AFSCME President Denounces Freedom Foundation in Nationwide Email

AFSCME President Denounces Freedom Foundation in Nationwide Email

AFSCME President Denounces Freedom Foundation in Nationwide Email

Two weeks ago, Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), one of the nation’s largest government unions,  sent an e-mail to all AFSCME members nationwide and published a blog post warning about the effectiveness of the Freedom Foundation’s campaign to educate public employees about the newly-recognized First Amendment right to make their own choice about union membership. The e-mail went out to approximately 1.6 million public employees and highlighted a few of our methods for communication: “They might be targeting you with ads on your computer,” he wrote. “They might be e-mailing you, sending you mail or calling you on the phone. They might even be showing up at your door.”

AFSCME is just one of the unions worried about our outreach efforts, and we’ve seen public employees from across the nation opt out through our website or using resignation forms we’ve mailed or distributed.

One thing’s for certain: AFSCME’s leaders are petrified by our efforts, and they should be. If our outreach to home healthcare and childcare providers freed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Harris v. Quinn is any indication, AFSCME could see significant declines in its membership.

Just ask Kim Cook, former SEIU 925 president, who left after significant losses in her union’s membership.

Tens of thousands of public employees have decided to leave AFSCME nationwide after this summer’s landmark ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. The number includes many who, absent the Freedom Foundation’s help, might never have known about their ability to opt out or how to do so.

No other group in the nation is running a campaign this ambitious, and union leaders like Saunders recognize it. A video released just last week on AFSCME’s YouTube channel also makes attacks our efforts by name.

What Saunders doesn’t realize is that sending out “warnings” like this to his members only draws more attention to our campaign. Since the email, we’ve seen hundreds more AFSCME members opt out with no sign of slowing down.

Chief Executive Officer
Aaron Withe is the chief executive officer of the Freedom Foundation. Aaron began his career at the Freedom Foundation in 2015 working in the outreach department. He devised a full-scale outreach campaign that included having a team of door-to-door canvassers contact all union members throughout Oregon and inform them of their rights to leave their union. After much success, he was named the Oregon director, where he lead the Oregon team for two years. As an immigrant-turned-U.S. citizen, Aaron recognizes America as the freest and most prosperous country in the world. However, he also recognizes the very real threat posed by the government unions attacking the foundations of the American dream. This is what fuels Aaron as he now leads the Freedom Foundation’s national campaign to free every public employee in America from union bondage. Aaron has been a featured speaker for the Freedom Foundation at a multitude of events, including the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2019. He was the proud recipient of the Oregon Taxpayer Association’s 2019 Thomas Jefferson Award. He was formerly on the Washington & Oregon Advisory Committees to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. And he is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Leadership Network. Aaron has often shared the Freedom Foundation’s message on TV, including appearances Fox News, One America News, Newsmax, and The Huckabee Show on TBN. He has been featured on several national and local radio shows including Sean Hannity and Lars Larson and in print media outlets across the country including the Wall Street Journal and Daily Wire. He is a native of Birmingham, England, and is a graduate and former basketball player at Corban University in Oregon. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, staying active in many different sports and at the gym, he is active in his church and enjoys relaxing at several of the Pacific North West’s microbreweries.