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December 2016

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An America That Works for Everyone

Last month, Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States.

It wasn't the outcome I had hoped for, but I offer my congratulations to the president-elect. I also offer my congratulations to Hillary Clinton on her hard-fought campaign.

This was a long, and at times, divisive campaign, but as brothers and sisters in the IBEW, there remains much more that unites us than divides us.

If we learned anything from this election it is that Americans are increasingly anxious about declining economic opportunity and stagnant wages and are alienated from a political system that seems rigged to the benefit of the top 1 percent.

Insofar as President-elect Trump is serious about addressing those issues and developing policy that would put working people first, I am more than willing to work with him to accomplish those goals.

On issues like trade, infrastructure, jobs and outsourcing, there exists potential common ground between a Trump administration and the IBEW.

But let me be clear. Building an economy that works for everybody and restoring that shared prosperity that made the American dream possible for millions of working families requires a sharp break with trickle-down economics that has done nothing but drive income inequality, reward corporate greed, cut retirement and health security and attack the basic right of workers to come together and collectively bargain.

It also means rejecting divisive policies and rhetoric that seek to divide working people against each other. More than ever, we need solidarity, not division, in America.

Restoring the middle class means raising wages, protecting and expanding benefits that secure our families' health and future, and making sure every American who wants to, can join a union in their workplace.

The IBEW has seen many administrations come and go in our 125-year history. But our interests remain today the same as they always have been, the well-being of you, our brothers and sisters in this movement.

We'll continue to fight to make sure you have good-paying jobs, quality health care and the promise of a secure retirement. You can bet on that.

As Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech: "Our democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time." So let's get to work together to build the kind of America that works for all of us.


Also: Chilia: Our Future is Still in Our Hands Read Chilia's Column

Lonnie R. Stephenson

Lonnie R. Stephenson
International President