By: Rob Ecker
Union Representative, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Greetings from the South y'all! I first would like to say how honored I am to be down here at the Democratic National Convention representing our union, New York's best supermarket workers, UFCW Local 1500!
The trip has been amazing. It's great to be surrounded by so many people who are working to improve our nations many problems.
Yesterday we attended the New York State Dems Breakfast where we heard from United States Senator Charles Schumer and Assemblyman & Speaker Sheldon Silver. The message has been clear: Win back the U.S. House, keep he U.S. Senate Majority and win a majority in the NY Senate.
The speeches have been nothing short of amazing. Governor Deval Patrick from Massachusetts spoke fiercely and encouraging. He rallied us all up and demanded the Democratic party to start fighting back against GOP lies, especially Mitt Romney. He had a few memorable lines and statistics which were alarming that they haven't received much media attention:
"By the time Mitt Romney left office, Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation…and household income in our state was declining. Today Massachusetts leads the nation in student achievement, health coverage and energy efficiency.
Today’s Republicans are saying is that if we just shrink government, cut taxes, crush unions and wait, all will be well. Never mind that those are the very policies that got us into recession to begin with! Never mind that not one of the governors who preached that gospel in Tampa last week has the results to show for it. But we Democrats owe America more than a strong argument for what we are against. We need to be just as strong about what we are for."After Governor Patrick spoke, former Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, followed up his speech with more emphasis on countering Romney's lies and ideologies. He, like all the speakers down here had some great lines...Actually they were more like zings, the room filled with laughter and applause on the Santa Claus line here:
"Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed entitled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation. Mitt Romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit from tearing it down. If Mitt was Santa Claus, he'd fire the reindeer and outsource the elves."
“Mitt Romney, he lives by a different code. To him, American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet. ”The keynote was by a rising star in the Democratic Party Mayor Julian Castro from San Antonio who reminded us all what we Democrats stand for: We stand for what is right.
"We know that in our free market economy some will prosper more than others. What we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance," he said. "And the thing is, Mitt Romney and the Republican party are perfectly comfortable with that America."There was also a moving tribute to one of the best progressives in our history, Ted Kennedy. Then, probably one of my favorite highlights from this week so far, hearing the First Lady, Michelle Obama speak. What a great speaker and charismatic presence. She reminded us why we voted for him four years ago and why we must again. We need to continue to move America in the right direction.
Yesterday we also met with some local elected officials, NYC Council Members Viverito, James, Reyna, Mendez, Dromm and Ferrara. They were more than happy to see us down there representing our union.
On a side note in closing, Hollywood was in force last night throughout and after the speeches. We got some face time with activists John Leguzamo, Beau Bridges, Patricia Arquette who love unions, that was a unique and pretty cool twist.
Well, gotta run to the next UFCW meeting. It's great seeing all the UFCW delegates from throughout the nation, I couldn't be happier and more proud to represent a great union of America's supermarket workers! Talk to you soon!