April is SMART Army Month of Community Action. And this episode our featured guest is Ronnie Hobbs, a true SMART Army pioneer.
Brother Hobbs is the SMART Transportation Division legislative director for the state of Virginia, and a member of Local 854 in Portsmouth. In addition to working for Norfolk Southern and lobbying state legislators in Richmond, he is the state’s SMART Army coordinator. He has spent a lot of time and energy enhancing the union’s profile throughout the state of Virginia via the SMART Army. At the 2019 SMART General Convention, Ronnie was honored — along with Matt Gugala from Local 265 in Illinois — with the Joseph J. Nigro SMART Army Service Award for outstanding community service and leadership.
We talk with Ronnie about the community projects and service the SMART Army has done in Virginia, including collecting clothing for the homeless, food drives, sponsoring Little League events and repairing and donating a golf cart for a young cancer patient to drive around his neighborhood.
We also discuss Ronnie’s state legislative work around two-person crew and other issues important to SMART members, as well as his mobilization efforts that turned out scores of SMART members to attend committee hearings, meet lawmakers and see in-person how the legislative process works.
In addition, listen for the open mic segment with General President Joseph Sellers at the end of this episode. He responds to a question from a SMART member about what union members have gained from our endorsement in the 2020 presidential election.
Talking SMART is a member of the Labor Radio Podcast Network — working people's voices, broadcasting worldwide 24 hours a day.