Photo: Obama Signs on Rural Street in Raccoon
Tide Is Turning
For Obama In
Beaver County, PA
By Carl Davidson
‘Progressives for Obama’
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’ →
Photo: ‘New Deal’ in Art History
Obama ‘Labor Walks,’
Beaver County Style,
& Kucinich’s ‘New Deal’
By Randy Shannon
4th CD Progressive Democrats of America
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’ →
Photo: Obama Rally in Beaver County
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 →