32BJ takes on the RNC and DNC
STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff | 9/6/2012, 1:07 p.m.
With convention week still dominating the American conversation, it's expected that people from all walks of life will comment on it, especially labor leaders. One such leader spoke with the AmNews and gave his take on the Republican National Convention while delivering their expectations for the Democratic National Convention--and 32BJ Secretary-Treasurer Hector Figueroa didn't like what he heard at the RNC in Tampa last week.
"Last week, speakers at the RNC conducted a show of pretense and deceit," said Figueroa. "The GOP nominees for president and vice president and other speakers tried to make us think they care about the struggles of American working people, but their party's platform and the actions of Republican governors and Congress members over the past four years tell the real story of a party determined to help the wealthy, break unions and starve our government of the ability to protect the rights of ordinary people."
With speeches from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, NARAL Pro-Choice America's Nancy Keenan and first lady Michelle Obama, the first night of the DNC showed a significant level of diversity, from the crowd to those at the podium. Figueroa felt the convention would be a display of diversity.
"This week at the Democratic Convention, we expect to hear from a president who doesn't have to pretend he cares about working Americans because his record shows it," said Figueroa on day one of the convention. "The contrast with the GOP convention is evident even in the complexion of delegates. Looking around at the multiracial, multi-ethnic gathering here in Charlotte, I think, 'This is what America looks like.'"
But many people know that President Barack Obama still has a huge task at hand. Recent polls point to his low ratings among white males without college degrees, but AFL-CIO Political Director Michael Podhorzer said that he found a way in with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney picking Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate. In a released statement, Podhorzer said it's a problem that unions can exploit.
"If you ask voters whether they agree with his signature programs like eliminating Medicare as we know it, you'll hear a resounding 'no,'" Podhorzer said.