Sunday, August 31, 2008
Labor Day 2008: Building A New American Dream For America's Workers
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Change to Win Chair Anna Burger released the following statement for Labor Day 2008.
"As Americans come together today to celebrate Labor Day, the seven unions and six million members of Change to Win are committed to restoring the American Dream for America's workers -- just as our unions did for generations before.
"Over the past two years, Change to Win has asked workers in surveys and focus groups to assess the American Dream for themselves and their families, and what we've found is both dramatic and powerful. Consistently America's workers overwhelmingly believe in the American Dream -- work that is respected, wages that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure retirement and the opportunity for a better life for their children. This election year working families are more enthusiastic and motivated than ever before and are looking to the next president to help renew the Dream.
"But they also believe the Dream is at risk. Our latest findings show that America's workers are moving from anxiety to anger to action. Decades of decline in wage and benefit levels, the shift of income and wealth from the many to the few, and the unrelenting corporate attack on worker organization has eroded the foundations of the American Dream.
"America's working families want a new direction. They want government action that will create a new infrastructure for a new American Dream. They do not want a safety net to fall into -- they want a platform to rise from.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Anna Burger Statement on Palin
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The following is a statement from Change to Win chair Anna Burger regarding presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain's announcement today of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate for the 2008 election.
"Even though it is John McCain's 72nd birthday, it looks like Barack Obama and Joe Biden got the best gift with McCain's choice of Sarah Palin to be McCain's running mate. In an election McCain claims is about experience and security, he picks someone who barely has the equivalent of a learner's permit in elected office, let alone foreign affairs. She has served well under two years as governor, and her prior experience as a mayor of a town with 9,000 people does not qualify her to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.
"America's working families want change. They want leaders with a proven record of standing up for better wages, health care for all, retirement security, fair trade deals that value jobs here at home, and for rebuilding our middle class through green jobs that pay a living wage. They want the chance to better themselves through union representation without facing illegal employer harassment.
"Governor Palin's lack of experience and thin record give us no choice but to return to the clear facts; that John McCain has a long and terrible record of failing America's workers. McCain's record is a train wreck for families who want a shot at the American Dream, and this choice, his first as a presidential candidate, shows a serious lack of judgment and understanding about what this election is about.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Remarks by Anna Burger to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
I grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania in the 1950s believing in the American Dream.
My mom was a nurse, working the evening shift.
My dad, a Teamster truck driver, was permanently disabled in a terrible accident when I was nine.
Dad's social security and Medicare -- and Mom's enormous strength -- allowed my sisters, brother and me to stay together and even go to college without being buried by debt.
After I got my first union job, my dad gave me some good advice:
Dad said, "Anna, stick to the union, it's what makes a difference for working people like us."
Unions are the best all-in-one program for working families that America ever had -- and it didn't cost the taxpayers a dime.
My dad was right.
Unions help ordinary people, like me, like Pauline Beck, like truck drivers, nurses and retail, factory, office and construction workers who work hard to find a way to own a home, raise a family, send their kids to college and retire with dignity.
Our unions always help us pass on to our kids a better life than our own.
And we call the legacy the American Dream.
But today, the dream is fading.
After eight years of George W. Bush, work hours are up but wages are down.
And John McCain is offering more of the same.
The gap between the rich and the rest of America - it's staggering and growing.
And John McCain is offering more of the same.
Nine in 10 workers have no union, while health care costs are exploding, pensions wiped out, job security a thing of the past.
Working people in this country can't afford more of the same.
But that's exactly what John McCain's offering -- more of the same.
Brothers and sisters, it is time for change, and I stand here today to tell you that working people all around this country know Barack Obama will bring the change we need.
Monday, August 25, 2008
The Deciding Vote 2008: America's Workers Ready to Vote for Obama
American Dream Frames Economic Agenda for Working Families
DENVER, CO. -- Barack Obama can capture the votes of America's workers, including so-called Reagan Democrats, with a strong message of economic populism and sharp contrasts with McCain on taxes, health care, trade and corporate power according to a new survey conducted by Lake Research Partners and released today at a news briefing at the 2008 Democratic National Convention by Change to Win.
"The American Dream defines both a value system and a broad economic reform agenda focused on jobs with wages that can support families, affordable health care, retirement security and opportunity for a better future," said pollster Celinda Lake. "Workers see the Dream at risk and want government action to create a new infrastructure for a new American Dream. They want a candidate who is not controlled by big corporations, and who will support progressive taxes, limits on corporate power, worker rights and proactive government."
Reagan Democrats, the key swing vote since 1980, have moved overwhelmingly to Obama. The American Dream is the cornerstone of their support with strong majorities seeing Obama as best representing the American Dream values and vision.
Overall, workers are abandoning the conservative view that government is the problem, and now are demanding government reform and believe government must be part of the solution. They believe Obama understands their struggles; and has a better vision for restoring the American Dream, and is more likely to improve wages and working conditions.
Among white workers, Obama and McCain are in a tight battle, but on core economic issues and values, Obama maintains a significant advantage. Senator Obama can win their votes with a clear message of economic recovery and renewal of the American Dream.
Monday, August 25, 2008
The American Dream: Survey, August 2008
On August 25, 2008, at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Change to Win released the findings of its latest American Dream Survey. The survey found that levels of economic anxiety among working Americans had increased even further -- and that workers would be supportive of efforts by Barack Obama to restore the American Dream.