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LiUNA President Speaks At Bloomberg Politics’ Infrastructure Event

Time for Investment in Clean Water, Energy, and Modern Transportation

Philadelphia, PA.  – Terry O’Sullivan, the General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) joined elected officials and business leaders today to discuss the future of American infrastructure at an event hosted by Bloomberg Politics and Building America’s Future during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 

The panel looked at the critical gaps in our infrastructure and discussed future innovations that could support a word-class, state of the art infrastructure in the decades to come.

LIUNA represents a half-million construction workers who are vocal advocates for infrastructure investment not only because it will put food on the tables of hard-working men and women, but also because it’s critical to our daily lives – from the roads we drive on to the energy that heats our homes in the winter and keeps us cool in the summer.

O’Sullivan pointed out that when people think of infrastructure needs they often think of transportation. However, from energy infrastructure that meets the demands of tomorrow to repairing and rebuilding our aging water systems, needs are great and urgently need to be addressed. 

“Decades of underinvestment in our water infrastructure now threatens clean drinking water in many U.S. cities. We can’t continue to turn a blind eye to this. Flint was the tip of an iceberg,” noted O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan also argued for a build out of energy infrastructure that will help our nation meet Clean Power Plan goals and our increasing energy needs. “Natural gas is already helping us reduce carbon emissions and face the threat of climate change head-on. Policymakers should support safe and responsible development of this important resource.”

LIUNA supports a range of financing solutions to address the infrastructure investment gap. “Whether it’s Build America Bonds or public private investment, LIUNA supports innovative financing but only if built to the highest standards with skilled tradesmen and women,” said O’Sullivan.

When it comes to the 2016 Presidential Election, O’Sullivan emphasized that Secretary Hillary Clinton’s pragmatic approach to advancing infrastructure investment is what the United States needs in a President.

O’Sullivan said, “Secretary Clinton has the expertise and experience to roll up her sleeves and get the job done from day one.  She will fight for investment in infrastructure built by skilled tradesmen and women that keeps our water clean, our lights on, and our roads and bridges safe.”

The event was held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention and was attended by party leaders, industry experts, and members of the press.

Labor Leaders Speak At The Democratic National Convention (VIDEO)

The Democratic National Convention is in full swing and there is so much going on it is easy to miss something.

On Day 1 of the DNC labor leaders from a variety of national unions spoke in support of Hillary Clinton and in opposition to the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency.

Labor unions have stood in strong opposition to Donald Trump since he first announced his campaign when he attacked immigrants and threatened to tear apart families by deporting 11 million aspiring Americans.

Hillary has garnered strong support from labor unions throughout out the primary.  She gained more labor support when she came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership and announced her bold infrastructure investment plan.

Nearly all of the labor leaders who spoke highlighted that the choice this election could not be clearer. Do we want a champion for working families or a shameless billionaire who has always been there to make a quick buck off the suffering of working people?

Here are just a few quotes from the video below as transcribed by C-Span:

AFSME President Lee Saunders
“HILLARY CLINTON NEVER QUITS EITHER. SHE UNDERSTANDS THAT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS STRENGTHEN ALL OF US. WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO GETS THAT AND UNDERSTAND THAT BUSTING UNIONS AND CUTTING SERVICES MEANS FAMILIES SUFFER.”

“I WAS IN LAS VEGAS AT THE TRUMP HOTEL LAST WEEK AND THEY VOTED TO FORM A UNION. BUT DONALD TRUMP WILL NOT MEET WITH THEM.”

“I KNOW WHAT SIDE I AM ON. I AM WITH HER. ELECT HILLARY CLINTON THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
“WORKING PEOPLE ARE STRONG AND DONALD TRUMP IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. LISTEN, HE THINKS HE IS A TOUGH GUY. DONALD, I WORKED IN THE MINES WITH TOUGH GUYS. I KNOW TOUGH GUYS. DONALD, YOU ARE NO TOUGH GUY. YOU ARE A PHONY. DONALD TRUMP HAS REPEATEDLY OUTSOURCED JOBS TO LINE HIS OWN POCKETS. HE ROOTED FOR THE HOUSING COLLAPSE. HE SAID WAGES ARE TOO HIGH — NOT JUST ONCE, BUT REPEATEDLY. “

“WE ARE BUILDING A MOVEMENT FOR A BETTER LIFE, NO MATTER THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN, WHERE WE WERE BORN, FOR WE LOVE, OR HOW WE WORSHIP. HILLARY CLINTON ANSWERED OUR CALL. SHE IS FIGHTING TO REWRITE THE ECONOMIC RULES FOR ALL OF US. SHE HAS A BOLD PLAN TO INVEST IN MANUFACTURING, INFRASTRUCTURE, AND JOBS. SHE OPPOSES THE JOB KILLING TRANSPACIFIC PARTNERSHIP.”

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia
“HILLARY CLINTON BELIEVES IN KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER. SHE BELIEVES IN OUR DREAMERS. SHE BELIEVES THAT EDUCATORS SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON EDUCATION, NOT DEPORTATION.”

“DONALD TRUMP SEES IMMIGRANTS AS CRIMINALS, DRUG DEALERS ,RAPISTS? HE SAYS HE WOULD ROUND UP FAMILIES AND UP THEM AND BUILD A WALL — DEPART THEM AND BUILD THE WALL.”

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
“WE NEED A PRESIDENT WHO WANTS TO RAISE WAGES IN THIS COUNTRY, NOT ONE THAT SAYS WAGES ARE TOO HIGH AND THERE SHOULD NOT BE A FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE. THAT IS WHY WE ARE WORKING TO ELECT HILLARY CLINTON AND CHAMPIONS UP AND DOWN THE BALLOT WHO WILL RAISE WAGES AND HEALTH WORKERS JOINED TOGETHER IN UNIONS.”

“WE MUST ELECT HILLARY CLINTON AND THE CHAMPIONS LIKE HER WERE GOING TO PUT FAMILIES FIRST AND STOP THE CANDIDATE OF HATRED AND GREED.”

North American Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey
“TRADE UNION MEMBERS HAVE HELPED OF THIS GREAT NATION. THE SUPER DOME, THE GOLDING GATE BRIDGE, THE FREEDOM TOWERS, THE ARENA WE ARE IN TONIGHT. YOU NAME IT, WE BUILD IT. WE ARE PROUD OF OUR WORK. BUT WITH COLLAPSED BRIDGES, COMING ROADS AND STRESS ENERGY SYSTEMS, WE NOTICED HAVE TIME TO REBUILD OUR NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE. BUILDING TRADE NUMBERS ARE READY TO DO THEIR PART.”

“HILLARY CLINTON HAS THE BOLDEST INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN WE HAVE SEEN IN GENERATIONS. SHE WILL HELP US REPAIR ROADS AND BRIDGES AND MAKE BROADBAND UNIVERSAL. BUILD NEW AIRPORTS AND MODERNIZE THE ENERGY GRID. SHE WILL DO IT ALL WHILE CREATING GOOD, FAIR PAINT JOBS WITH STANDARDS THAT SUPPORT REAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAMS WHICH THE BUILDING TRADES PIONEER.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten
“DONALD MADE MILLIONS WHILE HE RIPPED OFF WORKERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES WITH HIS UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES. REMEMBER, HE ENDED UP BANKRUPTING NOT ONE, NOT TWO, NOT THREE, BUT FOR OF HIS COMPANIES — BUT FOUR OF HIS COMPANIES. AND HIS ECONOMIC IDEAS WILL MAKE MILLIONAIRES LIKE HIM RICHER AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS.”

“[Donald Trump] IS COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED TO BE IN THE OVAL OFFICE.  
THANKFULLY, WE HAVE A DIFFERENT CHOICE AND IT IS A GREAT ONE. HILLARY CLINTON. SHE HAS WORKED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR WORKING FAMILIES. THAT’S US OF PUBLIC EDUCATION FROM PRE-K TO COLLEGE. A PLAN FOR UNIVERSAL EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.”

Our Revolution Continues As Sanders Encourages Support For Clinton (VIDEO)

Senator Bernie Sanders Screenshot

Screenshot of Senator Bernie Sanders from the DNC on July 25th

“Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaire,” wrote Bernie Sanders in a email to supporters last night. 

A little over a year ago we started a revolution to take back our government from the oligarchs who have corrupted it.  With our fearless leader, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at the helm, we pushed back against the rigged system.  We knocked on doors. We walked the streets. We talked to our friends and neighbors. We utilized the power of social media to send shockwaves throughout the political system.

Together we helped to make a self proclaimed “Democratic Socialist” a household name and a real contender for President of the United States.

Sadly, Senator Sanders did not win the Democratic Primary contest, but this does not mean that we failed.   We started something that will go down in history as the moment “We the People” took back our government.

Last night, Sanders made one of the best speeches I have ever seen at the Democratic National Convention in support of Secretary Hillary Clinton.  He talked about how we, Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters, created “the most progressive party platform in history.”  We helped to shape this platform that focuses on working people.  This platform continues to push for universal healthcare, a $15 minimum wage, and stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are just a few of the things we helped to get into this progressive platform.

Our political revolution continues even as Bernie is ending his candidacy from President. We will continue to encourage new voters to support candidates who will fight for working families and will fight to take back our government from the billionaire oligarchs.  With the help of millions of new active voters we will change the system but this will not happen overnight.

I encourage you to watch Senator Sanders full speech from the DNC last night. Listen to the man who inspired us, who led us, and who has always been fighting for us, as he makes the case for us to now support Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump.

On Day One Of The DNC, Labor Advocates Push For A Higher Minimum Wage #RaiseItDamnIt

On First Day Of Democratic National Convention, CWA, SEIU Presidents, PA Senate Candidate, L.A. Mayor Call On Congress To Raise the Minimum Wage

CWA President Chris Shelton speaks at #RaiseItDamnIt Event at DNC

CWA President Chris Shelton speaks at #RaiseItDamnIt Event at DNC

National and state advocates launch #RaiseItDamnIt campaign to declare $7.25 is not enough on the 7th anniversary of last increase in the federal minimum wage

As Republicans in Congress block minimum wage increase, 17 states and Washington, D.C., have raised the wage since 2014

PHILADELPHIA — Communications Workers of America President Chris Shelton, Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry, Pennsylvania Senate Democratic candidate Katie McGinty, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Working Families Party National Director Dan Cantor, Bishop Dwayne Royster and airport worker Onetha McKnight today called for policymakers and businesses to ensure all working people earn a living wage.

Coming on the heels of the most divisive and anti-worker Republican National Convention ever, over 100 advocacy groups, including Center for American Progress, Center for Popular Democracy, Economic Policy Institute, the Fairness Project, National Employment Law Project, the Working Families Party, and others are holding a national day of action on the anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25 an hour.  More than 50 canvassers arrived in Philadelphia as the Democratic National Convention began, and actions in states around the country are demonstrating support to #RaiseItDamnIt on social media with a trending hashtag and over 1 million social media impressions so far today. Popular Twitter accounts also tweeted about the day of action, including: @BarackObama, @SenatorReid, @LaborSec, @PattyMurray. and others. The website, RaiseItDamnIt.org, will continue to be the online organizing hub of activity.

“Working families are suffering because, for too long, our elected officials have refused to act. A living wage isn’t a luxury, it’s a right that must be enforced by raising the federal minimum wage,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. 

“All workers deserve $15 an hour and the ability to have a voice on the job by joining a union,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “This November, working families face a clear choice between Hillary Clinton, who supports our movement, and Donald Trump, who thinks wages are already too high. This election is the most consequential of their lifetime and the stakes could not be higher.”

The last increase to the minimum wage was signed into law in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and supported by Republicans in both the House and Senate. Raising the wage is popular with the American public: 63 percent of Americans support a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2020, and a September 2015 poll found that, by a 3-1 margin, voters are more likely to support political candidates who favor raising the minimum wage.  

“It is time for us to enable our citizens to be able to make a living wage and have the opportunity to thrive,” said Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty. “Right now, people making the minimum wage are struggling to get by, and we need to do better for Pennsylvania workers and for workers around the country.” 

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who signed a $15 an hour minimum wage bill into law in Los Angeles in 2015 said, “No American who works hard should be forced to live in poverty. For the 600,000 Angelenos this will affect, the bill is a lifesaver. But we can’t stop until all Americans earn a living wage.”

“There are millions of Americans in states red, blue, and purple who struggle to put food on the table everyday. It’s a national disgrace,” said Dan Cantor, National Director of the Working Families Party. “Politicians should shut out the lobbyists for the 1 percent long enough to hear the truth, and those who can’t should pay the price.”

Four states will also bring minimum wage referendums to their voters this fall, as Colorado today submitted 200,000 signatures, more than twice the required amount, to join Arizona, Maine, and Washington. This comes on the heels of two of the most populous states in the country – California and New York – passing a $15 an hour minimum wage increase, earlier this year.

“As a father, husband, minister and social justice advocate in Philadelphia, I see first-hand how the minimum wage marginalizes people of color and contributes to the cycle of poverty we are stuck in,” said Bishop Dwayne Royster, Founding Pastor of Living Water UCC. “Economic justice must be sought alongside racial justice.”

“I stood with my brothers and sisters on strike to demand what we deserve: a higher wage and access to a union,” said Onetha McKnight, a wheelchair attendant at Philadelphia International Airport. McKnight and her co-workers have been organizing for more than three years and just last week were victorious in their demands for a fair process to form their union and negotiate a living wage

“Because of Republican obstruction, the federal minimum wage has been frozen at just $7.25 for seven years – locking more than 35 million American workers in low-paying jobs. Today, families and voters across the country are saying enough is enough – we need national leadership that will #RaiseItDamnIt,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project Action Fund.

“The call for a higher minimum wage is getting louder all around the country – because it’s getting harder and harder to put food on the table, afford rent, or support a family,” said JoEllen Chernow, Director of Economic Justice at Center for Popular Democracy. “We’ve waited nearly a decade for a meaningful raise, and we simply cannot wait one more. It’s time to give Americans a raise and ensure we support all working families in this country.”

Labor Reacts to Selection of Tim Kaine

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bnwklr/16038546189

Richard Trumka photo by Ben Wikler via Flickr Creative Commons

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

“The AFL-CIO supports Hillary Clinton’s selection of Tim Kaine as her running mate. Tim Kaine is the son of an ironworker and a teacher, and is grounded in the values of working people.

“He has a strong record on workers’ issues, ranging from raising the minimum wage to securing equal pay for equal work.  He has always been a strong leader and will be an asset to the ticket. He is moral and honest and true to the values he espouses. Clinton – Kaine is a winner for America.”


Mary Kay Henry by The Leadership Conference via Flickr Creative Commons

Mary Kay Henry photo by The Leadership Conference via Flickr Creative Commons

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry:

“For working families, the 2016 election is the most consequential of our lifetimes. The stakes couldn’t be higher – nor the contrast starker – on all of the issues our families need to get ahead. In choosing Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton has tapped as her running mate the right partner to move our country forward and build a better future for all families by rebalancing our economy and democracy to work for everyone, not just greedy corporations and wealthy special interests.

“Tim Kaine is an experienced leader with a proven track record on issues from raising wages to immigration reform and racial justice. He has voted and fought for higher wages, and ensured home care workers had the ability to stand together in a union. His Senate record shows that working families have been his priority as he has worked to expand child care, protect voting rights, address mass incarceration, preserve the Affordable Care Act, and promote opportunities for women and immigrants. He was the first person ever to deliver a speech on the Senate floor entirely in Spanish, and it was to demand action on commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

“Above all, we know what is in Tim Kaine’s heart. He is someone who is the son of an ironworker and a teacher, who served as a Catholic missionary, whose first case out of law school was representing at no cost a Black woman who had been the victim of housing discrimination. Tim Kaine’s convictions are rooted in justice for all.

“Together, Clinton and Kaine will stand with working families who have come together in the broadest modern grassroots movement to raise wages and protect opportunities for people to join together in 21st-century unions; increase access to affordable care for our children and aging parents; and advance racial, immigrant and environmental justice for all communities across our country.  SEIU members will continue to come out in record numbers across the country to elect Clinton and Kaine as the next president and vice president of the United States.”


Randi Weingarten

Randi Weingarten

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten:

“The choice of Tim Kaine, the son of a welder who has lived middle-class values and has a long track record of progressive accomplishments, reiterates Hillary Clinton’s commitment to building a government that will level the playing field for working families. While the GOP ticket masks irrational ideas behind a morally bankrupt message of fear, bigotry and hatred, a Clinton-Kaine ticket will be focused on helping people see higher wages, lower student debt, good jobs, successful public schools, and safety and security here and abroad.

“The contrasts between a Clinton-Kaine ticket and a Trump-Pence ticket couldn’t be more stark. Donald Trump, the narcissist, believes that he alone can fix our nation’s problems and peddles fear in a campaign devoid of facts, plans or humanity. Clinton and Kaine choose to confront fear and solve problems, and they will use their vast experience to help ensure the American dream is within reach for everyone.

“Strong public education runs deep in the Kaine household. In the U.S. Senate, he took the lead on supporting career and technical education programs in the new federal education law, and he has fought for funding to modernize public school buildings. And as Virginia’s governor, he expanded pre-K programs by 40 percent. His wife, Anne Holton, has been dedicated to fighting for great public schools for decades—she helped integrate Richmond, Va., public schools as a child and today is Virginia’s secretary of education.

“Our nation and the world can feel confident that the Clinton-Kaine ticket will be a great leadership team that will work to break down walls, disarm hate, and make educational and economic opportunity a reality.”

ICYMI: Forrester Joins Edelblut in Pledging to Pass “Right to Work”

Concord, N.H.—State Senator and candidate for governor Jeanie Forrester made her fealty to the ultra-conservative Koch brothers official Monday, signing the 2016 Americans for Prosperity Pledge.

By signing, candidates pledge to “work tirelessly to… Pass a Right to Work Law in New Hampshire.” The Pledge also includes commitments to pursue right-wing economics and oppose all forms of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, including Medicaid expansion, a program that has extended health benefits to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters.

In signing the pledge, Forrester joins state Representative Frank Edelblut as the first two candidates for governor to have signed the 2016 Pledge. Chris Sununu has signed the Pledge in the past, while Ted Gatsas has stayed silent on whether he’ll pledge allegiance to the Koch brothers.

“Jeanie Forrester’s pledge to support the Koch brothers extreme far-right agenda should put to rest any questions about whose interests she’d serve as governor,” said NHDP Press Secretary Evan Lukaske. “She now has officially declared that her priority will be to do the bidding of out-of-state billionaires and to strip health care from nearly 50,000 Granite Staters. Any notion that she’d fight for middle-class families just went out the window.”

Headquartered in Virginia and funded by the ultra-conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, Americans For Prosperity is an out-of-state special interest group that supports right-wing candidates and far-right ideology. AFP is known for spreading misinformation about climate science and promoting failed and debunked trickle-down economic policies. Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski previously served as their executive director.

Preventing Workplace Violence: National COSH and Local Groups Join Call for OSHA Standard for Health Care and Social Service Workers

NCOSH 300X250San Diego – In solidarity with labor unions representing millions of American workers, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NHCOSH) and other local COSH organizations have endorsed petitions calling for a comprehensive federal standard to prevent workplace violence in the health care and social assistance sectors.

“With an issue like workplace violence, it’s easy to say, ‘Hey, how can you stop a person who wants to hurt somebody?’” said Jessica Martinez, acting executive director of National COSH. “But that’s just wrong and ignores documented best practices. If you address issues like adequate staffing and lines of communication, worksite security, proper training and safety protocols, there’s no question you can reduce the risks faced by health care and social service workers.”

Workplace violence is a problem across all sectors of the economy. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than two million workers each year report that they are victims of violent incidents on the job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported more than 400 workplace homicides in 2014, making homicide the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States.

Health care and social service workers are among those most at risk. Fifty-two percent of victims of workplace violence, according to the BLS, are health care and social service workers.

On July 12, a coalition of unions filed petitions with the U.S. Department of Labor, calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a “comprehensive workplace violence prevention standard to protect all workers in healthcare and social service settings.” The coalition of labor unions includes the AFL-CIO; American Federation of Teachers; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; American Federation of Government Employees; Communications Workers of America; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Service Employees International Union; the United Steelworkers and National Nurses United.

“Like other on-the-job hazards, workplace violence can be prevented – in health care, social services and in other sectors” said National COSH Senior Organizer Peter Dooley. “To be effective, a workplace violence prevention standard must be part of a comprehensive, systems approach to workplace safety, with workers involved in every step of the process.  That includes evaluating risks, assessing remedies, reporting incidents without fear of retaliation, and design of rigorous training.”

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, National COSH and local COSH groups point to the proven effectiveness of prevention programs. “A comprehensive workplace violence prevention program,” the letter states, “reduced rates of assault at Veterans Health Administration hospitals between 2004 and 2009.”  The letter also notes that the states of California and Minnesota have recently passed legislation requiring health care employers to implement workplace violence prevention programs.

In addition to National COSH, local groups signing on to yesterday’s letter include:

  • Connecticut Council on Occupational Safety and Health (ConnectiCOSH)
  • Fe y Justicia Worker Center (Houston COSH)
  • Maine Labor Group on Health
  • Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH)
  • Mid-State Education and Service Foundation
  • New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NHCOSH)
  • New Jersey Work Environment Council (NJWEC)
  • New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH)
  • NorthEast New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NENYCOSH)
  • Rhode Island Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (RICOSH)
  • South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
  • Southern California Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (SoCalCOSH)
  • Western Massachusetts Coalition for Workplace Safety and Health (WesternMassCOSH)
  • Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH)
  • Worksafe

Yesterday’s letter to Secretary Perez and Assistant Secretary Michaels is available here.

* * *

National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace. For more information, please visit coshnetwork.org.  Follow us at National Council for Occupational Safety and Health on Facebook, and @NationalCOSH on Twitter.

Governor Hassan’s Statement on June Unemployment Rate

Maggie-Hassan-Headshot-WebCONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan today issued the following statement on the announcement of the June unemployment data, which showed that the number of employed Granite Staters and the labor force continued to grow in June:

“As the number of employed residents and the labor force continued to grow in June, our unemployment rate still remains among the lowest in the nation. Despite these encouraging signs that indicate that our economy is moving in the right direction, we know that we still have more work to do to help all of our citizens access high-quality jobs and to support our innovative businesses who are looking for more skilled workers now.

“We must continue working together to build a stronger workforce with the skills and innovative thinking needed for success in the 21st century economy. This is why it’s more important now than ever to get Gateway to Work up and running as soon as possible. Gateway to Work will help us to develop and expand our workforce as our economy continues to strengthen, while at the same time closing the opportunity gap for our families. By strengthening job training, creating new partnerships between community colleges and businesses for apprenticeships and helping to remove the barriers that cause too many citizens to fail in the workplace, Gateway to Work will help us provide more of the workers our businesses need to thrive while helping our young people in the Granite State get a leg up on their futures.

“I remain committed to working with members from both parties to continue working together to support job-creating businesses, expand middle class opportunity and build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire where all of our people who work hard have the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead.”

DNCC Announces Americans from Across the Country to Speak at Democratic National Convention

Grandmother from Keene to be one of the speakers who will tell their personal stories

dncc2016
PHILADELPHIA – Ahead of the Democratic National Convention being held in Philadelphia from July 25th to July 28th, the Democratic National Convention Committee announced a diverse range of everyday Americans – including a grandmother from Keene, NH – who will share their stories and experiences at the convention of an America that is stronger together.

As Donald Trump begins his divisive convention in Cleveland with dangerous ideas that would pose a threat to our economy and national security, Democrats are preparing to lay out the clear stakes in this election in Philadelphia – a choice between building walls and tearing people down or an optimistic unifying vision where everyone has a role to play in building our future.

At the Democratic National Convention, the diverse experiences and voices of Americans from across the country will be shared with millions of Americans: A director of a non-profit community group in Pennsylvania that educates youth to prevent gun violence. A gold star widow from Texas. A mother from Ohio who works two jobs to pay off student loans and raise their kids.

Hillary Clinton has spent her entire career working with both parties to make a difference for children, families, and our country. As president, she’ll build a future that draws us together and allows all Americans to share in the rewards of our prosperity and security.

Below is a list of Americans who will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention.  Additional speakers, including national leaders, advocates and celebrities will be announced in the coming days.

 

Monday – United Together: Putting Families First

Pam Livengood – Keene, NH – Pam and her family have been personally affected by the growing substance abuse epidemic and are guardians for their grandson because of their daughter’s struggle with addiction. Pam raised the issue with Hillary while participating at a roundtable during the first trip to New Hampshire.

Karla & Francisca Ortiz – Las Vegas, NV – Karla is an American citizen but her parents, including her mother, Francisca, are undocumented and live in fear of deportation. Karla met Hillary Clinton in Nevada and was featured in the campaign ad, Brave.

Anastasia Somoza – New York, NY – Anastasia, along with her twin sister, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia when she was born and is an advocate for Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Anastasia interned for Hillary Clinton in her U.S. Senate office and on the 2000 campaign for senate. Anastasia first met President Bill Clinton in 1993 at a town hall meeting for kids.

 

Tuesday – A Lifetime of Fighting for Children and Families

Jelani Freeman – Washington, DC – Jelani grew up in foster care and is a former intern in Hillary Clinton’s Senate office. Since receiving his law degree, he has worked to bring opportunity to kids at risk.

Thaddeus Desmond – Philadelphia, PA – Similar to Hillary’s work at the Children’s Defense Fund, Thaddeus is a child advocate social worker in Philadelphia.

Dynah Haubert – Philadelphia, PA – Dynah is a lawyer who works for a disability rights organization and teaches those with disabilities to advocate for themselves.

Kate Burdick – Philadelphia, PA – Kate is a staff attorney at the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia.

Anton Moore – Philadelphia, PA – Anton founded and runs a nonprofit community group that strives to bring awareness and educate youth on gun violence.

Dustin Parsons – Little Rock, AR – Dustin is currently a fifth grade teacher at an elementary school in Arkansas.

Students from Eagle Academy – New York, NY – As a senator, Hillary Clinton supported the creation of the Eagle Academy to educate at-risk youth in New York City. Eagle Academy was featured in the ad Came Through during the New York primary.

Joe Sweeney – New York, NY – Joe was a detective with the NYPD on September 11, 2001. When the towers were hit, he rushed down to the World Trade Center and began digging through the rubble for survivors.

Lauren Manning – New York, NY – Lauren was one of the most severely injured survivors of 9/11. She spent more than 6 months in the hospital recovering from 82.5% total body burns. As senator, Hillary helped Lauren navigate red tape to get the care she needed.

Ryan Moore – South Sioux City, NE – Ryan has spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia dwarfism and has known Hillary Clinton since 1994 when his family came to Washington, DC for an event to advocate for health care reform. Brian Moore, Ryan’s father, lost his job when his employer was unwilling to cover treatment for Ryan’s health condition. Ryan has stayed in contact with Hillary ever since.

 

Wednesday – Working Together: A Clear Choice

Erica Smegielski – Prospect, CT – Erica’s mother Dawn was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and was killed while trying to protect her students. Since then, Erica has become an outspoken advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention measures. Erica was featured in the ad, My Mom.

Felicia Sanders & Polly Sheppard – Charleston, SC – Felicia and Polly are two of the three survivors of the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, SC.

Jamie Dorff – Leander, TX – Jamie’s husband was Patrick Dorff, an Army helicopter pilot from Minnesota who died while on a search and rescue mission in northern Iraq. As a senator, Hillary worked with Republicans and Democrats to increase the gratuity paid to family members of fallen veterans from $12,000 to $100,000.

 

Thursday – Stronger Together

Henrietta Ivey – Detroit, MI – Henrietta is a home care worker Hillary met while campaigning in Michigan who is helping to lead the Fight for $15.

Beth Mathias – Marion, OH – Beth works two jobs and her husband works the nightshift at a factory in Ohio. Hillary met Beth at a roundtable in Marion.

Jensen Walcott & Jake Reed – Bonner Springs, KS – Jensen was fired from her job at a pizza restaurant for asking her boss why she was paid 25 cents less than her male co-worker and friend, Jake. After Jensen and Jake’s story came to light, Hillary tweeted “Good for you, Jensen. Every woman deserves equal pay, no matter what her age. Keep up the hard work—and courage!”

Khizr Khan – Charlottesville, VA – Khizr Khan’s son, Humayun S. M. Khan was a University of Virginia graduate and enlisted in the U.S. Army. Khan was one of 14 American Muslims who died serving the United States in the ten years after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Clinton spoke extensively about Kahn during a speech in Minneapolis.

 

About the Democratic National Convention

The 2016 Democratic Convention will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia July 25-28, 2016.   Working in partnership with the Philadelphia Host Committee, the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, our goal is to make this the most engaging, innovative and forward looking Convention in history.  The 2016 Democratic National Convention will leverage technology to take the Convention experience well beyond the hall in an effort to engage more Americans than ever before in the event.  With the birthplace of American Democracy as a backdrop, the 2016 convention in Philadelphia will highlight our shared Democratic values and help put the Democratic nominee on a path to victory.

The Democratic Convention is the formal nominating event for the Democratic candidates for President and Vice President.  At the Convention, the Democratic Party also adopts the official Democratic Party platform as well as the rules and procedures governing party activities including the nomination process for presidential candidates in the next election cycle.

The CEO for the 2016 Democratic National Convention is Reverend Leah D. Daughtry. The official website of the 2016 Democratic National Convention is www.demconvention.com.

Leo W. Gerard: Donald Trump – The Divider

Photo by Evan Guest

Photo of Donald Trump by Evan Guest via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The man Republicans will nominate this week as their presidential candidate sees himself as a U.S. generalissimo. Donald Trump would be, he said last week, the law-and-order president.  He’d be a tough guy at a time when crime is down. He’d strong arm at a time when reconciliation is required.

What Trump didn’t say, because he lacks the insight to know it, is that he’d also be the nation’s most self-involved, egotistical president ever. Rather than bearing the important mantle of consoler-in-chief after tragedies like those in Orlando, Dallas and Baton Rouge, a President Trump would be Tweeter-in-chief, bragging about how he, and only he, had predicted it would happen.

Precious few Americans want a bully as a leader, someone who barks, “You’re fired,” who calls people names, ridicules the physically handicapped, and builds walls between races. They want a president who brings people together, who inspires, who offers hope and who can give solace to the nation in times of crisis. All of that was missing from Trump’s responses to national shocks like the gunning down of 49 people at the LGBT club in Orlando, the massacre of five police officers in Dallas, and the killings by police officers of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Trump’s reactions showed he’s a businessman with a heart of stone, a man who would widen the divides of this country.

As the self-proclaimed law-and-order candidate, Trump on Tuesday spoke about the slaughter of the five officers in Dallas and the wounding of seven others. He said:

“Our whole nation grieves and mourns for the loss of five heroes in Dallas. Law enforcement. These were great, great people. Great people. We pray for their families. We pray for their loved ones. We pray for all the wounded survivors. We pray for our country. So important. The police are not just part of our society. The police are the best of our society. Remember that.”

And Trump went on talking about police. He didn’t mention the two civilians who were wounded, including a black woman, Shetamia Taylor, who was protesting the Sterling and Castile killings at the peaceful Black Lives Matter rally the night of the officer assassinations and who has repeatedly credited Dallas police with saving her life and the lives of her sons.

But Trump gave Taylor no time in his speech. It focused on the police, except for a brief mention of the recorded incidents in which police killed two citizens. Trump did not speak of Sterling and Castile themselves as human beings. He didn’t ask for prayers for them or their families.

He didn’t discuss the frustration, fear and anger in the black community as interactions between African Americans and police end in death far, far too frequently – more than 1,000 times last year, with young black men nine times more likely to be killed by police than other Americans. He didn’t mention that only the recordings of these incidents have made the rest of America pay attention to what black people have said for a long time.

Here’s what Trump said about the Sterling and Castile killings: “It was tough. It was tough to watch. For everybody here, it was tough to watch.” So, to Trump, the problem was the watching. It was a shame Americans had to watch some shocking video.

The hard thing wasn’t that a Baton Rouge, La., father, known in his community as the “CD man” because he sold them outside a convenience store, was taken too soon from his children. The hard thing wasn’t that a beloved Minneapolis, Minn., school cafeteria supervisor, who knew all the kids’ names and fed them like a grandma would, was taken from them too early, was shot multiple times, point blank in front of his girlfriend and her toddler.

The hard thing, for Donald Trump, wasn’t that for the African-American community this was two more names on a wall of horror that includes from just the past few years infamous cases such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Eric Harris and Walter Scott.

That the hard thing was the watching for Donald Trump is another example of Donald the Divider. He began his campaign by slandering undocumented immigrants as drug runners and rapists. He physically mocked a handicapped reporter. He slammed Muslims by claiming he saw “thousands and thousands” in New Jersey cheering the fall of the twin towers on 9-11 – despite the fact that this urban lie has been debunked repeatedly. He mocked the face of primary opponent Carly Fiorina and ridiculed a female Fox New anchor who asked him tough questions.

President Obama handled the Sterling, Castile and Dallas tragedies very differently. He met with both police officials and Black Lives Matter representatives at the White House. He tried to hear and understand both sides. He spoke with Sterling’s and Castile’s families and went to Dallas and comforted the families of the slain and wounded officers. And there, he said this:

“Today, in this audience, I see people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers. I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost, but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In this audience, I see what’s possible.

“I see what’s possible when we recognize that we are one American family, all deserving of equal treatment, all deserving equal respect, all children of God. That’s the America I know.”

That is a president who speaks of unity. That is a president who offers comfort and hope. That is a president who believes in the best of all Americans and who intends to help bring those qualities forward.

President Obama also cited the Bible during that speech. He talked about the Lord telling Ezekiel that he would give him a new heart, quoting the Lord, “I will remove from you your heart of stone, and give you a heart of flesh.”

Then President Obama said, “That’s what we must pray for, each of us, a new heart. Not a heart of stone, but a heart open to the fears and hopes and challenges of our fellow citizens. That’s what we’ve seen in Dallas these past few days, and that’s what we must sustain. . .with an open heart, we can worry less about which side has been wronged and worry more about joining sides to do right.. .We can decide to come together and make our country reflect the good inside us, the hopes and simple dreams we share.”

Later, he said, “Hope does not arise by putting our fellow man down. It is found by lifting others up.”

Donald Trump is excellent at putting people down. At slander. At ridicule. He can Tweet-slam with the best of ’em. Such bullies are terrific as tyrants. And tyrants are great at gruesome, cracked-skull style law and order.

But, frankly, Americans need a president with a heart of flesh.

 

Leo_W_Gerard

 

Follow Leo W. Gerard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/uswblogger

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