Article and Photos by Juan Contla
Living wages, unions, and will; that was the focal point of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s campaign rally on Wednesday March 2nd at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. With seven more states under her belt after Super Tuesday, Clinton returned to a riled up New York where she served as Senator for eight years saying “we couldn’t have done it without labor”. There she spoke to a large crowd of supporters including union and labor workers to emphasize her goals in raising minimum wage on a national scale and give more power to work unions.
Among the list of guests were many union leaders elected officials and NYC Mayor, Bill De Blasio and New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Construction workers, painters, and teachers, as well as multiple groups of city employees, dressed in bright orange, came out to support the presidential candidate who said will work for laborer and union rights and make minimum wage a livable wage.
“The middle class needs a raise, and I’ll tell you this. I’m the only candidate on either side that has said – I’m going to raise your incomes, but I will not raise middle class taxes.”, said Clinton, “Labor will always have a seat at the table when I’m in the White House.”
“I want Hillary Clinton for president because Donald Trump and republicans are bad for labor. I’ve always been a democrat and a union member all my life. It’s for better wages, better job security and safety on the job.”, said Keith Ehrler, a union worker.
Many speakers were employees who have suffered from a lack of union strength. From losing a job and having no where to live to having to pick up a second job; the stories piled on and on at one point a speaker calling the event a “labor rally” with chants of
“Who are we?”
“Union” filling the convention center.
With New York pushing for a $15 minimum wage, there were multiple workers in attendance who want a raise in order to bring the middle class back up – Clinton’s message going forward in this campaign.
“This election isn’t just about two different people; this election is going to be about two different philosophies.” Said Governor Cuomo towards all the talk of deportation and hate coming from the Republican side. The governor’s speech compiled of diversity and why NYC is a great example having over 60 languages spoken within.
“We need a leader that will take on the wealthy and the powerful and say enough is enough.”, said Mayor de Blasio during the rally making it clear that Clinton will step up to the one percent and prevent them from getting even more ahead than anyone.
Clinton went on to talk about her successful Super Tuesday along with what her agenda will be in office. Immigration reform, healthcare, women’s health rights were just some of the main points that Clinton addressed to crowd. Adding that if the public is willing to fight for the rights of families of America, she is too.
“Instead of building walls we need to break down barriers that are holding back families and our country,” said Clinton, “and build ladders of opportunity and empowerment in their place.”
Looking ahead to the future, Clinton expressed her need for the support of New York during their primary elections on June 28, 2016.