By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Politicians and union leaders rallied Monday at the annual Labor Day breakfast in Santa Rosa, emphatically urging the crowd to vote for Democratic and labor candidates and issues.
“This is the most important election of our lives,” said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena. “If we don’t win this election, our middle class is going to be in jeopardy.”
See more photos from the event here
Several hundred people attended the pancake and politics breakfast at the Carpenters’ Labor Center on Corby Avenue. It was
sponsored by the North Bay Labor Council and the AFL-CIO.
“I’m here to eat and hear political speeches,” said Lington Gordon, an electrician from Rohnert Park.
He brought his family so they could learn about the issues on the November ballot.
The speakers lobbied for Democratic candidates and Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax increase on the November ballot. They opposed a ballot measure that could cut the amount of money unions have to spend on political campaigns.
“Labor is under attack everywhere,” said state Sen. Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa.
She urged a no vote on Proposition 32, which requires unions to obtain annual permission from members to collect the part of dues used for political purposes.
The restriction would diminish unions’ clout by reducing the amount of money they have to spend on campaigns, opponents said. Proposition 32 is widely viewed as anti-labor.
Evans and others urged a yes vote on Proposition 30, which would raise the state’s sales tax for everyone and income tax for those who earn more than $250,000 a year. Without it, public education would decline in quality and cost more, the speakers warned.
Speaker after speaker predicted a doomsday scenario for the middle class if Republicans take the White House in November’s election.
“Brothers and sisters, we’ve got a fight on our hands,” said Assemblyman Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa.
The crowd booed when the name of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was raised as an example of anti-labor stands.
It’s workers and unions that make the country strong yet they’re under assault, the speakers said.
“We are losing our middle class because we’re losing labor,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Shirley Zane. “We need to make sure we elect labor candidates.”
You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or firstname.lastname@example.org