Region 21 Steward Spotlight: Dylan Adams
After growing up in San Francisco and attending college out east, MAPE Region 21 Chief Steward Dylan Adams settled down at the University of Minnesota for his Master’s degree and hasn’t left since. After grad school he worked a temp job until he could get into state employment in September of 2018.
“I started volunteering as a MAPE steward almost right away. I think I tried to sign up to be a steward before I even completed my probation period,” Adams said with a laugh. “I became a steward the second I could after that.”
Union activism came naturally to the Dept. of Human Services data analyst. When Region 21’s former lead steward retired two years ago, Adams stepped into that role.
“I was not in a union before, but my family is pro-labor so I grew up in that environment,” he said. “With that, plus some core experiences I had in the private sector in the right-to-work state of Wisconsin, I recognized how beneficial a union would be and knew I wanted to get involved right away.”
When asked about a most memorable experience as a steward, Adams said he’s “pretty proud” of a seminar he created, called MAPE 101: Know your Rights. The presentation teaches what happens in an investigation, how to advocate for yourself as an employee and when to involve your union.
Adams said he’s also happy to have his Local 2101 leadership team supporting him in his role as chief steward.
“It’s been a positive experience working in connection with the local leadership team,” he said. “We have a cohesive direction we’re all moving forward in and tons of support for one another.”
That support comes in handy when each new case or experience presents a new challenge, Adams says.
“The work I do as a steward is challenging in a good way. I like applying the MAPE Contract and finding solutions to new issues,” he said. “I just truly believe in labor meaning power for employees. I’ve seen time and again how we bring issues to the highest levels of our department and successfully advocate for certain things.”
Our contract provides avenues as employees to change our workplace; Not everyone gets that benefit. We’re incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to be in the union. It’s really powerful to see how we can help our fellow members and negotiate for better contracts.”
After “seeing things from the inside,” Adams said he appreciates MAPE’s organizing efforts and would encourage all members to take a step toward increased union involvement.
“There are so many opportunities to get involved with varying levels of effort required,” he said. “Volunteer for a task or leadership role. It’s really powerful to be part of the union and really insightful to see how decisions get made and see how we build power with the union.”