Here's what to look for in this month's magazine.

A note from City & State's editor

A note from City & State's editor City & State

The organized labor movement lost a legend last month with the death of Richard Trumka, a Democratic Party ally who was famous for defending workers’ rights, workplace safety, democracy and fairness. 

After news broke of Trumka’s death, tributes and condolences began to pour in on the AFL-CIO website. Everyone from Bob Casey to Elizabeth Dole to Joe Biden remembered him as a steadfast leader, a fierce warrior and a trusted friend.

The mark Trumka left behind speaks volumes. Many would argue that unions helped build the middle class – not just in Pennsylvania, but across the nation. They set high standards for wage earners and become workforce trendsetters for years to come. 

With reference to partnerships, I wanted to introduce a new member of City & State PA’s advisory board. The board, chaired by former Gov. Ed Rendell, is tasked with helping our editorial staff prepare and vet our power lists. Members offer their insights and diversity of opinions about the relative influence each list-maker has within their respective fields as we carefully craft our lists each month. 

Tricia Mueller
Tricia Mueller (Mary McIlvaine)

Joining the board is Tricia Mueller, a former longtime political director for the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and former national political director for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. In 2008, she worked as a state director for Obama for America. Mueller founded Groundwork Strategies in 2016, a women-owned and operated public affairs and political consultancy firm with offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, N.J. In her job, she helps businesses understand the language of labor unions. 

This month’s labor issue is packed with research articles, analysis and trend pieces and features that affect labor leaders. Our cover story is a personality profile that explores the gubernatorial bid of former congressman and Hazleton mayor Lou Barletta – the once polarizing figure in Pennsylvania politics who allied himself with Donald Trump but now may be attempting to distance himself from the former president in an effort to gain bipartisan support. 

We tackled what it would mean if Congress passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, effectively making it easier for workers to form unions. We examine both sides of the coin when it comes to minimum wage – what a hike would mean for lower income families as well as small businesses. 

We look at what police departments across the state are doing to grow their ranks and attract more recruits – especially minorities. And as kids are going back to school, we ask a few local experts what the big debate is over critical race theory

As we look towards fall, we hope you’ll join us for our next event on Sept. 14, when we celebrate the Pennsylvania Labor Power 100 at the Moshulu in Philadelphia. State Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier will be the keynote speaker. That’s all for now, because you know what they say: You’re either working hard or hardly working.