Over the next two weeks of Congress’ April recess, CWAers and allies are holding more meeting, rallies and town hall meetings to push members of Congress to listen to their constituents and stand up for U.S. jobs anp>Over the next two weeks of Congress' April recess, CWAers and allies are holding more meeting, rallies and town hall meetings to push members of Congress to listen to their constituents and stand up for U.S. jobs and communities. Events are going on in congressional districts across California, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Maryland and other states.
In Boulder, CO, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO 2nd District) held a public forum to discuss "fast track" for the Trans-Pacific Partnership but he made sure to stack his panel with four supporters of the proposed trade deal against one opponent, CWA research economist Ken Peres.
It didn't work. Activists from more than a dozen organizations, including CWA, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Sierra Club, 350 Colorado and others were on hand to make the point that "we're in favor of fair trade, not free trade."
Apparently, Polis didn't count on the audience's strong opposition to "fast track." As the Boulder Daily Camera reported, "though Peres went into the forum outnumbered, it was the other four panelist who seemed defeated by the end."
The Boulder newspaper then wrote an editorial the next day, concluding: "It is in corporate America's interest to minimize labor costs and maximize profitability. In recent years, it has been very successful in this pursuit. This has helped to create the disconnect between a soaring stock market and a sinking middle class that we see today. The principal question Polis must answer is whether there is any reason to believe the effects of the TPP would be any different.
Here's a roundup of other events:
Fast Track -- Sherrod Brown in Toledo
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spelled out his opposition to "fast track" authority for the TPP at a town hall meeting in Toledo. Also speaking at the forum were U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9th District) and Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga.
Fast Track -- Delaware
Last week, CWAers and other activists went to the office of Rep. John Carney (D-DE, At-Large), urging him to oppose "fast track" for TPP.
Fast Track -- Indiana
CWA Indiana Legislative-Political Action Team members collected 120 thank you cards for Rep. André Carson (D-IN 7th District) who is standing with U.S. workers, jobs and communities in opposing "fast track." From left: CWAers Teresa Ward, Local 4900; Sharon Smith-Vaughn, Local 4998, and Kim Thomas, Local 4900.
Fast Track -- New York
Mike Gendron, executive vice president, CWA Local 1108, with more than 200 activists, including about 100 CWAers rallied outside the Patchogue office of Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY 1st District). Rep. Zeldin signed a Republican letter calling for "fast track" for trade deals like the TPP. Move On, Food and Water Watch, the Long Island Progressive Coalition, SEIU, the Carpenters and other unions, the Sierra Club and others are coalition members.
Fast Track -- New York
CWA Local 1101 activists protest outside a fundraiser for Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY, 5th District), who is supporting "fast track" and the TPP.
Fast Track -- Connecticut
CWA Local 1103 members of the West Haven, Conn., supervisor and board of education units met to discuss how bad trade deals like NAFTA were the start of the downfall of Connecticut's manufacturing industry. CWAers then called Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn. 3rd District) to thank her for leading the fight in Congress to stop "fast track" and the TPP.