Above: Jim Longley, FO SEIU District of 32 BJ Chapter 22 President; Richard Bloomingdale, PA AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer; and Jack Fisher, Erie/Crawford Central Labor Council President with worksite leaflets on Barack Obama’s record of supporting working families
Below: Philadelphia CLC President Pat Eiding; Clay Smith, NALC Local 157; and Priscilla Wilmore, AFT at the Sept 4th Labor Walk in Philadelphia.
Thanks to the thousands of union members and volunteers who gave up countless evenings and weekends to help elect Barack Obama President by an impressive 11 – point margin. Now we enter the next phase of our campaign to Turn Around America with the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. I look forward to continuing our work together and hope to see you all, across the State.
Frank Snyder Pennsylvania State Director
Heading into the holiday season, CLC Presidents and ALF Chairs look back on our victory on November 4th when the labor movement came out in record numbers to be the difference in Pennsylvania and Barack Obama and other AFL-CIO endorsed candidates. It is important to remember that election day was just the beginning and that now that we have a president elect who will sign the Employee Free Choice Act into law the real work starts:
“The election results on November 4th were a great success for the labor movement,” said Dave Antle, Northeast Area Labor Federation Chair and AFSCME District Council 87 Director. “On a local level we re-elected Congressman Kanjorski and Congressman Carney, and on the national level we elected Barack Obama, a president who will sign The Employee Free Choice Act to law when it reaches his desk. This is all thanks to the hard work of union members and their families who volunteered with the Labor 2008 program. Because you were out talking to your fellow union members on labor walks, over the phone at member phone banks, through local union mail and at the work place with leaflets we were able to get our message out to working families and elect candidates that care about our issues. Though our work is far from over, on November 4th we came together as a movement and made the first step in turning America around by voting for our own interests and electing Barack Obama as the next President of the United States.” Continue reading PA Labor: We Helped Obama Win, Now Turn America Around!→
Rivers of Green:
The new administration must
fix locks and dams
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Pittsburgh owes its existence to its rivers, which first served as roads through the wilderness. To this day, the city’s economic fortunes are still linked to river traffic — this is the second-largest inland port in the United States.
Those barges plying our three rivers require an efficient, reliable system of locks and dams, which, in the region’s best interest, should be kept in good repair. As it happens, this is also in the nation’s interest. As he sets his national agenda, it is vital that President-elect Barack Obama keep this in mind because the system is under severe strain.
There was a lot more to working the polls in this historic election than checking signatures and passing out palm cards.
It was glorious Fall day at the semi-rural fire-hall-turned-voting-center in Raccoon Township, Beaver County, Western PA. I arrived early, but the hall was packed. Most people were in good spirits. Long-time neighbors chatted, older folks marveled at the uncommon turnout among younger voters, and parents worried about fretful children. The main buzz was about one thing: whether they were for Obama or against him, everyone knew they were about to make history.
By Randy Shannon PA 4th CD Chapter,
Progressive Democrats of America
“Welcome! Welcome retired steelworkers! Welcome union activists! Welcome Obama volunteers! Welcome Minority Coalition and NAACP! Welcome Peace Links and NOW members! And welcome PDA members,” said Tina Shannon, Chairperson of the Pennsylvania 4th CD Chapter.
To growing applause, Shannon opened the dinner and screening of “Uncounted” before 166 progressive activists from Beaver and surrounding counties at the Polish National Alliance hall in Monaca, PA. Next to her on the podium were posters celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the New Deal in Pennsylvania.
She then recognized Dennis Rousseau, a leader of the Carpenter’s Union, and Democratic candidate for 14th District Legislator, Denise Cox, Vice-President of the Beaver-Lawrence Labor Council and candidate for Home Rule Study Commission, Jean Friday, the President of the Pennsylvania Association of Retired Americans, Marie Malagreca, former national director of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees, Nancy Werme, Beaver County Prothonotary, and Carol Fiorucci, Beaver County Register of Wills. Continue reading ‘Uncounted’ Event: Healthcare, Not Warfare! Secure Our Vote! Victory for Obama-Biden!→
Sham Republican Lawsuit
To Purge PA Working-Class
Voters Meets Quick Rebuttal
By Randy Shannon Progressive Democrats of America
PA 4th CD Chapter
They’re up to their old tricks again, only this time, we’ve got their number.
Saturday newspapers across Pennsylvania are carrying an Associated Press report on a lawsuit filed by the Pennsylvania Republican Party against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Here’s the link:
About twenty of us are gathering early Saturday morning at the IBEW Hall, ‘Labor Central,’ in Vanport, Beaver County, Western PA. Today it’s a team of electrical workers, steelworkers, SEIU service workers and a few activists with the 4th CD PDA, Progressive Democrats of America.
We’re walking streets, lanes and backwoods roads to hit every union household in the area. The goal today? Voter ID. Make sure every list is correct, find every registered union family voter, find out where they stand, and then, Voter ED, give them our pitch and materials on why Obama-Biden is their best shot to defend their interests in 2008-‘Green Jobs,’ ending the war, defending health care.
The press calls our turf a critical battleground for the hearts, mind and votes of ‘the white worker,’ which it is, with McCain-Palin sliding down, but still at 51 percent today. But you wouldn’t know Obama had a problem by looking at our team today. They’re a hard-muscled crew, ball caps and blue jeans, but ‘Vote Obama 2008’ emblazoned on T-shirts, hats and buttons galore. The rightwing’s bigotry is reaching a fever pitch, but these workers are making it very clear where they stand.
___________________________________________________________________ Continue reading ‘Time To Give the Black Guy a Chance’→
Oct 10, 2008 – About 200 people, almost entirely Obama supporters, gathered at the corner of 10th Street and Penn Avenue to protest GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is Downtown for a fund-raiser this evening.
Nearly 100 blue-collar union workers rose early this Saturday morning, Oct. 4, 2008 and headed for the IBEW hall in Vanport, Beaver County. Their union jackets and T-Shirts told the story: they were steelworkers, electrical workers, hospital workers and other trades, and their buttons, signs and bumper stickers on their pickups all had a common message: Vote for Barack Obama, Defeat John McCain.
This was organized labor moving into action, and it was impressive. As soon as you walked in the door, a half-dozen teams were working assembling hundreds of yard signs for Obama-Biden. The young Obama campaigners, stressed with doing last-minute voter registration, had been out of them for weeks. Now the problem was solved.
Don Siegel, International Vice President of the IBEW took the floor and addressed these union activists from the AFL-CIO and CTW locals in Beaver County who had gathered at Local 712 for the ‘Saturday Labor Walk.’
His message was clear and educational. We heard that union members have to approach this election in a determined, no-nonsense manner, just like organizing on the job or fighting for a union contract. This is about our livelihood, wages, and healthcare benefits. We can’t make progress at the bargaining table if we don’t work to elect politicians that support us. This year’s election is more important than ever because of the economy and Labor is backing the Democratic Party candidates, starting with the Obama-Biden ticket. Continue reading Defeating McCain is Just ‘Step One’→
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→