Shar Knutson, the first female president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO’s, will talk on “The Labor Movement Today” at the DFL Education Foundation’s meeting on Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. in the St. Louis Park City Hall, 5005 Minnetonka Blvd, (just inside Highway 100). A non-profit dedicated to educating citizens about politics, the DFL Education Foundation meetings are open to all–political liberals, conservatives, independents, and ordinary citizens who want to learn more about politics and current public issues.
An AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Muncipal Elections) member, President Knutson hardly fits the stereotypical union boss, as Minnesota 2020 said after her record-breaking election in August, 2009: “She’s quiet, thoughtful, smart, funny, hard-working and unyielding in her convictions.”
Her convictions and that of organized labor’s to “securing social and economic justice for working people” are being sorely tested in today’s economic and political environment, as anyone who keeps up with the news from state legislatures around the country knows. Knutson knows the national as well as the local scene. Her background includes being a regular city employee, who later was part of St. Paul mayor Jim Scheibel’s administration in the early 1990s, and regional representative for the national AFL-CIO as well as president of the St. Paul Labor Studies and Resource Center while president of the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation.