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Anthony Vasquez, Jr., Local 7

Anthony Vasquez Jr

My name is Anthony Vasquez Jr. and I am the Exhibition Vice-President of IATSE Local 7 in Denver, CO.

On July 21st our young workers committee hosted a “Why Unions Still Matter” event. We wanted to educate our members and the labor community about how to succeed in the labor movement, as well as showcase the work we do as stagehands. Local 7’s Executive Board unanimously voted to fund the food and beverages for the event. The Denver Coliseum (one of Local 7’s venues) let us use their facilities free of charge, and many volunteers helped set it up.

We had presentations about common sense economics, labor history, activism, and guest speakers. We also discussed Local 7’s structure and how we operate. AFL-CIO Colorado President Jason Wardrip, Denver Area Labor Federation (DALF) political analyst Norma Ruth, DALF organizer Madison Cassels, Colorado Winds field organizer Ben Bull, and IATSE Local 7 members Rita Richardson and Michael Micholitti all presented.

We decided to invite the whole labor community and brothers and sisters from labor unions like IBEW, SEIU, National Postal Mail Handlers attended, as well as many others. We had delegates from our area labor federation in attendance and workers from many community organizations. More than 250 people attended that night, which was awesome. I hosted the event and closed it with some words for everyone to take home. For my first time speaking in front of that many people, I was filled with energy and pride for sure.

I would like to give special thanks to Brede Denver for supplying the 20’ drape, Darryl “DJ 56” Martinez for DJ’ing the event, Tammy Gallegos for helping with the set-up of food and beverages, and last but not least everyone who showed up for the event. It was a great success for the first time ever attempting to try something like this.