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International President John Costa kicked off day two of the 2024 ATU Legislative Conference

International President John Costa kicked off day two of the 2024 ATU Legislative Conference bringing attendees to their feet to the sounds of Motown.
First up was a sobering and informative panel discussion on Autonomous Vehicles. Led by the ATU and featuring experts from Carnegie Mellon University, the AFL-CIO, and the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) spoke about the impact on our members, our Union, and industry.
Next up was an inspiring speech from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about the power of our Union and members to play a key role in the upcoming U.S. election. “You, the workers, and organized labor can determine the fate of this country. Corporations aren’t people,” said Rep. Johnson. “The more workers are organized, the more the power is with the people. For four more years, we need to keep this movement going.”
State and Local Political Coordinator Emma Cleveland did a presentation on COPE and the increase in contributions across our Union. “I want to congratulate you on answering the call to boost our member’s participation and contribution to COPE,” said Costa. “But we still have work to do since many of our members still don’t contribute to COPE. This is a critical election, and we need all our members to contribute to COPE to help re-elect President Biden and other transit and worker-friendly candidates.”
After Costa presented the ATU COPE Activism and ATU COPE awards. Winners were Local 689-Washington, DC, Local 1555-Oakland, CA, Local 1345-Reading, PA, Local 1546-Baton Rouge, LA, Local 26-Detroit, MI, Local 1464-Tampa, FL, Local 1342-Buffalo, NY, Local 168-Scranton, PA, Local 268-Cleveland, OH, Local 580-Syracuse, NY, and Local 819-Newark, NY.
The ATU COPE Awards were presented next. The COPE Chairman’s Award to the Locals with the highest dollars contributed went to Local 519-La Crosse, WI, Local 1575-San Rafael, CA, Local 282-Rochester, NY, Local 618-Providence, RI, and Local 726-Staten Island, NY.
The COPE President’s Awards for the highest percentage of active members enrolled in COPE went to Local 1209-New London, CT, Local 1575-San Rafael, CA, Local 282-Rochester, NY, Local 694- San Antonio, TX, and Local 726-Staten, Island, NY. The Patriot Award for the member contributing the highest amount went to Local 726-State Island, NY, Member Tommy Mason. Congratulations to all the winners.
ATU Political Consultant Clem Balanoff delivered an important presentation on the stakes of the 2024 election in the President’s race and the Senate and House races that will determine the balance of power in Congress. He also covered how our Union will be mobilizing our members to get out and vote for pro-transit, pro-union candidates.
ATU Federal/State Programs Analyst Adam Warner did a session on Zero Emission Buses (ZEB), mandates, and federal grants and the impact on our members, our Locals, and our industry.