The Debate Highlights
A Hard Battle Here,
But Tough Fighters, Too
By Carl Davidson Progressives for Obama
An Obama-McCain ‘Debate Watching’ party in Beaver County last night, Sept. 26, 2008, promised to be a fun evening, but it also offered as good an occasion as any to measure the progress, tasks, and difficulties of the Obama campaign here in Western Pennsylvania.
The polls here are currently giving Obama a slight edge, but there are too many wild cards to put anyone at ease.
I got my invitation to one of these events about two hours before the party began, and changed plans quickly to attend. It was pulled together by the young volunteers of the county’s Obama campaign in partnership with Local 712 of the IBEW, SEIU activists, and some organizers with the 4th CD Progressive Democrats of America.
The union hall is on Sassafras Lane near a strip of small businesses and nonprofit agencies in Vanport, PA a working class suburb next to Beaver, the county seat. Beaver is relatively stable with government offices and a large medical center, but just a few miles in any direction are the distressed mill towns of Midland, Beaver Falls, Monaca, New Brighton, Rochester, Baden, Aliquippa, and Ambridge. The old village of Shippingport, is home to a big energy complex and the country’s first nuke plant. Continue reading ‘Debate Watching Party,’ Beaver County-Style→
Photo: Obama talks with USWA workers at former closed mill in Bucks County now making wind turbines
Steel Workers, Allies
For ‘Green Jobs’
By Press Associates
Sept. 12, 2008-Pittsburgh – Add “green jobs” to all the other campaigns traversing the country this fall, thanks to the Steel Workers, plus environmental groups.
The campaign, in six states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Missouri, Tennessee, and Minnesota – is based on a Sept. 9 report showing $100 billion invested in green technology has the potential to create 2 million new jobs in the next two years, advocates said. That’s four times as many jobs as the same dollars would create in the oil industry, it adds.
Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy, by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, says that of the new jobs, 800,000 would be in construction and the rest would be in the to-be-built factories turning out “green” goods, such as hybrid auto motors, wind turbines and solar paneling that converts sunlight into electricity.
___________________________________________________________________ Continue reading OBama: Use Old Mills for 21st Century Energy→
BEAVER, Sept 2, 2008 – Sen. Barack Obama says the upcoming presidential election isn’t about him, but ‘what’s in your heart and in your minds in terms of where you want to take America.’
But for the estimated 8,000 or so folks crowded in and around Beaver’s Irvine Park Friday night, the focus was squarely on Obama, fresh off Thursday’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for the presidential race. Continue reading Obama-Biden Team Meet Beaver Voters→
[The Tina Shannon quoted in this article is the Chair of the 4th CD Progressive Democrats of America and a stalwart of Beaver County Peace Links, our local UFPJ group. Carl Davidson, also quoted, as well as being a supporter of PDA here, is also working with ‘Progressives for Obama’. All of us gave the writer a little help finding people to talk to, but he was a great door-knocker all on his own. The article captures, quite well, why this is a close race, why we must, despite a bumpy ride, redouble our efforts, remain resolute and focused — Stop McCain, Stop the War, Vote Obama 2008!]
By MICHAEL POWELL New York Times
August 21, 2008
RACCOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Wander up a gravel road and ask George Timko about Barack Obama and John McCain and he wrinkles his nose. Neither of those guys strikes him as a prize.
Mr. Timko is a burly fellow, with close-cropped white hair and a Fu Manchu mustache, and a gold necklace that rests on his bare chest. “Barack Obama makes me nervous,” said Mr. Timko, a 65-year-old retiree with a garden hose in hand. “Who is he? Where’d he come from? ”
As for Senator McCain? He shook his head. “He keeps talking about being a prisoner of war back in Vietnam: Great. The economy stinks; tell me his plan?”
To roam the rural reaches of western Pennsylvania, through white working-class counties, is to understand the breadth of the challenge facing the two presidential candidates. But this economically ravaged region, once so solidly Democratic, poses a particular hurdle for Senator Obama. Continue reading New York Times Views Beaver County Voters→
In just two weeks, the 2008 Democratic National Convention will be history.
In the meantime, we have a lot of work to do.
This week, a front-page New York Times article referred to “progressive Democrats” as “crucial to Mr. Obama’s success.” At this momentous crossroads, Barack Obama and the progressive base certainly need each other–to defeat McCain and open up real possibilities for major shifts in policies at the federal level. Energizing that base could maximize voter turnout for Obama in November and then change national priorities in a way not seen since FDR’s first term in the White House. Continue reading ‘Healthcare Not Warfare’ at Denver DNC!→
If you think America ought to keep going in the same direction George Bush and Dick Cheney have been taking us in stand up.
(Well, I’m going to cut some of you guys in the aisle a break and assume you didn’t understand the question.)
Now, stand up if you think it’s time we had a president who’s going to fight for national health care, sign the Employee Free Choice Act, strengthen OSHA, defend Social Security, end the war, and protect American jobs?
Well, congratulations — you just answered the question that’s stumped all the commentators and columnists and consultants in Washington, D.C. who are asking how Barack Obama is going to win the votes of workers in states like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Continue reading Trumka Talks to Steelworkers About Obama and Racism→
You knew something special was happening when the youngest, freshest face in the room got up, took charge and called the meeting to order-“Hello, I’m Scout Sanders, and welcome to the first meeting of Aliquippa for Obama!’
Sanders was a full-time Obama volunteer, a student from the University of Connecticut, and her bright smile and enthusiasm brightened up a room of about 30 residents of Aliquippa and a few other nearby towns. Those who came were all ages, from young teenagers to retired workers in their seventies, a little more than half were African American, about two-thirds were women.
Aliquippa is a severely stressed milltown in Beaver County, Western Pennsylvania. At one time nearly 30,000 people lived here, mostly steelworkers and their families. Now it’s down to 12,000, with 6000 low-income African-Americans hanging on in the central area, with the white workers living in the border neighborhoods. The home of Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, and other great athletes, it’s a tough, no-nonsense place in dire need of a hopeful future. The meeting was in a bright and well-cared-for church-run coffee house, Uncommon Grounds, on the mostly boarded up main street. Continue reading ‘Aliquippa For Obama’ – Fired Up, Ready to Go→