Wednesday, July 8, 2009

City Employees' Union and C-Tran Union Endorse Leavitt for Mayor of Vancouver!

The American Federation of State, County and Local Employees (AFSCME Local 307VC) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU Local 757) have endorsed Vancouver City Councilman Tim Leavitt for Mayor of Vancouver. Local 307 is the labor union that represents 154 employees working in the City’s Water, Streets, Traffic, and Public Works Departments, as well as the clerical unit of the Law Department. Local 757 represents 250+ C-TRAN bus drivers and transit workers.

“Tim has shown that he will fight for the little guy: you and me,” says Roy Jennings, C-TRAN driver and ATU Executive Board Officer. “Tim has not only the knowledge and experience to be a terrific Mayor for our great city, he also brings along with him the energy of youth to do the job.”

Leavitt joined the C-TRAN board in 2004 and was Chair of the Board from 2006-2008. During his tenure as Chair, C-TRAN introduced hybrid-fuel buses, worked in cooperation with the City of Vancouver and Vancouver’s Downtown Association to create Turtle Place Plaza in the downtown core, and finished the 99th Street Park-and-Ride.

Ron Fredin, President of Local 307VC and Vice President of the Executive Board of Washington State AFSCME Council 2 says of their endorsement, “Leavitt is truly committed to collaboration and relationship-building, has respect for labor issues, and boasts an unmatched record on advocating for jobs that pay family wage.”
Leavitt joined the Vancouver City Council in 2003 and served on the City’s Planning Commission before that. During his time as a councilman, Tim has regularly attended Labor Roundtable meetings, met individually with union leadership, and held frank discussions about issues affecting both sides of the table.

In his five years on the C-TRAN board, Leavitt has continually worked to provide increased and improved transit service, simultaneously respecting and guarding the rights and responsibilities of C-Tran workers. “My first experiences in Vancouver were shaped by riding the C-TRAN bus to Leverich Park for summer camp,” says Leavitt. “That was 30 years ago, and I still remember riding the bus every day, talking with the bus driver, and feeling like I could take on the world right there, from that bus.”

AFSCME reps cite Leavitt’s dedication to fostering relationships of substance, and looking toward the future of Vancouver. “We’re supporting Tim because he walks the talk,” says Local 307VC member Joe Devlaeminck. “Tim is the candidate who has been building respectful and effective working relationships with us and throughout our community. He is never too busy to listen to our concerns, and he then works with us to try and find solutions that meet everyone’s needs. We intend to work diligently to see him become the next Mayor of Vancouver.”

“Our city employees are passionate about the future of Vancouver,” says Leavitt. “We are in absolute agreement that the City must stop cutting budgets for core services like roads maintenance, traffic control and street light repair, and utility services. It’s time to re-prioritize at City Hall. That is what I’ve been fighting for and one of the reasons why I have received support from the unions whose members really make this city run.”

Leavitt has also received the informal support of Unite Here Local No. 9 (Hilton Vancouver employees).

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