Not Without Representation


Many people in the world live their whole lives without having a voice in how their governments are run. While I always feel grateful to live in a country where I can vote for the people who govern me, I feel it most at this time of year, when you can’t listen to the news without hearing the word “election.”

 I grew up in a strong union family. I have the same sense of appreciation for how unions like ALPA are run. In fact, as ALPA’s vice president–administration/secretary, I don’t think many people are more involved than I am in the details of our union’s democracy. Our union is rooted in fair elections and, as I tell almost everyone I meet, it is everyone’s responsibility to vote.

While the idea of what it means to vote has not changed, the way we actually cast our vote sometimes does. There are reports that some 204 million people in the United States and Canada are smartphone users. Airline pilots enjoy using the latest technology when it’s safe to do so and many of us also use smartphones. As a result, ALPA has developed electronic membership cards and an app that helps our members access the information they need to vote for their union representatives.

By voting in our national elections or casting a ballot for our union representatives, each of us takes charge of our own future. We are not without representation in the United States or in Canada. In fact, representation is what democracy—and unionism—are all about.

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