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Understaffing of state and local government jobs has hit crisis levels.

Here are 10 things to love about your union on Valentine's Day — and every day of the year: 

The most pro-worker president in our lifetimes delivered the most pro-worker State of the Union address in recent memory.

Here are just a few highlights from President Joe Biden’s Tuesday night speech:

1. On the remarkable job growth of the last two years: 12 million new jobs are more than any previous president has created in four years in office. “Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back, because choices we made in the last several years,” Biden said.

In January 1993, Joann Mapp shared a powerful message on a conference call with newly elected President Bill Clinton. Mapp, a keypunch operator at the Philadelphia City Police Department and a member of AFSCME Local 1637 (District Council 33), was a single mother to 5-year-old twins.

The following is adapted from remarks delivered by President Saunders at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s Martin Luther King Day Breakfast on January 14, 2023.

Union family, it’s a great honor to spend this special day with you, as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as we reflect on his sacrifice and recommit to his work.

Thanks to efforts by the Biden administration and AFSCME, many public service workers, including AFSCME members, have seen their student loans forgiven under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Many AFSCME members work in high-stress fields such as public safety, health care, emergency medical services and firefighting. Their jobs have become even more stressful since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many of these workers to put their and their families’ well-being at risk while serving their communities.

But when these everyday heroes face mental health issues as a result of the high-stress environment and duties that expose them to trauma, they are often expected to deal with such challenges on their own.

It’s time to change that.

The last two years have been full of challenges.

But under the leadership of the Biden administration and this Congress, we are turning a corner. There have been unprecedented investments in public services and public service jobs. Millions will see the price of life-saving prescription drugs come down. Millions more will receive relief from unfair student debt. And the wealthy are finally starting to pay their fair share.

To be sure, there is more work to be done. But if we continue this progress, we will have many more reasons to be optimistic about the future.