Political activism is the most outstanding characteristic of the Nevada section of the Retired Teachers Chapter.
"We took a red state and turned it blue," section coordinator Richard Miller says.
As soon as he arrived in Las Vegas and took over the 12-member section in 2002, Miller began reaching out to form union and political alliances and to build the section's membership, which today stands at 300. He also serves on the executive board of the Central Labor Council of Nevada and as vice president of the Nevada Alliance of Retired Americans.
To underscore the point, photos taken at an American Federation of Teachers town hall with former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro in October show huge UFT, Nevada state AFL-CIO and AFT banners lining the walls. An earlier town hall featured Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as part of the groups' efforts to introduce candidates to Nevada voters to ensure large voter turnout and to keep the state blue.
Nevada's UFT retirees keep in touch and learn what's going on through the section's website, www.uftlv.com. The lead on the website in mid-January was "Pharmaceutical Corporations Welcome 2020 with Drug Price Hikes." There are also articles about legislative issues that affect UFT retirees in Nevada both as retirees and as Americans.
But the Nevada section is not just about politics. Like other UFT retiree sections, it's also about friendship, socializing and staying abreast of union issues.
There's so much going on in the Nevada section that the UFT asked recently retired Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez to lend a hand from union headquarters in Manhattan. Introducing Alvarez to the section, Miller noted: "If you have a question or need assistance, you now have another contact to lean on."
The section's annual meeting on Feb. 11 will again bring UFT officials to the state with updates on pensions, benefits and other issues important to retirees. Members at the meeting will also decide on the show, museum or outing for the section's annual April Spring Fling and where the retirees want to share a meal.