Joseph B. Uehlein, Board President, Takoma Park, MD. Founding President and Executive Director of the Labor Network for Sustainability, and Voices for a Sustainable Future. Joe Uehlein is the former secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO’s Industrial Union Department and former director of the AFL-CIO Center for Strategic Campaigns. Joe spent over 30 years doing organizing, bargaining, and strategic campaign work in the labor movement. Joe also served as the Secretary to the North American Coordinating Committee of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, and Mine Workers unions (ICEM). He is a founding board member of Ceres, a member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and served as a senior strategic advisor to the Blue Green Alliance for five years. He also served on the United Nations commission on global warming in the 1990’s. He also serves on the advisory board of the Future of Music Coalition. In the early 1970’s he worked in an aluminum mill as a member of the United Steelworkers of America, and on heavy and highway construction projects as a member of the Laborer’s International Union of North America. Joe is a musician, and a member of the American Federation of Musicians.
Jeremy Brecher is a writer, historian, and activist who is the author of more than a dozen books on labor and social movements. His book Strike!was described by Prof. Richard Flacks, UC Santa Barbara, as “the single most important book about the history of the American labor movement published in our time.” His book Building Bridges: The Emerging Grassroots Coalition of Labor and Community was described by Richard L. Trumka, then president of the United Mine Workers and now president of the AFL-CIO, as “a very helpful guide to the kind of coalition building unions will need in the struggles that lie ahead.” His three books on globalization, Global Visions, Global Village or Global Pillage, and Globalization from Below, and his award-winning documentary Global Village or Global Pillage?, made a significant contribution to the emergence of the global justice movement, aka “globalization from below.” His new book Save the Humans? Common Preservation in Action, just published by Paradigm Publishers, addresses how social movements make social change; it was described by Michael Pertschuk, former chair of the Federal Trade Commission, as “absolutely unique in its integration of engaging personal narratives of the author’s direct involvement in every significant social justice movement of the past four decades with his analytic history of previous movements.” Over the course of half a century Brecher has participated in — and lent his writing skills to — movements for civil rights, nuclear disarmament, peace in Vietnam, international labor rights, global economic justice, accountability for war crimes, climate protection, and many others. For many years he was Humanities Scholar in Residence at Connecticut Public Broadcasting and is the winner of five regional Emmy awards for his documentary movie work. He has also been a pioneer of participatory, community-based history, writing the guidebook History from Below: How to Uncover and Tell the Story of Your Community, Association, or Union, and helping a wide range of community historians create books, movies, and exhibits. Studs Terkel wrote that “Jeremy Brecher’s work is astonishing and refreshing; and, God knows, necessary.”
Brendan Smith is an oysterman, artist, and co-founder of Voices for a Sustainability. His commentary has appeared in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and CBS News.com. Brendan worked previously for Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as a senior legislative aide, staff on the U.S. House Banking Committee and campaign director. After leaving Congress Smith became organizing director for the National Alliance for Fair Employment and co-director of UCLA Law School’s Globalization and Labor Standards Project. He later co-founded Global Labor Strategies, a resource center focused on the impact of China, the global economic crisis and climate change on workers around the globe. Over the years he has also worked for the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and other organizations on issues ranging from just transition for coal miners and sustainable food policy to defending labor rights in China and anti-sweatshop campaigns in Indonesia. As a green entrepreneur and lifelong commercial fisherman, Brendan is also the owner of a 60-acre oyster and seaweed farm on Long Island Sound, which he has transformed into an incubator for sustainable food production and economic development. His innovations range from 3-d ocean farming and oyster nitrogen trading programs to DIY solar refrigeration systems and seaweed-powered boats. As a green artisan, Brendan’s work has been showcased at the American Folk Art Museum and profiled by the New York Times. He is a graduate of Cornell Law School. To learn more visit: www.bsmith.org.
Becky Glass has a strong background in economic and social justice organizing and energy and environmental policy, and more than 30 years experience in nonprofit management. Becky holds a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning with an emphasis in transportation and energy from the University of Illinois. After beginning her career as the author of the first comprehensive energy conservation plan for the Chicago Metropolitan Region in 1976-77, she joined a three-person team to co-direct the State of Illinois’ first Comprehensive Energy Conservation Program. She then moved to Washington DC to become the director of the Energy Project of the Center for Policy Alternatives, and later returned to the Midwest to become Midwest regional director for The Youth Project, a national foundation dedicated to supporting economic and social justice organizations. She serves on the boards of several organizations, including: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Global Labor Strategies, Rainbow Research, the Wisconsin Apprentice Organizing Project, the Heartland Democracy Center, Public Campaign, and the Public Campaign Action Fund. Becky and her writer-publisher-farmer husband Jim Hare live on a small farm in Western Wisconsin about 90 miles East of St. Paul where they raise grass-fed beef. Their daughter Amber is a student at far-away Boston University.
In Memoriam: LNS Co-Founder Tim Costello passesd away in December 2009. He had over 40 years of work and union experience in the area. He helped organize and served (until July 2005) as Coordinator of the Boston based North American Alliance for Fair Employment a network of 65 unions and community based organizations in the US and Canada. Costello was a truck driver and workplace activist for many years; following that, he worked on the staff of SEIU. He has extensive collective bargaining experience in a number of industries.