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Powerful Locals

About Powerful Locals

Powerful Locals is the process by which our locals become informed, engaged, and activate their membership. It is the process by which locals become powerful - on their campuses, in their communities, in Washington state. A local with an informed, engaged, activated membership is powerful.

These things do not happen in a vacuum. There are quantifiable steps, processes and knowledge that go into making a local powerful; they range from internal governance and data management to leader identification and political activity, as well as the regular tasks of a local, like grievances and contract management.

At AFT Washington the term Powerful Locals is used to refer to two things. The first is the Powerful Locals Assessment Tool, which you can find on this page, and the second is the Powerful Locals leadership training that happens every summer, also on this page. We start advertising the training in early summer - watch your email for more information.

The leadership of AFT Washington is committed to supporting all our locals in efforts to inform, engage, and activate their membership. We know from experience and research that to accomplish this goal, we need to work in ways that continually move potential members to members, members to activists, and activists to leaders. We can do this through understanding their needs and addressing their issues, so that our members see the power of the union, are drawn to it, and realize that the union’s power comes from their commitment and involvement. The members are the union.


Powerful Locals Training

The 2023 Powerful Locals is in the books!

This year, our core tracks are:

Building Powerful Leadership

In this training, we’ll focus on building power in your local, starting with the organizing conversation, and other ways to get your members engaged and active. Power-mapping, assessing your success in majority actions, and leadership identification are all ways to build that power, along with other topics that will help you engage members in the hybrid world.

Bargaining and Beyond: How to Meet Management and Win

This training will emphasize communicating with the field, strategy at the table, and the need to do outreach to stakeholders within the local in order to have real power. The combination of communication, fieldwork, and outreach will give you a representative bargaining team, which is key to ensure that multiple productive viewpoints are brought to the table. We will also touch on how to identify leaders, and other topics that make your bargaining session successful.

We will also have a Race and Labor Workshop on Thursday, August 3rd at 1:00 PM, and our optional mini-sessions are:

  • New Employee Orientation and Membership Recruitment
  • Fiscal Analysis: Knowledge is Power
  • School-Related Personnel: Supporting and Working with SPED Kids
  • Contingent Faculty Internal Hiring: Confronting Bias and Building for Bargaining