The Electrical Worker online
July 2012

Workers Stand for America
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As our calendars begin their countdown to fall, the blistering heat of summer will be matched by its political equivalent as the contest for the U.S. presidency and control of Congress enters its final stage.

The Republican Party holds its convention in Tampa, Fla., on August 27. Democrats will convene in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 3.

After Labor Day, millions of Americans will begin paying closer attention to how candidates for office would address not just the immediate problems facing the U.S. economy, but the future of our society.

Once again, thousands of IBEW members will proudly contribute to our nation's democracy by participating in grassroots, on-the-job, door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor campaigns for candidates who we feel best represent our interests.

Tradition has its place. But this year — before we kick off our campaigning — the IBEW, along with dozens of other unions and thousands of our allies, will gather in Philadelphia to send a powerful message to both political parties, to our friends and adversaries alike.

There, on Aug. 11, in the city that gave birth to the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the words "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," we will take a stand for restoring our nation's most basic values.

We will call public and media attention to how our politics, society and economy have become skewed beyond recognition — geared almost entirely to the well-being of the top 1 percent while everyone else, especially the people who work, is left behind.

Despite our collective disgust at this situation, Aug. 11 in Philadelphia is not a protest. Nor is it an alternate political convention.

We are gathering to assert the values and the opportunities that Americans have fought for over generations — on foreign battlefields, in our workplaces and in our communities.

Workers and our families already know we have nothing in common with elite Wall Street bankers who have gambled with our nation's economy. Neither are we on the same side with corporate CEOs who have bankrupted companies and outsourced good-paying jobs, or politicians who seek to destroy our unions and collective bargaining.

True economic recovery in America is not measured by the stock market or the indicators that measure wealth. It is measured by the existence of good jobs and opportunity for all. Austerity for the middle class and prosperity for those at the top will not solve our nation's economic problems, especially when our infrastructure is in such serious disrepair.

We are going to Philadelphia this election year not just to say what we are against, but to proudly state what we are for.

In Philadelphia, the cradle of U.S. democracy, real people will take the podium. They will represent the challenges, the hopes and dreams of millions of workers — employed and unemployed — students, retirees and others.

They won't be complaining or asking for pity. They will join with our brothers and sisters to call for a second bill of rights (see Mainstream Values, Economic Security for All: Introducing 'America's Second Bill of Rights') to put America and our political parties back on the track that leads to progress, not further decay and despair.

America's Second Bill of Rights will be taken to both the Democratic and Republican conventions where we will demand that delegates and candidates stand with America's workers.

Join us.
or follow us on Twitter @Workers4America.