I like what I’m hearing. Barack Obama spoke before the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Convention today. Yesterday, he said this about SEIU’s help for him in the primaries:
“SEIU’s endorsement has made a tremendous impact over the course of this campaign. Their trademark purple has been a presence everywhere-at rallies, at worksites, and most importantly, on the doors and phones, talking to voters about the kind of change we can bring about if we change our politics.”
I have video of the speech below. It’s great. Please watch it if you can. This is how Obama will win the votes of working folks. I hear in Barack Obama a key theme that attracted me to John Edwards:
Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth but work and the workers who work hard every day
We need a nation that rewards work, not just wealth. Barack Obama will help make that change, if we all work for it.
(also on Dkos and MyDD)
The SEIU is Obama’s biggest union backer. He and rival Hillary Clinton have aggressively courted unions and their blue-collar voters since John Edwards dropped out of the race in January. Organized labor has swung toward Obama as the Democratic primaries wrap up.
Here’s the video. Please watch it. It’s great!
(Thanks to Amy for the You Tube embed.)
Also a link here:
Here are some quick transcriptions by me for those who can not play the video at work. I’m sure there are errors, but I got the gist.
He spoke of Stern’s principle: “organize, organize, organize,” as to how he won the nomination.
He spoke of the woman he met when he participated in the SEIU Program: Spend a Day in My Shoes.
“Whenever our primary became more about politics and less about people, … I sometimes think about the day I spent with Pauline. Because it reminded me that for all the pettiness coming out of Washington, what holds this country together is this fundamental belief that we are all in this together. That we are our brother’s keeper, we are our sister’s keeper.“
Obama talked about Bush’s ownership society, which means
“Tough luck, you’re on your own.”
He said “this is the most anti-labor adminstration in our memory. They don’t believe in unions: they don’t believe in organizing.”
“The Bush years have been disasterous for our working families.”
“Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth but work and the workers who work hard every day.
Change is having a president who’s worked with you on that picket line, who doesn’t choke on the word “union.” Who lets unions do what they do best: organizing our workers.
And who will finally make the Employee Free Choice Act the law of the land.
Change is bringing justice to the janitors, farm workers,restaurant workers and all the undocumented workers of our service industries.”
Later, he said” “working men and women should be treated with the dignity and respect you deserve.”
“I was standing with American workers on the streets of Chicago twenty years ago.”
“I know what it’s like to college on student loans. I know what it’s like to scratch and claw to build a better life for your family.”
It’s an excellent speech and well worth listening and watching the whole thing.
SEIU endorsed Obama in February after Edwards dropped out of the race. Prior to that, various SEIU state unions supported either Edwards or Obama.
“This is one of the most important presidential elections workers have faced,” said SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger. “Families are struggling, we’re fighting two wars, and a majority of Americans are now worried that their children will be worse off than they are. Obama is the right person at the right time to lead the change we so desperately need in our country.”
Here’s more info on SEIU:
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) kicked off its 24th International Convention on June 2 with the announcement that its membership had grown to two million.
SEIU’s announcement set the stage for members to unveil the ambitious Justice for All platform–an organizing and political plan aimed at restoring balance in society between people who work and people with wealth.
The Justice for All plan commits members to continue uniting at least a half million more non-union workers in the core industries of healthcare, property services and the public sector over the next four years.
In his report, International President of SEIU Andy Stern revealed that by implementing the divisions’ plans, SEIU would become the largest union representing private sector workers in North American history. Stern also announced that the union intends to establish a presence in Mexico in the coming months.
Here’s SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger talking about SEIU’s support for Barack Obama this week in Puerto Rico at the convention:
Obama is the working man and woman’s candidate and he will defeat McCain. Why? Because American workers know that
Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth but work and the workers who work hard every day.