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Union County Democrats rally in support of Unions

Union County Democrats rally for Unions

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On MLK Day, April 4, 2011, Union County Democrats held a rally in support of collective bargaining.  Democrats stood in the rain in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the very rights that Dr. King gave his life for.

The news out of Wisconsin and dozens of other states has been disheartening lately. 

But the Republican attacks on workers and middle class families are plainly revealing their true motives.  It is NOT about growing the economy, balancing budgets fairly, or creating family wage jobs.

It’s all about payback and politics.

It’s payback to their billionaire funders and corporate campaign donors.

It’s the politics of division aimed at weakening the collective voices of millions of working and middle class families, students, youth, immigrants, and the jobless. 

People all across the country are awakening to this assault.  Working people want to be a part of the solution.  We want to work together to restore fairness, create good jobs, grow the middle class, and keep our communities storng and vibrant!

Stand Up for Workers Rights - WE ARE ONE Rally

The news out of Wisconsin and dozens of other states has been disheartening lately.

But the Republican attacks on workers and middle class families are plainly revealing their true motives. It is NOT about growing the economy, balancing budgets fairly, or creating family wage jobs.

It’s all about payback and politics.

It’s payback to their billionaire funders and corporate campaign donors.

It’s the politics of division aimed at weakening the collective voices of millions of working and middle class families, students, youth, immigrants, and the jobless.

I believe people all across the country are awakening to this assault. Working people want to be a part of the solution. We want to work together to restore fairness, create good jobs, grow the middle class, and keep our communities storng and vibrant!

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. He was there to stand with sanitation workers demanding their dream: the right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life.

On April 4, 2011, we are rallying together. We are standing in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the very rights that Dr. King gave his life for.

Please join us!

March 25 - A Solemn Anniversary

March 25, 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. The Triangle Fire remains one of the deadliest industrial accidents in US history.

Most of the 146 victims were recent immigrant Jewish and Italian women aged sixteen to twenty-three. They perished in the fire or in desperate attempts to escape it.

There were many factors that led to so many deaths. More than 500 people worked on the eight, ninth and tenth floors in the cramped factory building. There were no alarms -- workers learned of the fire after it was too late. A few buckets of water were on the factory floor -- no hoses, no extinguishers, no hope of fighting the flames.

Exit doors swung inward, unable to open when the crush of panicked workers pressed against them. Managers routinely kept some doors to stairwells and exits locked to prevent theft. Two freight elevators became inoperable from fire damage after a few trips. A single exterior fire escape, warped by the heat of the fire, collapsed under the weight of people attempting to flee, plunging them to their deaths.

When the fire department arrived, their tallest ladders could only reach six stories. Workers jumped to their deaths rather than be burned.

But the tragedy spurred demand for change.  Labor unions and reformers demanded and won workplace safety laws. 

Today, you can see the evidence of their efforts all around in public buildings and workplaces.  You see clearly marked exits with wide doors that swing outward.  Signs above doors that read "Must remain unlocked during business hours."   Alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler systems are all in evidence.  Building and business owners must observe the posted maximum capacity in their operations.  You'll see regular inspections for fire and safety hazards.

Especially for Oregon Politics Wonks

The US Census was completed last year and the results published in February.  The data show that Oregon has grown by 12% since 2000, adding nearly 410,000 new residents. 

 

But this growth happened unevenly across the state, so electoral districts must be redrawn.  The Oregon and the U.S. Constitution require that the districts be of roughly equal population.  Oregon law also specifies that districts:

 

• Be contiguous

Union County Special District filing deadline is March 17!

Union County citizens should note that the filing deadline for all Special District elections in our county is Thursday, March 17th before 5 pm!

We encourage all Democrats to help their communities by filing to serve on the boards of school, fire, parks & recreation, health, cemetary, or sanitation districts that will be on the ballot in May.

For filing information, contact the Union County Clerk's office (541-963-1006), or your local district office.  Or you can e-mail us at this link:  http://union.oregondemocrats.org/Contact_Us

Proposed Resolution 2 - Support Unions

A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF UNION COUNTY OREGON

WHEREAS, the right of workers to join together and form worker organizations is a basic human right recognized throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, the policy of the United States since the Wagner Act of 1935 is to recognize and support the right of workers to bargain collectively through representative of their own choosing; and

WHEREAS, the platform of the Oregon Democratic Party explicitly supports labor unions; and

WHEREAS, the legislative agenda of the Oregon Democratic Party seeks to enhance the ability of workers to form unions and bargain collectively; and

WHEREAS, the Republican majority in the House of the state legislature of Wisconsin has already voted to strip union workers of their collective bargaining rights; and

WHEREAS, Republicans in other states are taking similar action to deny both public and private union workers their collective bargaining rights; and

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party of Union County Oregon recognizes this assault on workers’ rights as a threat to workers throughout the United States:

NOW, THEREFORE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF UNION COUNTY OREGON RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. To call on the Delegates to the State Central Committee of the Oregon Democratic Party go on record to oppose this assault on workers’ rights;

Section 2. To call on the Delegates to the State Central Committee of the Oregon Democratic Party go on record to support the actions of the 14 Democratic Wisconsin State Senators who refuse to allow a quorum that would advance this bill to strip workers of their rights;

Section 3. To call on the State Executive Committee to forward the resolution to the Wisconsin Democratic Party in order express our solidarity in their struggle and our admiration for their efforts.

ADOPTED by the Democratic Party of Union County Oregon on this 2nd day of March, 2011

Proposed Resolution 1 - Abolish Corporate Personhood

Union County Democrats, please review this text before the next meeting.

A Resolution by the Democratic Party of Union County Oregon to Legalize Democracy and Abolish Corporate Personhood

Whereas, government of, by, and for the people has long been a cherished American value, and We The People’s fundamental and inalienable right to self-govern, and thereby secure rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and;

Whereas, free and fair elections are essential to democracy and effective self-governance, and;

Whereas, persons are rightfully recognized as human beings whose essential needs include clean air, clean water, safe and secure food, and;

Whereas, corporations are entirely human-made legal fictions created by express permission of We The People and our government, and;

Whereas, corporations can exist in perpetuity, can exist simultaneously in many nations at once, need only profit for survival, and exist solely through the legal charter imposed by the government of We The People, and;

Whereas, in addition to these advantages, the great wealth of large corporations allows them to wield coercive force of law to overpower human beings and communities, thus denying We The People's exercise of our Constitutional rights, and;

Whereas, corporations are not mentioned in the Constitution, and The People have never granted constitutional rights to corporations, nor have We decreed that corporations have authority that exceeds the authority of We The People of the United States, and;

Please Join Us on March 2nd

Hello Fellow Democrats!

I am writing to invite you to our next gathering.  We will meet from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, at White House Coffee, 1702 Fourth Street in La Grande.

Here's a preview of our agenda.  As always, we welcome your participation and input!

  Old Business             
     Precinct Committee Persons recruitment
     Adopt-a-Highway project
     Fundraising
     Draft Strategic Plan/Calendar

  
New Business
     Resolution regarding the Citizens United decision
     What Wisconsin means for all Democrats


We have seen historic events this past month from a peaceful revolution in Egypt to a bloody repression in Libya to the heartening resistance to Republican ideology in Wisconsin.  There are great opportunites for Democrats ahead and much work to be done.  Your help is needed and appreciated.  I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Also, please note that all of our upcoming monthly meetings are listed on the event calendar on this website.

 

Sincerely, 

Glen Scheele
Chair, Union County Democrats

Don't Doom the Economic Recovery by Slashing Budgets

Our current economic crisis has many causes: launching two wars on borrowed money, passing huge tax cuts for corporations and wealthy Americans, expanding prescription drug benefits (Medicare Part D) without paying for them, and a financial collapse due to Wall Street's unrestrained gambling.

The Bush administration and its Republican (and Blue Dog Democrat) enablers in Congress set this stage.  In a mere eight years, they turned the Clinton-era budget surplus into a trillion+ dollar deficit.  However, their own culpability in this havoc has not hindered Republicans from laying the blame on President Obama and Democrats.  Republicans now act as if the economic crisis and the growth of the deficit simply popped into existence on January 20, 2009.

This sudden concern about deficits, stirred together with revenue shortfalls from our weakened economy, creates a crisis atmosphere.  The "crisis" gives Republicans at the federal and state level convenient cover to attempt draconian cuts to programs they dislike: Planned Parenthood, the WIC nutrition program, the EPA, public broadcasting, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Medicare... the list in endless.

The cuts are proposed in the name of "sharing the sacrifice" and "fiscal responsibility." But the sacrifice is not shared and the cuts are not responsible.

Proud of Wisconsin Democrats

We are seeing history being made in Wisconsin this week. 

Soon after his election, Tea Party Republican Governor Scott Walker, enjoying control in both state houses, signed tax cuts into law.  Of course this has precipitated a crisis and now there is a looming budget shortfall.  Who could have guessed?

Somehow, though, the Republican solution is never to have corporations or the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.  The Republican solution is always to pay for tax cuts to millionaires and corporations by slashing spending on programs that help the most vulnerable in our society. 

But the Governor has gone even further.  His "Repair the Budget" plan does more to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights than it does to fix the budget.  He has threatened to call up the National Guard in the event of strikes.

To prevent this bill from coming to a vote all the Democratic senators left the state.  This denied the Republicans a quorum to conduct business. 

People from all over Wisconsin and from all walks of life have gone to the capitol to protest this egregious Republican overreach.  The public employees, union members, working folks, and Democrats in the great state of Wisconsin deserve our support and respect.

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