August 16, 2000
The president of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor group, endorses the Gore/Lieberman ticket in his speech before the Democratic convention. Below is the text of his prepared remarks.
Today's union movement has many heroes and I've asked four of them to join me here tonight.
They are union delegates to this convention.
Sonia Mosely is a nurse from California and a member of AFSCME.
Stan Valentine is a member of the UAW from Illinois.
Helen Chin is a teacher from New York and member of AFT.
And Kelly Fox is a firefighter from Washington state and a member of the IAFF.
The four of them represent the courage, commitment and contributions of America's working families.
They are the reason the AFL-CIO endorsed Vice President Al Gore.
They are the reason he won victory after victory in the primaries.
And they are the reason he will win the White House in November.
These workers and their families know that eight years of Clinton-Gore haven't been enough to repair the damage caused by 12 years of Reagan and Bush.
They know that our booming economy needs more time to lift up the small boats that have been left behind . . . and they know that Al Gore is the man who can finish the job.
They know that too many workers are still working too many hours and spending too little time with their families.
They know that too many of those families are still without the healthcare they need.
And they know and Al Gore knows that too many of our children are condemned by crumbling schools and crowded classrooms to sit forever on the dark side of the digital divide.
My fellow Americans, I cannot tell you how proud I am that union members like Sonia and Stan and Helen and Kelly make up 30 percent of the delegates to this convention . . . and that a union champion like Al Gore is our candidate for president.
I grew up in a union family, in a Democratic household.
My parents were Irish immigrants --- my mother was a domestic worker and my father was a bus driver, a member of the Transport Workers Union.
In our modest home in the Bronx, three things were central to our lives: our family, our faith and my father's union.
We knew that without our family, there would be no love, that without our faith there would be no redemption, and that without my father's union, there would be no food on the table.
Love. Redemption. Economic justice. Those are the values that also unite the family that is gathered in this convention this week..
And they are the values that will carry Al Gore and Joe Lieberman to victory in November.
We will win the victory because we share the belief that no worker should lack the pay and benefits it takes to feed and house and love a family.
We will win because we believe that no family should go without good healthcare.
And because we think that no worker should be denied a secure retirement or forced to choose between the food that sustains them and the drugs that save them.
We will win because we believe that no child should go without a good education and a first-class ticket to travel on the information super-highway.
Because we think that every individual --- regardless of the accident of their birth, or the color of their skin, or the selection of their partner --- should be able to rise as high as their talents will take them.
And we will win because believe that every worker should have the right to use the best tool available for leveraging all these things from our winner-take-all global economy . . . and that's the right to join a union.
Thank you and God bless you all.