Member Spotlight: Delonya Akindoyo

For nearly 14 years, Delonya Akindoyo worked as the Chief Custodian at Rolling Knolls Elementary School in Anne Arundel County. For her, the best part of the job was working with the students, seeing their smiling faces, and being in a workplace that felt like family.

This year, Delonya became the full-time president of AFSCME Local 1693, which represents Anne Arundel County Public Schools workers in food service, maintenance, transportation, and more. She first got involved in her union because of her grandmother, who was a chief shop steward for her local and an executive board member of AFSCME Council 67. "My grandma loves our union. She always says her favorite part was going out, meeting new members, and signing them up and that if it wasn't for our union, we wouldn't have job protections and safe working conditions. I think I have the same spirit as her," says Delonya.

Since becoming president, Delonya has spent much of her time visiting the over 100 schools and worksites in the district. Last week, she and her fellow AFSCME members signed up over 25 new members as part of our K-12 Week of Action before the new school year starts. "I've learned that it's important to consistently show up, to let folks know that they have a union, to get them motivated, and to pique their interest," says Delonya.

When asked about her message to those who haven’t joined our union yet, she says, "We work because we have to feed our families and to pay our bills. When you become part of our union, you're not letting someone else dictate your livelihood and your working conditions. You get to have a voice at work and an avenue to speak up. By becoming a member, you don't have to accept what those in power have to say about your working conditions."