Brothers and sisters, Laborers have always looked forward. From our founding convention in 1903, to our upcoming 25th International Convention this September, we have always believed that our best days are ahead of us. That’s why I wasn’t surprised that recent independent polling of LIUNA members found a clear preference for Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States. And that’s why our union’s General Executive Board voted unanimously to endorse her. Like us, Hillary Clinton looks forward; she knows that investing in infrastructure strengthens our great nation and creates good jobs. She understands that our challenge over the next few years is not to make America great again – it is already great and good – but to make it even better.
As Laborers, we also have always been men and women whose actions speak far louder than our words. We are working class warriors who put our money, our time, our feet, and our very bodies where our mouths are. Whether organizing workers, fighting anti-union legislation, standing up for pipelines and other jobs, or turning out votes, when we decide to get behind something or someone, we go all in. When we show up in our orange shirts, it’s never in ones and twos, but in a massive orange crush, so that everyone can see, hear, and feel the power of LIUNA.
Over the next ten months, let’s mobilize that orange crush as never before. Anyone and any organization can issue endorsements; our endorsements mean action on the ground that can, and does, make history. Just look north, to our brothers and sisters in Canada, to see what Laborers can do. They helped Justin Trudeau beat the odds, defy the experts, and become the next Prime Minister of Canada. Now it’s our turn. Let’s make 2016 the year LIUNA helped elect President Hillary Clinton.
Let’s also make 2016 the year we help the candidates we endorse in House, Senate, state, and local races win, and win big. Let’s make this election cycle one in which we begin to build a political foundation that allows us to play offense, not just defense. Let’s make 2016 the year we begin to turn the corner on prevailing wages, so-called “right-to-work” laws, attacks on collective bargaining, the so-called “Cadillac Tax,” and other issues that directly affect our jobs, our livelihoods, and our lives.
Over the next few months, each and every one of us will have an opportunity to play a significant role in moving our nation forward. We’ll be called upon to phone bank, canvass neighborhoods, and talk to our brothers and sisters. Your Local Union may call, text, or email you, asking for your time, and your help, in turning out the vote for Hillary Clinton and the other candidates we endorse. It’s a request we don’t make lightly, because we know how hard you already work, how valuable your time is, and how much of it you want to, and should, spend with family, friends, and loved ones. But when that call, text, or email comes, I hope you’ll step up to the plate and help make history. I hope you’ll join me, and your LIUNA brothers and sisters, as we work together, stand together, fight together, and win together to change the course, the destiny, and the future, of this great nation.