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Powerful Locals

About Powerful Locals

Powerful Locals is the process by which our locals become informed, engaged, and activate their membership. It is the process by which locals become powerful - on their campuses, in their communities, in Washington state. A local with an informed, engaged, activated membership is powerful.

These things do not happen in a vacuum. There are quantifiable steps, processes and knowledge that go into making a local powerful; they range from internal governance and data management to leader identification and political activity, as well as the regular tasks of a local, like grievances and contract management.

At AFT Washington the term Powerful Locals is used to refer to two things. The first is the Powerful Locals Assessment Tool, which you can find on this page, and the second is the Powerful Locals leadership training that happens every summer, also on this page. We start advertising the training in early summer - watch your email for more information.

The leadership of AFT Washington is committed to supporting all our locals in efforts to inform, engage, and activate their membership. We know from experience and research that to accomplish this goal, we need to work in ways that continually move potential members to members, members to activists, and activists to leaders. We can do this through understanding their needs and addressing their issues, so that our members see the power of the union, are drawn to it, and realize that the union’s power comes from their commitment and involvement. The members are the union.


Powerful Locals Training

We are excited to present the 2024 Powerful Locals conference!

Powerful Locals is a great opportunity for people who want to learn more about the nuts and bolts of union leadership, and we invite you to attend! Whether you are already a leader or are looking to learn more about building your local's power, this training is for you.

It will be held in person, at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, from July 31st to August 2nd.

This year, our core tracks are:

Bargaining For The Win

Get set for success at the bargaining table! This training covers contract bargaining topics, including communicating with the field, strategy at the table, and working with your local membership to have real power. The training emphasizes leader identification and leader development, as well as the combo of communication, fieldwork, and outreach to enable your bargaining team to get the win.

Putting The Pieces Together: Engaging Your Local’s Membership

Your local is a powerful resource, and the more members engage, the stronger it is. This training covers ways to increase membership and member engagement, through tools including the organizing conversation and power-mapping, all the way through assessing results and leader identification – all pieces that make a strong, engaged, powerful local.

The mini-sessions this year are:

  • Our Power Is Our Voice: Political and Legislative Engagement
  • New Employees: Member Drives and Orientation
  • Fiscal Analysis: Knowledge is Power
  • Effective Communications

For more information and to register, click here.