From: Azalia Torres
Date: Thursday – May 3, 2007 3:21 PM
I accept the nomination for President because I believe that ALAA must be re-energized.In the last several years we have lost our unique character as a democratic, membership-driven fighting union. As a result, we have suffered a series of major give-backs in salary and benefits, without mobilizing the membership to fight back.
We need to reclaim our tradition as a union which encourages discussion on all issues that affect the lives of our membership.
A union which depends on the participation of all it’s members to different degrees to ensure it’s effectiveness and success in our struggle to maintain the highest quality of representation for the diverse communities we serve.
A union which makes use of different tactics and strategies to strengthen LAS, both economically and politically.
ALAA should be a voice for the many folks whose lives we affect on a daily basis. It should be instrumental in establishing LAS as a force to be reckoned with on issues arising from our practice.
I have served as delegate in Brooklyn CDD for many years. I was a member of the Executive Board (EB) from 1990-2004. Initially I represented the Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid and later I represented senior attorneys. I have participated in numerous contract negotiations with management.
In all that time, I have consistently been principled in expressing my views on all issues and in debating with those who have differed with me. I have emphasized the need for the exchange of ideas before any decision is made which affects our practice and quality of life at LAS.
Just as important, I have been able to work well with different sectors of our union regardless of any differences we may have on a particular issue.
The role of President of ALAA is a great responsibility and one that I take very seriously. I would expect accountability on all levels of our union. I would encourage constructive criticism to allow us to learn from any mistakes we might make.
Despite numerous differences among our members, I am confident that we can work together to recapture the spirit that we need to reestablish ourselves as a strong and effective union.
I appreciate your support.