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Local 652 Vice President Lena Wyeth
Updated On: Jan 04, 2024

December 2023

What makes a lion the king of the jungle? He’s not the biggest. He’s not the fastest. He’s not the smartest. So, what makes him the King? IT’S HIS MENTALITY! He has the mindset that he IS King.

This past weekend I was at the state meeting for CLUW. CLUW (Coalition of Labor Union Women) is a constituency group under the AFL/CIO umbrella. Within the state of Michigan, there are 4 chapters. I am the President of the Capitol Area CLUW Chapter. We chapter presidents didn’t get a chance to give our report, as we ran out of time, so I wanted to touch on it here because I think it’s an important message.

So, yes, I am the President of Capitol Area CLUW, but I’m not the face of CLUW in the Lansing area, that would be Veronica Johnson. Veronica was President for several years, close to 20, give or take, and did a fabulous job. When COVID hit in 2020, as we are all aware, everything shut down including meetings. In 2022, everything started opening up. I called Veronica to see if/when our next CLUW meeting was. Veronica said, “Why don’t you run for President”. My response to her was if she is sure she doesn’t want to, I will run.

I’ll be the 1st to tell you that I don’t know everything there is to know about CLUW. I agreed to run for President because I think CLUW is important, and especially important for the lower seniority women.  The ladies from Local 652 Women’s Committee and Capitol Area CLUW, who came before me taught me how to run a meeting and Parliamentary Procedure. They taught me when to hold, and when to fold. They taught me that every battle isn’t worth fighting and to pick & choose the battles. Most importantly, they taught me the importance of sisterhood and to always reach back and lift someone. I ran for President of CLUW because I want the ladies coming up after me to have the same influence in their early careers as I had.

My message to the lower seniority CLUW members is that it’s not always going to be easy! The problem with people, me included, (until I check myself), is that you expect others to make your dreams come true. Your dreams and aspirations are not the responsibility of anyone else. Nobody will make your dreams come true, except for you. Make no mistake, success will cost you. It will cost you time, energy, sacrifices, discipline, resources, sleep, and putting in the work that others aren’t willing to do. You have to constantly challenge yourself every day. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Push yourself! It’s not easy, but it will be worth it. I know some days you feel like you just don’t have it in you to keep working towards your dreams. It’s this point of challenge that you have to push a little bit harder because that is the point of change/growth.

From this day forward, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how amazing you are and that you CAN do it. Once you believe in yourself and believe you can do it, you will, just like that Lion!

Unrelated, please be kind to people, you never know what someone is going through. I want to lift the families of Jasen Hodge, David Miller, and Gary Lyon. These are active members who are gone way too soon and are greatly missed by their coworkers. 

Shout out to my retired van poolers from Gratiot County, I enjoyed our moments reminiscing. To our retiree chapter, thank you for always making my day when you come in for bingo! Lastly, Happy Birthday to my favorite 652 retiree, my dad, Randy Whitaker.

I want to take the time to wish everyone a very enjoyable holiday season filled with love, happiness, and all great things. As always, if you ever need anything, please don’t hesitate to call.



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