- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
On April 30 and May 1, 2012, activists representing 34 chapters in the Maryland Federation of Chapters, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), gathered at the Comfort Inn in Bowie to address serious issues affecting its members and all seniors. The 160-plus attendees from across Maryland represented the more than 19,000 members in the state.
NARFE is the nation’s only organization with the primary purpose of protecting the earned retirement benefits of federal and postal workers, according to a press release. At the state and chapter levels, the group works in partnership with like-minded groups on issues affecting all seniors.
Representing the Calvert County chapter were Ron Byrd, Carol Byrd and Beth Butler. Barry Grier, past local president, represented the Maryland Federation as vice president for membership.
Throughout the two days, the attendees dealt with many issues, including federal and state legislation, fundraising for Alzheimer’s research, communications and membership, and much more. An expert panel delved into the issue of electronic communications, focusing on the best methods of utilizing social media to recruit and retain members and to enhance the organization’s legislative/lobbying program, the release states.
The main highlight was a speech by U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md., 3rd). Describing himself as a strong advocate for those in public service, he decried the general financial and other attacks on federal workers as “terrible and outrageous” and called the attacks a “shakedown,” the release states. He emphasized that “The Federal workforce serves the public. If we keep eroding it, the government’s agencies will not be able to provide the services people have come to expect.” He said he believed that the shared goal of Democrats and Republicans alike should be “rebuilding the American dream.”
More information about NARFE is available through the Maryland Federation of Chapters, www.mdnarfe.org; the national organization, www.narfe.org; or via local contact at NARFE1466@gmail.com, Facebook.com/narfecounty and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NARFECalvertCounty/.