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And while you’re looking for your next great read, please don’t overlook our first Politics & Current Events Book of the Month!
by Stewart Acuff
“Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing” is Stewart Acuff’s story of his 30-year life in organizing. Be it organizing citizens for stop signs at a busy intersection in Memphis, successfully working to unionize the Atlanta Olympics, or guiding the nationwide organizing program of the AFL-CIO, we get a rare insight into the day-to-day struggles of an organizer. We meet a man who risked his life as a UN observer during elections in Sierra Leone, has spent time in jail, marched in the WTO ”Battle of Seattle”, and helped sidetrack Newt Gingrich during the ‘Contract with America’ days. In his foreword, Senator Bernie Sanders says ”Stewart Acuff is one of the best when it comes to helping Americans organize to get things done.”
Stewart J Acuff has been an organizer for more than 30 years. He started union organizing in 1982 as the Service Employees International Union organizing coordinator in Texas where he and his team organized 12 nursing homes in two years. In 1985 Stewart went to Georgia where he founded SEIU Local 1985 and built the union up to 3000 members. In 1990 he became president of the Atlanta AFL-CIO where he organized and led the historic campaign to unionize the 1996 Olympics, labor’s biggest victory ever in the South. In 2000 he went to work for the national AFL-CIO. Stewart was organizing director from 2001-2008. Under his tenure the labor movement grew by more than it had in a generation. Stewart developed the policy and legislation which became the Employee Free Choice Act and led the campaign to pass it.