Tuesday, November 3rd has passed. The national electoral results are finalized except for some stuff in Georgia and, despite Donald Trump’s egotistical rejection of Democracy, America voted for Change. Workers want results and government to work for us.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will help workers change the anti-union assault that Trump allowed. The last four years were very sad. But let’s be clear. He lied to us. AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka reminded us a few days ago. “I tried to work with him. He was the elected President.”
But Trump brushed him off. He brushed all of us off. And that was early in his “administration” (sic) and it only got worse.
The rest is history. And now he will be “history.”
I personally feel a difference, a relief. I don’t have to wake up and watch our government and Democracy conducted by Tweets and abusive press conferences. Demonizing the press, bashing immigrants, separating children from their families, praising Putin and Kim Jong-un while fighting to kill healthcare and Social Security and a woman’s right to choose. He commanded the NLRB to rule against workers’ rights. That four year daily abusive bombardment was exhausting and depressing.
Trump promised more jobs but gave tax breaks to companies who closed factories and outsourced production. He ignored the pandemic and because he was such a “tough guy” allowed many, including himself, to become infected by the virus by not wearing masks and not insisting that his staff or those at White House events wear them.
“Hey, it’s only Science…“ That attitude and leadership is a crime. (Wear your damn Masks!)
Other “accomplishments” include: He was impeached; he bragged about groping women, he sent troops to stop Black Lives Matter demonstrations.
Yet 70 million still voted for him! What kind of values do we as Americans really have?! We work hard, we are skilled, we love our country, but how much do we think so selfishly and dumb down and vote against our self-interests. I am flabbergasted.
People were desperate for hope in 2016. Coming off a huge Wall Street depression, where folks lost houses and jobs - they needed hope and they didn’t trust the Democratic Party to help them. As Labor Chair of the California Democratic Party I have doubts myself about any political party unless it is a real union. And, sheesh, we really have good engaged unions in San Francisco!
Unions are the only independent member driven organizations that fight for a Voice at Work. And when we stand together, we win. That is why I applaud the San Francisco Labor Council, our Building Trades partners, and political director Kim Tavaglione for running an electoral campaign that proves that labor and San Francisco can carry more than our share of the local and statewide load needed to get out the votes for revenue and union friendly candidates. That is our legacy and it takes major commitments every cycle to achieve. But only when we commit resources and real plans and volunteers.
I love my City. I love our labor movement.
As you will see in the Minutes – (our official record of the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council in Organized Labor, the oldest union newspaper West of the Mississippi, chartered in 1900), I am retiring at the end of the year. As a 40 year Journeyman member of my union, (I just got the pin and letter!) Bricklayers and Tilelayers Local 3, I am proud I was able to help the construction unions with some big legislative and Project Labor Agreement wins as your Secretary-Treasurer when I changed jobs from Executive Director of the Labor Council. It’s been exciting and I am going to stay on for a while next year because you want me to finish up some of what we started during my time as your Secretary-Treasurer. My successor, Rudy Gonzalez, and I will partner up as he comes on board and now you can kick his ass like you’ve kicked mine. The Building Trades Council is like a jobsite. No slack. Let’s get the stuff done! Together.
Please vote! Be safe.
And wear your damn masks!