NTEU State House Rally

Activism is mainstream again…how can rallying create change? Federal employees took to the streets in an attempt to get their voices heard. How they made an impact? Centerstage news…from Washington Post to USA news… headlines, headlines spreading a message “End Shutdown”.

Rallying is back. People have realized the undeniable fact that power ultimately lies with them. We can’t change what’s already happened, be we can organize to ensure that the huge progress we have made tacking the greatest problem that federal employees face is not lost.

We returned to the traditional and most effective form of rally - “Speaking Up, Speaking Out”, with placards, saying “Enough is Enough”, “I am not your Hostage”, “We are not your Pawns”,  and so forth, bull-horns and a collective, defiant voice.

Rally can be described as driven by anger, but that left federal employees with a sense of community, hope and solidarity. The Rally included federal employees, union chapters, friends, press and more. Reminiscent of the day of the Rally, a human chain of over hundred federal employees was formed around cause to “End the Shutdown”.

I believe the Rally produced a mind shift, federal employees understanding that we can only drive positive change together. That in itself is an incredible outcome. Anyone who has been at Rally can attest to the exhilaration that people power provide. It intensifies impact aimed to make a change and up to the people to uphold their government accountable. Now reminding our leaders of their duties requires everyone who cares to take action. With renewed purpose, activism must become as much a part of our civic duty as paying our taxes or dividing rubbish up for recycling.

There’s a saying: if you want to build a ship, don’t ask people to collect wood and assign them tasks, but teach them to long for the endless immensity of the seas. It’s the same same principle for Rallying - if people care about an issue, they will take action.

Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight. You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.

Respectfully yours,

Nell Arndt, NTEU Chapter 68 Legislative Coordinator 

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