Remembering Carolyn Foote

Carolyn Foote
Carolyn Foote

A founding member of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT union at Rutgers University, Carolyn Foote died Sunday, June 3, 2018, in Newark, New Jersey. Hundreds of family members, colleagues from Rutgers, the union and community gathered the following Friday to celebrate the impact of her too brief 67 years.

Family members told stories about her role as a matriarch and positive influence on their lives. URA-AFT Executive Vice President Darlene Smith talked about her travels with Foote to union conferences and conventions.

Foote worked at Rutgers University-Newark in the John Cotton Dana Library for 30 years, the majority of that time as a Library Associate assigned to the Inter-Library Loan Department, identifying, locating and retrieving works for research projects.

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Foote and Dorothy Grauer (right)

Union members will always remember Foote’s friendship and collaboration with Dorothy Grauer, with whom she shared an office for the entirety of her 30 years at Rutgers. Foote and Grauer would finish one another’s sentences and laugh, making references to one another’s family members and colleagues from throughout the campus and broader Newark community. They often traveled together around campus or to meetings in New Brunswick.

The two joined the organizing effort on campus in 2006 and once URA was recognized, steadfastly assumed (sometimes alternating) roles as lead stewards, campus vice presidents and executive board members of their local, as well as delegates to their state and national unions.

Foote led in a quiet, dignified manner. She was not a big talker in meetings, not someone who sought the spotlight or spent time promoting her own achievements.

Since the union’s recognition in 2007, Foote handled many grievances on the Newark campus, according to union director Greg Rusciano. He said that local members will miss having her as a dependable, capable, staunch advocate. Fortunately, the campus enjoys a strong steward structure and one former steward even remarked that she would have to get back to steward duties to try to fill some of the gap of Foote’s absence.

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Foote and Kathy Licinski (right)

Foote volunteered for many of the union’s political activities, including phone banks and home visits during political campaigns to elect the nation’s first African-American President, and progressive candidates like New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

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Foote at Occupy Wall Street Labor March

Foote represented the union in delegations to Occupy Wall Street to demand economic justice in the movement that declared: “We are the 99%” and decried the excesses of Wall Street millionaires and billionaires.

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Foote at Newark rally against police brutality

She lead the union’s Civil Rights Committee participating in protests and rallies calling for justice for murdered African-American teen Trayvon Martin, a “million-person march against police brutality” in Newark with the People’s Organization for Progress the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March in Washington DC for jobs, peace and freedom.

See Carolyn Foote Obituary »

Rest in Peace Carolyn Foote

CarolynFooteUnionActivistCarolyn Foote was a  URA founding member, Executive Board member, Civil Rights chair and Campus Lead Steward.  Mainly, she was our union sister.

We learned of her passing over the weekend, and we all join her family in their grief.

Homegoing Services will be held as follows:

Date: Friday, June 8 2018
Place: Whigham Funeral Home, 580 Martin Luther King Blvd. , Newark, NJ 07102
Time: Viewing will be at 10 am, and the funeral service at 11 am.
Repast will be at 1 pm in the Essex Room, Paul Robeson Campus Center – Rutgers University-Newark,
350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102

Sympathy cards may be sent to the union office to be delivered to the family:

The Family of Carolyn Foote
c/o URA-AFT
2nd Floor, 57 Paterson Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
c/o Apt. 502, 671 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Newark, NJ 07102

Lucye

Lucye Millerand
President
Union of Rutgers Administrators, Local 1766 ,  American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO

Student Loan Survey Launches

Graduation mortar board cap on one hundred dollar bills concept for the cost of a college and university education

Many AFT members, like so many Americans, are struggling to pay back student debt, and helping them manage student loans has become one of the union’s top priorities. For the last several years, the AFT has held student debt clinics across the country to help borrowers who have been the victims of predatory lending practices gain access to debt relief. Recently, we expanded our clinics to focus on helping members manage medical debt. The response from these debt clinics has been overwhelming—we have helped reduce thousands of members’ monthly payments by hundreds of dollars, and have gotten others on track to have tens of thousands forgiven through public service loan forgiveness. Now, we are launching a survey to find out what else we can do to fight back against the predatory lenders and loan servicers that are hurting working people.

Local 1766