Thursday, September 6, 2012

Local 1500 Update #3 from DNC by John Woods: A Stronger Middle Class is the Solution, Not the Problem

United Food and Commercial Workers

UFCW Local 1500 Assistant to the President Patrick Purcell, Union Representative Rob Ecker and Political Director John Woods, are representing our union at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Patrick, Rob & John will be guest blogging and providing social media updates (@UncleBuck9265) from the DNC 2012 all week.
By: John Woods; Political Director/Union Representative, Long Island

Greetings from the Democratic National Convention, Local 1500 members and friends! We're all so honored to be here, and I'm fired up to get back to New York soon to campaign for all the great folks we've been meeting with down here.

Christine Quinn speaking at the NYS Dems Breakfast
If you've been following the convention on TV,  I don't have to tell you how remarkable the speeches have been so far, there's been so many great quotes and I've learned so much  throughout this week, it's been hard to pick out what's the best one (although I'm linking one of my favorite speeches below, Kal Penn's). Tonight we're obviously all extremely eager and excited to hear from our President, Barack Obama.  There's just a buzz and excitement throughout the entire city that is electric.  I'm actually about to head down to the arena now (2:30 PM) to make sure we get into the speech! 

This morning we were invited to a breakfast by the NYS Dems hosted by our friend and state's Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli and our other friend New York City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn (photo).  At the breakfast we all discussed important issues that effect our state, individual liberties and civil rights like stop and frisk.  We then went to our daily UFCW "breakfast" meeting to discuss GOTV and winning key New York districts.   I've been with the UFCW doing Politics for a very long time and don't say this too often, this election year is as important as any other our State has ever faced.  We need to reclaim the State Senate.  That point is being drilled into all of our heads from New York.  Last night we caught an amazing speech by Richard Trumka (AFL-CIO President).  Trumka is a superb speaker on behalf of the working class.  This must have been my tenth time or so seeing him speak, and it never gets old.

After Trumka, Bob King, the head of the UAW came on and had a lot to talk about.  He thanked, and praised President Obama for saving the American auto industry.  And that's not an overstatement.  Barack Obama saved 1 million auto-industry jobs, a cornerstone of American history.

But the highlight, of course was seeing the man who people of all political parties love, Bill Clinton.  Clinton's speech was remarkable (if you didn't see it watch it here).  His delivery, stage presence and insight is unmatchable.  We're all eager to see if Obama will actually top Clinton's speech (I think he can and will).

We also heard from Massachusetts Senate candidate,  Elizabeth Warren and former Bain Capital workers who spoke about Mitt Romney killing jobs at expense of profit.  Those stories raised hairs on my arms.  In our great country, we need to unite for prosperity among all.  We can't continue to choose profits over people, look where that's gotten us.  We're constantly fighting, struggling to make ends meet.  Working more than one job is a norm here, that's because our jobs are being killed and outsourced for higher CEO profits.  Our country needs to continue to press forward, not go backwards into the same policies from eight-years ago that brought us here.

As Clinton emphasized last night, we can't expect Barack Obama to fix eight plus years of problems generated by the Republican plan of increasing taxes and weakening the middle class, while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and slashing public programs.  That just furthers the already enormous wage/class gap in our country.  These problems can't be fixed in a mere four-years, but I truly believe we're on the right road to fixing them (and that weakening the middle class isn't good for our country!).  We need prosperity for all, not just the 1% of our great nation. As Clinton said, "If you want a future of shared prosperity...you have to vote for Barack Obama." 

We'll be tweeting live from Obama's speech tonight (@UncleBuck9265). GOTV New York!

Talk to you soon!

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