Happy Lunar New Year! The Lunar New Year gives us an opportunity to highlight the rich cultural heritage of many of our members. Historically, these foundations are celebrated largely in Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and other Asian cultures. There are many overlapping ideals and values of the Lunar New Year celebration that are bedrocks of the labor movement. It is for that reason we pause to reflect, acknowledge, and celebrate the Year of the Dragon, the 2024 Lunar New Year.
The Year of the Dragon is an especially lucky year as the dragon represents power, luck, and fortune in many Asian cultures. The year is expected to provide auspicious opportunities for success, so we look forward to many worker victories this coming year!
The holiday celebrates values such as prosperity, abundance, and togetherness. Traditional meals include noodles to represent longevity and steamed whole fish to represent good luck. Meanwhile, elders pass envelopes of money to young people with the hopes it will portend prosperity to come. These concepts should connect closely with labor activists. Our bargaining committees join together to negotiate contracts that we hope will bring prosperity and abundance to all members.
Our state federation is blessed with great diversity. Additionally, much of the public we serve also embodies the diversity that makes up AFT-Maryland. We are excited for the holiday as a recentering point that calls for us to focus on shared values and concepts that we hold dear. Maryland is one of the richest states in the nation, so abundance is evident all around us. The collective unions of the state federation work toward a prosperity that all of us can share in, and the only way unions are effective is by togetherness. Keeping these values in mind as we move through 2024 will allow each of us to reach our full potential individually, and AFT-Maryland to reach our goals collectively.
Happy Lunar New Year!