawlenty in a tough position - because Pawlenty would have looked bad causing a strike over this issue.

The University of Minnesota has very good Domestic Partner benefits - but I believe Faculty and the Civil Service committee took the lead in negotiating those.

As county commissioner, Mark Stenglein has been hostile to gays. Take a look at his record on issues like domestic partner benefits. When Mark ran for Mayor of Minneapolis, I have heard from someone who witnessed his speeches that he was constantly gay-baiting. Greg Gray's record in the legislature and on the library board has been one of being friendly to the gay community. He will work on the county board to get equitable benefits for all employees.

I'd like to get a comment from you about Greg Gray vs Mark Stenglein, and whether you have concerns about the Unions endorsing someone who is known for his anti-gay statements and campaigns?

Eva Young
Lloydletta's Nooz

Tim responded, but does not want his reponse posted on the blog. Pride at Work is not part of the screening committees, so gays do not have a place at the table on PEOPLE screening committees. He also mentioned that Pride at Work has a table at Gay Pride - and had for several years.

I'll be following up with him with an in-person interview after the Primary.

Developing. . .