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Summer Lambert Brings Home Organizing Intel

Summer and her sunshine certificate

Summer Lambert, our recording secretary, shares her account of the AFT mobilizing training blitz she was part of in Topeka, Kansas, this spring. Activists from several unions were tasked with organizing state employees in a so-called “right-to-work” state, where union membership is not required as a condition of employment.

I was asked by our president, Bill Garrity, to go on this trip because he knows I wouldn’t disappoint KOSE (Kansas Organization of State Employees) and knew I could help them get the job done.

There were six teams, each with five or six organizing members. We all worked together, and we learned how to work well with each other. Our mission was to reach out to potential members and get them to join. The goal was to get 100 cards signed.

Summer speaking at mobilization session

We reached that goal, and then some!

If considering going on a trip like this, be prepared for a long hard working days, also adapting to a lot of different personalities. Once you get that first card signed when you’re out door knocking or at a worksite meeting, it makes you want to go get more. Remember, we are all doing the same thing and for the same reason You will definitely be brought out of your comfort zone, but at the end, you will be glad you did. 

What I brought back with me is, this mobilization shows that if we don’t all work together, we will never get these things accomplished. Being in a union is so important because one voice isn’t enough, but if we have 3,000 voices, just imagine what we can do! 

After a long week, KOSE and AFT held a banquet for all of us for our accomplishments and they thanked us for all we did. I look forward to going to another one in the future. I have new friends from the mobilization, enjoying the same thing I do, together, that will last a lifetime. We are stronger, getting stronger and staying stronger. 

State employees get it done!

— In solidarity, Summer Lambert

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