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PEF member runs for office in Rochester

Gwendolyn J. Clifton

Gwendolyn J. Clifton has announced her candidacy for the Chili Town Board, and she hopes to make a difference in the lives of the Monroe County residents.

Clifton is an active PEF member, and works as a rights advocate at the Finger Lakes Developmental Disabilities Services Office. She is also regional coordinator for the PEF Upstate Black Caucus.

“I always wanted to run for office, and the timing was right,” Clifton said. “My town supervisor was asking town employees to opt out of the union. I had a problem with that as I am a firm supporter of PEF. I understand the importance of having a union to back you, protect you, bargain for fair wages and provide so many benefits. We cannot depend on management to ensure our family security.”

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Clifton would like other PEF members to run for office and help make a difference.

“I want to encourage teachers, nurses, social workers and others to run. We all have to work hard and have the mindset to handle our financial obligations, but at the same time we can’t forget about humanity and be cognizant of the needs of the people we serve. The only way we can accomplish our goals is being in office.”

Clifton volunteers in the greater Rochester area as membership vice president at the American Association of University Women (AAUW) where she advocates for equity and education for women and girls. In 2018, she was honored with the AAUW New York State Emerging Leader Award. — Deborah A. Miles

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