Like tens of thousands of other people, I will leave Charlotte this week feeling inspired. This has been an incredible opportunity for an honest, full discussion about the forces that have been hollowing out America’s middle class for a generation. Now that inspiration must translate into action.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan truly believe there is nothing wrong with our economy they can’t fix with more tax breaks for the wealthy and more layoff notices for the rest of us. Working families will not let President Obama’s commitment to strengthening the middle class be questioned by the people who try to hold him responsible for an economic mess they created.
While Wall Street pumps unprecedented money into this election, the labor movement is doubling down on the politics of people power and doing what we do best –- organizing. Working people will win this election by combining cutting edge technology with real person-to-person conversations on the ground in our neighborhoods. We’re going back to the basics —- we’re social networks on the ground, and our strength is in our numbers.
And we’re not stopping after Election Day. Working families realize that holding elected officials accountable is a full-time job. We’re building a new kind of independent program. We’re building power for working families, building to win and building to last. Our year-round structures will keep issues like job creation and quality education front and center. November is just the beginning if we are going to finish the journey that we’ve started on the road to economic recovery.
I am proud and humbled to have participated in this convention as part of the Michigan delegation. Working families in our state must start at the top of the ticket by re-electing President Obama, but the effort cannot end there. We must make sure that collective bargaining rights are included in our state constitution, and we must elect judges to the state Supreme Court who will serve the people not corporate special interests. From federal congressional candidates, to state legislative races, to local city or county officers, it is important that every level of government is focused on working people and building the middle class.
As so many speakers have pointed out over the last three days, we’ve come too far to go back. Now is the time to continue moving that vision forward.