To revitalize American communities, workers must address massive economic shifts that have occurred in the past 20 years. These economic shifts have removed the "ladder of opportunity" and have replaced it with a deepening "well of dependence" where workers and their families must rely on the goodwill of others to survive. Dedicated leadership and creative approaches are needed to bring forth a new labor vision within our communities realizing that each community has a unique combination of assets on which to build their future.


The mission of the AFL-CIO is to improve lives of working families - to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. To accomplish this mission we will build and chang the American labor movement.

We will build a broad movement of American workers by organizing workers into union.

We will build a strong political voice for workers in our nation.

We will change our unions to provide a new voice to workers in a changing economy.

We will change our labor movement by creating a new voice for workers in our community.

The AFL-CIO Community Service Program supports the mission of the AFL-CIO and is guided by three basic principles.

The AFL-CIO Community Services program activates and builds on the strength and capacities of workers and working communities.

The AFL-CIO Community Services program is "relationship driven." The program will develop new and rebuild existing relationships between and among workers, unions, and community organizations. The program recognizes that these strong ties form the basis for building strong working communities and a strong labor movement.

The AFL-CIO Community Service program is community focused, concentrating on an agenda that captures local definition, creativity, hope and most importantly, promotes and supports local leadership.

The AFL-CIO Community Services program is designed to discover capacities and assets to rebuild the labor movement from the grass roots and therefore build real power for working families. The program recognizes that this building of stronger communities takes place when workers and working communities make a personal investment of their time as well as other resources to the effort. An AFL-CIO Executive Council statement, passed in February of 1956, developed the statement of principles for the AFL-CIO Community Services program. Two very important principles from that statement are:

The union member is first and foremost a member of the community.

Prevention of social problems is preferable to the best treatment of social ills.