Courage Against Control: Lisa Morris’ Mission to Empower Hoosier Workers

Jun 26, 2024 by AFP

Bullies have power until someone is brave enough to stand up to them. Lisa Morris knows this very well.

For years, Lisa has been a star volunteer with AFP-Indiana, and she took it as her mission to fight for hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers who wanted to work hard and get ahead but were intimidated by labor unions hell-bent on keeping control over workers by maintaining the status quo.

Lisa and AFP took the labor unions on, turbocharged the desires of Hoosier workers – and won.

Lisa and AFP: A decade-long commitment

It all started more than 12 years ago. Lisa was worried about the state of America, and most importantly, she was concerned about the country she was leaving to her grandchildren.

“I was seeing the demise of freedom and patriotism in this country and I didn’t want this for them. I wanted to leave them a country like the country I grew upon in. I had to do something.” At that moment, Lisa decided to join AFP to turn her desire for a better America into a reality.

Like thousands of grassroots activists across the country, Lisa worked with AFP to get in touch with her local community, understand their problems, and work tirelessly to connect everyday Americans to policy solutions that will improve people’s lives.

Right-to-work was one of those policies, so Lisa focused on that. Little did she know she would soon change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Indianans.

Right-to-work: Giving a voice to everyday Americans

Lisa quickly found out right-to-work was very popular among Hoosiers.

Americans are entrepreneurial, hard-working, and independent people; they want to build their future themselves. Right-to-work laws give Americans more freedom by allowing workers to decide if they want to join a union or not. In essence, the law prohibits unions from forcing  workers to pay union dues out of their paycheck if they want to keep their job.

Although this common-sense policy was popular, many Hoosiers felt silenced and unrepresented. Those who opposed right-to-work were organized, influential, and aggressive.

So Lisa got to work.

She canvassed, knocked on doors, mobilized the army of AFP volunteers, and advocated for the ideals of freedom and opportunity at the state capitol. By just standing up and giving a voice to thousands of Hoosiers, the momentum for pro-worker legislation grew, and lawmakers finally started to hear the demands of Hoosier workers who used to be intimidated and silenced.

Labor unions quickly realized the force Lisa and AFP had mobilized and mounted a desperate and vicious stand against the pro-freedom movement.

“They were very loud; they were very aggressive, they were bullish (…) the more the momentum grew, the louder the labor unions got,” Lisa remembered.

While organized, loud, and aggressive, labor unions were no match for energetic, dedicated, and optimistic everyday Americans who were willing to fight for freedom and prosperity. After weeks of debate, months of hard work, and years of hope, the Indiana legislature passed the right-to-work law, allowing Hoosiers to work without being forced to pay dues to union bosses.

Prosperity takes Indiana by storm

As expected, jobs began pouring into Indiana. Prosperity was unleashed across the state. Business after business announced new offices, plants, and investments in Indiana, and thousands of new job openings filled the labor market.

Since the passage of the law in 2012, manufacturing jobs in Indiana jumped by 13.5%, while in non-right-to-work states, manufacturing jobs went down 0.5; a study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy shows that manufacturing jobs are 27% higher today than they would be without right-to-work laws.

Today, over half a million Hoosiers have manufacturing jobs (almost a hundred thousand more than in 2011), and there’s no doubt Lisa’s and AFP’s drive played a big part in the revival of Indiana’s manufacturing industry.

Just like Lisa works hard to ensure her grandkids have the opportunities and freedom she enjoys, thousands of AFP volunteers work every day to make the American Dream a reality for all Americans.

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