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New York is the city that never sleeps. Around the clock, emergencies need responses. Streets need cleaning. Families need care. Students need well-run schools. Our neighborhoods demand safety. That’s why DC 37 members Never Quit.

If you ever have the opportunity to take on new experiences that you can learn from and help people through, take it.

That is the best advice I can give, and it’s the mindset that has brought me to work at four different New York City agencies over the past 33 years.

It has been a blessing to have so many different chances to work for the city over the years, and to have my union, Local 1549, with me every step of the way. For the past eight years, I’ve been working at the Dept. of Sanitation as a Clerical Associate 3. We make sure the garbage trucks are where they’re supposed to be and everyone is safe.

As long as I’ve been employed, my union has always supported me with any problems I’ve ever had both at work and in life.

Last year, I decided it was time for me to start being more involved with my union. I became a shop steward so that I could enhance my growth within the union and help my fellow members know what is going on and what the union has to offer. I’ve even attended classes through the union’s Education Fund to increase my skills as a representative of the union.

As a grandmother of two, a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old, I worry about the future generation and whether they will have the same protections we have as union members.

I plan to encourage my grandchildren to become union members when they join the working world, but that means fighting now to make sure the labor movement is still alive when they come of age. It is so important to be involved now, especially with everything going on in Washington. We have to stand up and fight back.

Last year, I was awarded Employee of the Year for “going above and beyond” to make my coworkers happy and make our work environment a pleasant one. Little things like decorating during the holidays and keeping the area clean go a long way to helping morale and inspiring us all to do a better job. We may work in a garage, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dirty.