A Message from National President William R. Dougan
In accordance with the Bylaws of the National Federation of Federal Employees, National-Secretary Treasurer William R. Dougan has succeeded the late Richard N. Brown as NFFE National President. Having resumed business on July 14, 2009, following the funeral proceedings, William R. Dougan released the following statement:
Brothers and Sisters:
It is with great sorrow and duress that my first address to the membership as National President comes under such trying and unfortunate circumstances. With Rick’s untimely death, we lost more than just a President; we lost a champion of the labor movement. Rick envisioned a workplace that all federal employees could be proud of, and where they were treated with the dignity and respect due to them. He fought hard to attain that until the moment he took his last breath. He truly believed in what NFFE was, and dedicated his life to what it could become.
Indeed, it has been an intensely difficult period for us all.
In spite of all this, I am overcome with a strong sense of optimism–optimism in the future of this union and the hardworking women and men without whom it would not exist. Listening to our members, officers, and staff in recent weeks has only reinforced this notion.
I could see that in their thoughts, their words, and their deeds there exists a renewed desire to press onward, to keep fighting the good fight for our members and those we represent, just as Rick would. I realized that I was seeing in them the fire that had burned so brightly in Rick – that insatiable urge to do what is right by our fellow federal employees.
I am reminded of the writings of Martin Luther King, who said that “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” By this standard, all of you have shown great strength and resilience as we mourn the loss of our beloved National President.
In the weeks since Rick’s passing, your support has in turn given me the strength and resilience needed to assume the office of NFFE National President. As President, I give you my solemn commitment to carry on the legacy of fighting for working men and women that Rick left behind. In return, I ask for your support as NFFE moves forward in its fight for fairness and justice in the federal workplace.
There is nothing that Rick would want more than for this union to carry on and prosper. I thank you all for standing with me as we, together, write the next chapter in the history of our great union.
William R. Dougan