As we approach the election final stretch, we need to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear. A great time to do this is when the candidates themselves join for our labor walks. That will be the case this Saturday, October 28, 2017, in Edison, NJ where we will welcome labor’s endorsed slate of candidates from Legislative District 19, State Senator Joe Vitale, Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, and Yvonne Lopez.
We talk about the issues that are important to us all the time – prevailing wages, collective bargaining rights, public education, fair trade, quality health care, and investment in our state’s infrastructure, just to name a few. And when we join together for labor walks every Saturday, we aren’t just talking, we are walking towards achieving these goals.
Delegates to the 2017 National AFL-CIO Convention in St. Louis unanimously reelected the federation’s top three officers: President Richard Trumka, Secretray-Treasurer Liz Shuler, and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre to another four-year term. Additionally, New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech was elected as one of 55 vice presidents to serve on the national Executive Council for a four-year term. As one of only two state federation presidents to serve on the board, which consists predominantly of union international presidents, this election is both an honor and a testament to the unparalleled work of the New Jersey state labor movement.
On Sunday afternoon, delegates to the AFL-CIO 28th Constitutional Convention in St. Louis unanimously elected Richard Trumka (UMWA) as president, Liz Shuler (IBEW) as secretary-treasurer and Tefere Gebre (UFCW) as executive vice president. Additionally, New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech was elected as one of 55 vice presidents to serve on the national Executive Council for a four-year term. As one of only two state federation presidents to serve on the board, which consists predominantly of union international presidents, this election is both an honor and a testament to the unparalleled work of the New Jersey state labor movement.
There are only 17 days left until the election. If we need any proof that elections have consequences, look no further than our national politics. The last thing New Jersey needs is another four years of Christie’s failed policies. So, as we look towards the future, we must realize that our direction depends on the choices we make. However, those choices involve more than just pulling a lever on Election Day.
For the next two Saturdays, October 21st and October 28th, an additional labor walk will be staged from the following location:
Reports from relief volunteers in Puerto Rico highlight the devastation of the hurricane. People have been left without access to food, drinking water, medical care and other basic necessities. Therefore, enough cannot be said for the hundreds of union volunteers who braved hazardous conditions to come to the aid of families during this dark hour.
There are 24 days left before the election. This is great news for those of us who would like to break away from the embarrassment of the Christie/Trump agenda. This election carries enormous potential because it can serve as a strong contrast to the anti-worker policies that have pervaded our nation and stifled the middle class.
Reliable information is hard to come by these days, which makes opportunities to hear from the candidates themselves all the more important. This year’s governor’s race is about choosing the candidates who will fight for New Jersey’s middle class and reenergize our economy.
Congressman and union brother Donald Norcross understands that both college educations and apprenticeship programs play an important role in equipping young people with the skills and knowledge needed to build a successful career. Therefore, he is championing a bill that would allow 529 college savings plans to be used for trade schools as well.