The following is a reflection by IWJ's executive director, Kim Bobo, on the Wisconsin recall election and IWJ's annual staff retreat.
I woke up this morning to the news about Governor Scott Walker “surviving” the recall vote in Wisconsin. Although IWJ could not legally (and did not) work on the recall, the organization stands firmly against his policy attacks against workers and thus I was troubled by the outcome and horrified by the amount of money spent in the race.
Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that the American people fundamentally believe in fairness and that we can work together to raise standards for workers and restore workers' rights to organize and engage in collective bargaining.
This morning was not only the day after the Wisconsin election, it was also the day after the IWJ annual staff retreat where we review our priority directions—analyzing what’s working and what isn’t—and collectively think about how we might be more effective. Despite the challenges IWJ faces in fulfilling our mission, I’m basking in the glow of the retreat, reflecting on all the talented and deeply committed IWJ staff who are drawn to the work.
Like many nonprofits in this economy, we are grappling with how to get the resources to do the job, how to use more technology more efficiently, and how to handle workloads that are bigger than most of us can do. And as an organization with a founding director (me), we are trying to make sure that the relationships with and identity of IWJ is broader and deeper than just me. But the IWJ staff has solid plans, great vision and a spirit of camaraderie about the work. I am blessed to work with such a great group of folks.
So the day after the Wisconsin election, I think I’ll focus on the IWJ staff retreat!