Will Democracy Survive

By President Ken McInnis

 

Building on a successful Retiree Council “hybrid” convention, we are headed for elections in 2022. Thank you for your support for the Council and your time and energy to work towards our common goals of social and economic justice for all.

 

A special THANK YOU to Kris Sundberg, Executive Director Elder Voice Family Advocates; Secretary of State Steve Simon; Bernie Burnham, Co-Chair of the Minnesota AFL-CIO Social and Racial Justice Committee for their cogent presentations to the Retiree Convention. THANK YOU also to Bill McCarthy, President and Brad Lehto, Secretary-Treasurer, Minnesota AFL-CIO for their remarks to the Convention. Thank you to Congresswoman Betty McCollum and State Senator Charlie Wiger for stopping by the Convention to visit with the delegates.

 

2022 will be a busy time and we will need everyone working together to continue with strong, labor/retiree friendly leadership in the statehouse and in Congress through Labor 2022.

 

Many of our issues as retirees have been thwarted by the obstructionists here in Minnesota and in Washington. As most of you know, there is no magic wand to get redress for our issues when half of the legislature here in Minnesota has deaf ears when we ask for support on those issues.

 

Redistricting may help us to gain that majority in both houses of the State legislature. We won’t know the new district lines until possibly March of 2022. We will need your help to retain and gain those labor/retiree friendly elected officials at all levels of government.

 

Obstructionism is working the same way in Washington even though we have labor/retiree friendly majorities in Congress -and the most labor friendly President I have seen in my 47 years of involvement in the political arena - ready and willing to move the legislation to become law.

 

It seems we need a super majority to get legislation through Congress so the President can sign it into law. The filibuster has become the tool of the obstructionists in the U.S. Senate. Their use of the filibuster could spell real trouble for voting rights and the need for all elections to be fair with every eligible voter able to cast a ballot. The obstructionist’s use of the filibuster is certainly a threat to our democracy.

 

Expansion of Medicare coverage, voting rights and election law reform are not even discussed because the antiquated filibuster rule is applied without even the need to physically stand and debate on the actual legislation!

 

Keep making those calls to your elected representatives demanding they move forward on legislation to help all workers/retirees, not just the super-rich! Tell them to modify or eliminate the antiquated filibuster rules in the U. S. Senate.

 

Please be ready to work with us in Labor 2022 to regain a labor/retiree friendly majority in the Minnesota Senate; protect our labor/retiree friendly majority in the Minnesota House; to re- elect our labor/retiree friendly Constitutional officers; and, to retain and expand our labor/retiree friendly Congressional representatives.