This is a cross-post from Brian Cox of the Live United blog.
William “Bill” McCarthy, president of the AFL-CIO Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation (MRLF), is recipient of the 2012 United Way’s prestigious Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award.
The Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award is presented each year to one person in the nation who exemplifies the highest standards in service to others. This singular honor this year is presented to a one-of-a-kind community leader, Bill McCarthy. He has been dedicated to organizing, mobilizing, reaching out to community partners and building coalition to change people’s lives.
As president of the MRLF and member of UNITEHERE! Local 17, McCarthy has dedicated his life to the pursuit of social and economic justice for workers and their families. He has supported and worked for programs to reduce poverty, address homelessness and to educate youth—areas of key alignment with the United Way’s mission.
Bill’s desire to help others flourished many years ago with his active involvement in the local Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union. For 15 years, he fought to defend the rights of workers in his own membership as well as other labor unions. Serving since 2002 as the elected president of the MRLF and as a member of the Board of Directors for Greater Twin Cities United Way, Bill has been dedicated to organizing, mobilizing, reaching out to community partners and building coalitions to change people’s lives. In 2010, Bill initiated a plan to reorganize and re-energize Greater Twin Cities United Way partnership with organized labor. His strategy sought to increase awareness, participation and contributions through engagement of rank-and-file members, labor leadership and labor management. He led customized union leadership campaign meetings and helped developed a more integrated work plan to produce greater impact and fundraising results.
In 2006, Bill founded Working Partnerships, Inc., which is dedicated to improving the lives of working families. Bill’s direction of the Minneapolis United Way AFL-CIO Community Service Liaison Program through Working Partnerships has led to the creation of financial assistance programs that help those in need of critical assistance.
Under Bill’s leadership, Minneapolis was chosen by the national AFL-CIO as one of five cities in the nation to pilot a project around the needs and aspirations of unemployed workers. Bill’s vision for the program is for labor to help the large and growing population of unemployed workers find a collective voice, to provide emergency services and to create activists who will advocate for good jobs in the Twin Cities community. Richard Davis, chairman, president and CEO of U.S. Bancorp, states that Bill exemplifies LIVING UNITED. Bill has even led efforts to ensure that union members are recognized for their community engagement. In 2010, the first publication honoring union members who volunteer in the community was produced.
Bill’s leadership and collaborative nature with United Way’s organizational partners and donors have helped make a difference in bringing people together and meeting the needs of residents in the Greater Twin Cities region.
Bill has been dedicated to organizing, mobilizing, reaching out to community partners and building coalitions to change people’s lives. His strategy sought to increase awareness, participation and contributions through engagement of rank-and-file members, labor leadership and labor management.
Established in 1974, United Way’s Joseph A. Beirne Community Services Award honors the memory of Joseph A. Beirne, the first president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the first labor representative to serve as president of United Community Funds and Councils of America (now United Way Worldwide). The award recognizes union members for outstanding volunteer service with United Way.