A Look Back at Our 2021 Legislative Conference

From PA AFL-CIO Legislative Director Sarah Hammond

On February 1st, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO hosted our biennial Legislative Conference for the 2021-2022 cycle. Though we could not meet in person this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were able to safely adapt and share the day with many of our brothers and sisters virtually via Zoom.

The 2021 Legislative Conference was fortunate to host some of our strong pro-labor legislators, union leadership, and over 100 hard-working members. Our brothers and sisters tuned in for three sessions, as well as a Lunch and Learn webinar in the afternoon.

We started the morning strong listening to speakers, including Representatives Kerry Benninghoff and Joanna McClinton, Senators Christine Tartaglione and Camera Bartolotta, and PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder and Counsel Irwin Aronson gave an overview of Labor 2021 issues, focusing on Why Courts Matter.

Leading into an educational afternoon, among guest presenters included Bill Samuels, Director of Government Affairs for AFL-CIO National, who gave an in-depth look into the PRO Act’s reintroduction to Congress and touched on other federal-based issues. Moderators Chris Naylor (UFCW) and Joanne Manganello (LiUNA) joined our new Legislative Director, Sarah Hammond, to delve into HB38, discussing Judicial Gerrymandering in the state House and Senate. To close out the afternoon session, Representatives Dan Miller and Tom Mehaffie gave an informational overview and discussion regarding our Workers’ Bill of Rights, which included legislation that can positively impact hard-working families across Pennsylvania.

To round out a positive, information-packed day, the PA AFL-CIO was proud to host a virtual reception Monday evening. We proudly welcomed our row officers, including newly elected PA Treasurer Stacy Garrity, Auditor General Timothy DeFoor, as well as Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and Lt. Governor John Fetterman. Following our guest speakers, our members heard from many representatives and senators from both parties, who introduced themselves and answered questions.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this week for our 2021 Legislative Conference. We were able to work through the difficulties that this past year have presented and successfully adapt to come together in the safest way possible. There’s a lot of good, hard work ahead — and together, we can make sure our elected officials are adopting pro-Labor legislation that puts working families first.