CHICAGO – Nothing gets your heart pumping like hundreds of fired up union workers. This was the scene on the west side of Chicago at the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130 rally on Tuesday, September 13, 2010. A room full of men and their Governor Pat Quinn signs were jammed packed, discussing politics, talking about why manufacturing jobs needed to come back to Illinois and how the democratic party, is the only choice to help union workers and middle class families get back to work.
The crowd was excited to hear Governor Quinn speaks on their issues. Quinn stated, “The best way to fight poverty, the best way to fight crime is a “J-O-B.” The workers were in total agreement as many were chatting “Win with Quinn,” throughout, the event.
Quinn is running against Republican Bill Brady for governor and Quinn message throughout the rally was how he was moving forward as the Governor of Jobs. “I want to be the jobs governor today, tomorrow and forever,” Quinn said, and went on to say that Brady is for removing laws on the minimum wage and giving tax breaks to the rich.
Then, we had Vice President Joe Biden, talking about how he was from a working class family. His theme throughout the night was “I’m not making this stuff up” as he talks on how he grew up where his father had to leave their home to find work, to only living in the neighborhood of middle class families-such as policemen, firefighters and small business owners.
I found myself truly enjoying the event as men screamed, shouted and ranted as Vice President Biden, talked about how Republicans was the reason jobs were gone oversees. Why the United States stopped making products and why union workers were laid off under Bush and the republicans watch. Biden also urged union workers and their families to vote Quinn.
The best line of the night from Biden I thought was “if I hear one more republican talk about balancing the budget,” as he talks about the ‘party of no’ helping wall street and the top one percent and how workers and their families are losing everything such as their house, jobs, and not being able to feed their families.
Biden was fired up himself as he shouts into the mic, “This is a choice about the future. Don’t let your fellow workers down. Go out there and do what you’ve always done. I am more confident than ever we are heading in the right direction,” as loud union workers cheered in agreement.
Though, the workers were ecstatic about hearing the words of Quinn and Biden, a special moment can when William P. Hite, general president of the United Association, said, “imperative we [need to] get Pat Quinn elected.” The United Association of Plumbers, Fitters and HVACR technicians represents 350,000 people nationwide. Hite, who is from Chicago, said the rally drove home the importance of electing Quinn, who has accomplished much for economic recovery in his short time in office.
There were other events that got me thinking regarding manufacturing workers out of step with technology, and how many have been out of work for over two years-as part of the 99’ers. I will give my thoughts in part two, as we discuss the real reason why Chicagoans, and voters all across Illinois, need to focus, call every one you know and bring them to the polls.
Illinois now is apart of early voting, which means you don’t have to wait to vote on November 2. As Biden and Quinn stated, Get out there and “Fight for Governor Quinn.”