10-year-old Guide Dog Retires with Honors

A 10-year-old guide dog was recently given a retirement and homecoming party to remember. Faith, a black Labrador Retriever, is described by her raiser as a “special puppy.” She served her recipient Christian well for Read more

Proud To Be Union Thug

Salt of the earth people who believe in being union through-in-through and if that leads to name calling by outsiders - it's not going to bother this Read more

Penn National Gaming Celebrates Topping out of Plainridge Park Casino

PLAINVILLE, Mass., Aug 27, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Penn National Gaming, Inc. celebrated the “Topping Out” of Plainridge Park Casino today in Plainville, Massachusetts. Hundreds of union construction workers, small business leaders, employees, and Read more

10-year-old Guide Dog Retires with Honors

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Faith, a 10-year-old guide dog, stands with her recipient Christian at the Guide Dogs of America facility in Sylmar, CA. Christian made the difficult decision to retire Faith after her eight years of service.

Faith, a 10-year-old guide dog, stands with her recipient Christian at the Guide Dogs of America facility in Sylmar, CA. Christian made the difficult decision to retire Faith after her eight years of service.

A 10-year-old guide dog was recently given a retirement and homecoming party to remember.

Faith, a black Labrador Retriever, is described by her raiser as a “special puppy.” She served her recipient Christian well for eight years. They had a very special relationship, says Guide Dogs of America (GDA) Puppy Department Manager Louise Henderson.

After Faith’s many years of service, Christian made the difficult decision to retire her. It was then that Amy Lyen, the woman who raised Faith, began her trip to bring Faith home from Orange County, CA to Portland, OR.

When she and Faith reached the Orange County airport, they were given red carpet treatment.

“Within a minute an Alaska Airlines employee rushed over and asked if we were going to Portland and if the dog was Faith,” said Lyen. “Each employee was quite emotional about the sacrifice that Christian has made in letting Faith retire and about the work that Faith has done. Before I knew it, the terminal had an announcement going over the general P.A. system that they were paging Faith and I. They went on and explained Faith’s history to the entire terminal and invited her up to the gate.”

“Our walk over to the gate was met with a standing ovation,” continued Lyen. “At the gate, the flight crew and gate agents were overcome with emotion as they proclaimed that this was Faith’s retirement party. They gave her a fresh flower lei, a gift bag of toys, a goody and took pictures. Then they honored her by letting us have special boarding. The flight crew was stumbling over each other to be the first to offer help, greet Faith, and talk to me to hear more about the program. Everybody on the flight was excited to have us onboard. There were few dry eyes on the plane.”

“We would like to thank all of the people at Alaska Airlines for making this day special for everyone involved,” said GDA Director Dale Hartford. “As you can see, our Puppy Raisers and graduates are very special people who truly understand and value the relationship between the blind or visually-impaired person and their canine partner. On behalf of her recipient Christian, we congratulate Faith on her retirement and thank her for her many years of service.”

“We commend Guide Dogs of America and the folks at Alaska Airlines for making this occasion so special,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Faith is retiring from an extraordinary organization. We thank her for her many years of service and wish her and Amy a happy, healthy and long retirement. ”

A guide dog’s working life is about six to eight years. They begin working at about 2 1/2 years old. When it is time to retire a guide dog, the guide dog user has the choice to keep the dog as a pet, give it to a family member, or return the dog to GDA. Returned guide dogs are put into the GDA Adoption Program, which first contacts the dog’s original Puppy Raisers and ask if they wish to adopt the dog.

If they do not, the guide dog is given to a prescreened individual from a waiting list. Currently there is a four to six year wait to adopt a “career change” dog or retired guide dog.

Proud To Be Union Thug

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Salt of the earth people who believe in being union through-in-through and if that leads to name calling by outsiders – it’s not going to bother this group.

Penn National Gaming Celebrates Topping out of Plainridge Park Casino

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PLAINVILLE, Mass., Aug 27, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Penn National Gaming, Inc. celebrated the “Topping Out” of Plainridge Park Casino today in Plainville, Massachusetts. Hundreds of union construction workers, small business leaders, employees, and area residents attended the celebration and luncheon.

“Today marks another milestone in the development of Plainridge Park Casino,” said Jay Snowden, Chief Operating Officer for Penn National Gaming, who was in attendance to commemorate the day. “We are proud that this project has already employed over 200 union construction workers and that number grows daily. Their hard work has made today possible and we are honored to partner with the Massachusetts Building Trades Council.”

“The facility that we are topping out today has been constructed by hundreds of union tradesmen who support their families and invest every single day in the Massachusetts economy,” said Frank Callahan, President of Massachusetts Building Trades Council. “That is exactly what is at stake on November 4th – jobs and opportunity for working families. That’s why it is so important to Vote No on Question 3.”

“Topping Out” is one of the construction industry’s oldest customs, dating back to an ancient Scandinavian ritual. A tree is placed on the last beam fitted into the exterior, celebrating the completion of the structural components and marking the halfway point in the construction of a facility. Plainridge Park Casino is expected to open in June of next year, creating one thousand construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs, in addition to the over 100 employees currently working at Plainridge Racecourse.

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“We are committed to building the facility, creating jobs, and ensuring the 76% vote in favor of Plainridge Park Casino by Plainville residents last year is not ignored,” said Snowden. “This is the beginning of an industry that will create 6,500 construction jobs, 10,000 good paying permanent jobs, many of which are union jobs, and keep the $1 billion annually and hundreds of millions in tax revenue that leaves Massachusetts for neighboring states where it belongs – in the Commonwealth.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Penn and their Plainridge Park Casino project,” said District 15/Local 264 Business Rep Jim Foley. “We believe their plan is by far the best one for the working families of Plainville, the surrounding communities, and throughout the region.”
“Penn has an established record of working closely with local organized labor in projects across the country,” said District 15 DBR Jimmy Conigliaro. “Partnering with them to create good jobs, with good benefits is good for working families, their communities and the IAM.”

 

About Plainridge Park Casino

Plainridge Park Casino will include a fully integrated 106,000 square foot racing and gaming facility featuring live harness racing and simulcasting with 1,250 slot machines, an upscale casual dining restaurant, the first-ever Doug Flutie Sports Bar, four-venue food court, harness concourse bar, multi-purpose banquet room, entertainment lounge and casino bar, 1,620 structured and surface parking spaces, 26,000 square foot grandstand with box and reserved seats, and 13,000 square foot clubhouse with box seats.

About Penn National Gaming

Penn National Gaming owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. At June 30, 2014, the Company operated twenty-seven facilities in eighteen jurisdictions, including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario. At June 30, 2014, in aggregate, Penn National Gaming’s operated facilities featured approximately 30,900 gaming machines, 790 table games and 2,900 hotel rooms.

 

Paterson NJ Machinist the real “Father of Labor Day”?

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Paterson NJ Machinist the real “Father of Labor Day”?

Files at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark show that Matthew Maguire of Paterson, New Jersey, [1855-1917], was not only a man to be reckoned with in the beginning days of the American labor union movement, but was very probably the man behind the creation of Labor Day.

Machinist Matthew McGuire from IAM Local 344.

Machinist Matthew Maguire from IAM Local 344.

Maguire’s passion was the improvement of working conditions and he led his first strike for a shorter work day in the 1870s. In 1882 Maguire, who by then was secretary of Paterson Local 344 of the Machinists and Blacksmiths Union, became one of the organizers of the Central Labor Union of New York and he became secretary of this organization too.

The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City on September 5, 1882 under the aegis of the Central Labor Union. (The first parade was on a Tuesday, not a Monday.) Matthew Maguire sent out the invitations and according to his grandson Matthew Feeney, Maguire and his wife rode in the first carriage at the head of the parade. The Maguires shared the carriage with Henry Ward Beecher, the famous social reformer, abolitionist preacher and brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the anti-slavery book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

The number of people who marched in this parade (and went to a picnic afterwards), is unclear. Different sources give different numbers, but it seems the parade was at least 10,000 strong and could have had as many as 25,000 participants. Even 10,000 people is an enormous number for that time, when they didn’t have today’s instant communication…no broadcast emails in 1882! And Labor Day was not yet a holiday, so many of those attending gave up a day’s pay to participate.

If Matthew Maguire was so instrumental in the establishment of Labor Day, why haven’t we heard about him before this?

A couple of reasons.

For years another Maguire, Peter McGuire, was credited with the establishment of Labor Day. There is of course, the similarity of names. Peter McGuire was also active in the formation of New York’s Central Labor Council and in 1897 he claimed to be the founder of Labor Day, but it seems possible that Matthew Maguire’s politics might have been at the root of his relative public obscurity.

Matthew Maguire’s interest in social reform extended to active socialist politics as well as labor unions. He served for a number of years as an Alderman in Paterson and ran for Vice-President in 1896 on the National Socialist Labor Party ticket.

Ted Watts of Silver Spring, Maryland, author of a booklet, The First Labor Day Parade, feels Maguire’s radical politics were unacceptable to the mainstream of American Labor and in particular to Samuel Gompers and his American Federation of Labor. Mr. Watts suggests that Matthew Maguire’s involvement in the establishment of the first Labor Day was essentially swept under the rug to give labor a more moderate, non-political public face.

New Jersey was one of the first five states in 1887 to pass legislation making Labor Day a state holiday. A number of other states passed similar legislation and on June 28, 1894 Congress passed a bill designating the first Monday in September both as national Labor Day and as a national holiday.

President Cleveland announced he was giving the pen with which he signed the bill to Samuel Gompers of the A F of L. The Paterson (N.J.) Morning Call wanted to set the record straight and In a July 2, 1894 editorial, “Honor to Whom Honor is Due”, stated “the souvenir pen should go to Alderman Matthew Maguire of this city, who is the undisputed author of Labor Day as a holiday”. This editorial also referred to Maguire as the “Father of the Labor Day holiday”.

Other early sources which give the credit for Labor Day to Matthew Maguire include a note in William S. Walsh’s 1898 book, Curiosities of Popular Customs… “In 1882 Matthew Maguire, secretary of the Central Labor Union in that city [New York], with the approval of the Union, corresponded with the various Labor organizations in the State with a view to setting aside one day in the year as their own holiday…Maguire was made chairman of the committee to arrange for the first labor day celebration in that year”. In 1912 B.E. and E.B. Stevenson wrote of the “History of Labor Day” in their book Days and Deeds. “To Matthew Maguire, Secretary of the Central Labor Council of New York City belongs the credit for first actually putting the idea into execution”.

Peter McGuire was a speaker that first Labor Day and he was an active member of the Central Labor Union of New York, but it looks as though Matthew Maguire of Paterson, New Jersey just really might be the true “Father of Labor Day”!

Grace-Ellen McCrann
Special Collections Librarian
The New Jersey Historical Society
23 August 2000

 

 

Machinist Matthew McGuire from IAM Local

Machinist Matthew McGuire from IAM Local 344

 

Workers at J&G Transport Inc. ratify their 1st contract.

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This month the newest members of Local 264 at J&G Transport Incorporated have finally ratified their first contract. The new members now have better wages, job security, working conditions and a pension. This could lead to organizing the sister shops of J&G transport. Congratulations to everyone at J&G and Craig Hughes, Mike Vartabedian and the Organizing Committee.

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Committee to Protect Massachusetts Jobs Launches Campaign

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Broad Based Coalition to Defeat Repeal of Casino Gaming

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The Committee to Protect Massachusetts Jobs today officially launched its campaign to  fight the repeal of Governor Deval Patrick’s casino gaming law. Members of the coalition include groups and individuals from all walks of life – businesses, labor unions, elected officials, individuals, and resort casino companies. All of them share the concern that a repeal of casino gaming will rob Massachusetts of a new industry and much needed jobs and economic development opportunities.

“Gaming is already here for Massachusetts residents. They’re just doing it out of state,” said Jeff Ciuffreda, Executive Director of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve been spending almost $1 billion a year on average in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine casinos. We need to bring home some of this money and make sure we get the jobs and the revenue, not the other states.”

In 2011, Massachusetts passed a law to create three resort casinos and one slots casino, and in doing so, the Commonwealth will join 39 other states that have some type of gaming. In the process, Massachusetts will create 6,500 construction jobs and 10,000 permanent jobs, with solid wages and real benefits.

Residents in Plainville, Springfield, Revere, and Everett looked at the opportunity and voted to support a gaming facility to their community and the jobs and economic opportunity that come with it. Each of these towns has more residents out of work than most of the rest of the state. In Springfield, unemployment hovers near 9 percent.

In Plainville, where the slots license has been granted, hundreds of construction workers are already at work building the new facility. The town will earn approximately $1.5 million annually in property taxes and approximately $2-3 million each year in gaming profits when the facility opens.

“For our community, this means we can afford to do things like build a new public safety complex and a new town hall without taxpayers having to pay for it,” said Plainville Town Administrator Joseph Fernandes. “Not to mention the 125 jobs that will be preserved at the horse racing track, 500 new jobs and substantial opportunities for local businesses – new and old. It is not fair to try to take that away from us.”

The Committee is concentrating much of its efforts on building grassroots support across the state. After just three weeks of organizing, more than 250 groups and individuals have already joined the effort and the campaign plans to execute an extensive ground effort throughout the fall.

“Between now and Election Day of November 4, we will be engaging voters across the Commonwealth about the benefits that gaming will bring to Massachusetts,” said Wooten Johnson, Campaign Manager for Vote No on Question 3. “There are many benefits to highlight, and a fair amount of misinformation we need to combat.”

Chief among the benefits that Johnson’s campaign team will stress with voters are:

  • Creating 10,000 new jobs and 6,500 construction jobs. These jobs will have an average compensation of around $45,000 in salary and benefits. Contrast that with jobs in the retail sector where average wages are in the $26,000 range and those jobs often don’t include health care and other benefits. These new jobs could provide an opportunity for many to achieve a career path in a new industry. At a time when many are struggling to find jobs that provide both stability and an opportunity for growth, the gaming industry can provide a gateway for both.
  • Ensuring that the communities that already voted to host a casino can get the jobs, business, and revenue they voted for.
  • Putting an end to shipping our residents’ hard-earned money and tax dollars out of state to Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine. Our state is the region’s single largest contributor to gaming revenues and tax dollars, even though we have no casino. We ship it all out of state. In fact, our dollars totaled about one third of Connecticut’s New England gaming tax receipts over the past decade and nearly half Rhode Island’s haul.

For additional information, or to join the Coalition, go to www.protectmassjobs.com.

If we all join together in a statewide coalition, we can defeat Question 3 and give Massachusetts the chance to create 10,000 permanent jobs and 6,500 construction jobs. And, we’ll gain over $400 million annually in tax revenues, much of which is currently leaving our state – dollars that can help our state and cities and towns to fund important public services like education, and make critical infrastructure improvements.

If you’d like to help us put a stop to Question 3, join our coalition by clicking here. There are so many ways to help – put a bumper sticker on your car, a sign on your lawn, or write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

16 yr old Made an App That Exposes Sellout Politicians

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With US politics swimming in so much corporate money that it’s pretty much an oligarchy, it can be hard to keep track of which particular set of lobbyists is trying to milk more cash out of health care, fossil fuels, and other very important issues from one week to the next.

But thanks to 16-year-old Nick Rubin, keeping track of just how much politicians have sold out has become a lot easier. He created Greenhouse, a new browser plug-in that operates under the motto “Some are red. Some are blue. All are green.” The plugin aims “to shine light on a social and industrial disease of today: the undue influence of money in our Congress.” It sounds like a bit of a lofty aim for an app, but it’s actually pretty simple and effective—it provides a breakdown of a politician’s campaign contributions when that politician’s name comes up in an article. It is currently available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and is completely free. As you can imagine, reading about how your member of Congress voted in a recent health bill becomes all the more enlightening if you know how much money the health industry showered him in at the last election.

It uses the data from the last full election cycle which was 2012. This is simply because it’s just the most complete set of data that we have. But the browser does provide access to the most up to date 2014 information by just clicking the name of the politician on the top of the window or the OpenSecrets.org link in the popup. So the 2014 data is just one click away.

It works by highlighting the name of any member of Congress on any website, and when you hover over these names a little box appears that shows detailed contribution information with amounts and where those amounts have come from. It’s basically a list of the top-ten industries from which they receive their money. My goal was to create something that promotes transparency. It would be great if people used it on sites where they’re reading about politics every day. For example, if you’re reading a piece on Congress votes for energy policy, you might see that a sponsor has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry. Greenhouse allows people to see the money story behind the news story.

What is Greenhouse?


  • Key data with a mouse hover

    Highlights members of Congress on any webpage. Hover over name and popup will open. It contains total contributions, small donations of ≤ $200, and industry breakdown from the last full election cycle. For small donations, highlights percentages as follows: ≤5%5-10% ≥10% and provides rank #__ for the top 50 members of Congress.


  • Easy links to more info

    Click on the name in the popup to get the latest 2014 contribution data on opensecrets.org. Click on or to see which campaign finance reform bills each member of Congress supports on reform.to. Click on the small donor percentage for a ranked list of all members of Congress.


  • Simple drop down list

    Currently for Safari only, Greenhouse installs a $ button in the toolbar. Simply press the button and type a name or scroll to find any member of Congress. Hover over a name and popup will open. Provides access to the data whenever you need it.

Local 264 Endorses Steve Grossman for Governor

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At the June member meeting there was a motion made at the recommendation of the Local 264 Legislative Committee to endorse current MA Treasurer Steve Grossman for Governor. The Legislative Committee looked at his track record and looked at what he has  done as a leader of the Democratic Party, State Treasurer and Small Business owner as well as his vision for MA and after the review they believe Steve is the best candidate for working families, women, education, veterans and all communities across MA so after a vote, they made the recommendation to endorse Steve.

After a spirited debate by members both against any endorsement at this time, and members who wanted to show support for Steve a vote was taken. The motion to endorse Steve Grossman for Governor was approved by a large majority of the members at the meeting.

Steve has long shown that he is a true friend of labor and most recently walked the walk by picketing at Logan  Airport in support of our sisters and brothers from Machinists Union Local 1726 who are in a contract dispute with American Airlines.

Massachusetts Treasurer and candidate for governor Steve Grossman (5th from the right 2nd row) joined the IAM 1726  picket line at Boston's Logan Airport on March 27th.

Massachusetts Treasurer and candidate for governor Steve Grossman (5th from the right 2nd row) joined the IAM 1726 picket line at Boston’s Logan Airport on March 27th.

Where Steve Stands on The Issues

From SteveGrossman.com

Jobs & Economic Growth

Steve believes that the fundamental challenge facing middle class families across Massachusetts is job security and economic inequality. Having spent decades creating opportunities for hard-working families and growing small businesses, Steve will bring a lifetime of experience to the governor’s office to usher in a new era of economic security and growth.

Steve is committed to creating 50,000 new manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts over the next five years by encouraging businesses to make their products here. He’ll do this by promoting access to innovative technology, enhancing workforce training, and lowering transportation costs.

Steve will also work to ensure greater collaboration between the business community, our vocational-technical schools, and our community colleges.

When Steve became treasurer, he found that 60 percent of the state’s reserve funds were deposited in banks in Europe, Australia, and Asia. Steve worked to bring that money back so the taxpayers’ money, now in Massachusetts banks, could be loaned to credit-worthy small businesses to create jobs for the people of Massachusetts. The Small Business Banking Partnership has moved more than $327 million into 52 community banks. Those banks have in turn made more than 6,000 loans with a value of more than $1 billion, focusing heavily on job creation in our gateway communities. To level the playing field, banks have made loans with a principal focus on women-owned, minority-owned, immigrant-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.

Steve understands the importance of providing employees with outstanding benefits, including earned sick time, and raising the minimum wage. That’s why many employees at Grossman Marketing have stayed on their jobs for more than 30 years.

Earned Sick Time

Steve believes it’s morally wrong and economically unwise to force our citizens to choose between job security and physical or emotional well-being. That’s why Steve provided earned sick time to his own employees, and that’s why in 2006, he was the first business owner in Massachusetts to testify in favor of earned sick time. Steve has supported earned sick time long before anyone else began polling the issue, let alone vigorously supporting it.

Veterans

Massachusetts provides some of the most comprehensive veterans services in the nation, and as governor, Steve will build on that foundation. Among the true heroes of our society are those who have worn the uniform of our country and defended our common freedom and values. Steve will continue to be an unwavering advocate for veterans and their families.

Recently, Steve announced that as governor, he would file legislation elevating the Secretary of Veterans’ Services to a full cabinet position reporting directly to the governor. He proposed the change because he believes it would help the Secretary of Veterans’ Services best manage the wide range of issues affecting veterans, including healthcare, housing, economic development, and educational training.

As part of his effort to level the playing field for veterans and encourage entrepreneurship, when Steve created the Small Business Banking Partnership, he emphasized and promoted access to capital for veteran-owned businesses.

As Treasurer, Steve accelerated the Welcome Home Bonus Program, ensuring that veterans now have access to the financial support they deserve. Since 2006, Treasury has issued 26,000 bonuses, and in the last fiscal year Treasury nearly tripled the number of Vietnam War bonuses awarded. And the state’s Unclaimed Property Division, which Steve oversees, returned hundreds of thousands of dollars to veterans who were the rightful owners. Next spring, in coordination with the leadership of the Massachusetts National Guard and Veterans’ Services, Treasury will co-host the first ever military and veterans money conference.

Empowering Women

As a small business owner, grassroots activist, community leader, and now as state treasurer, Steve has been a prominent advocate for empowering and creating economic opportunity for women. As he has been throughout his career, Steve will continue to be a champion for women’s rights and economic opportunity as governor.

As Governor, Steve Will:

  • Continue to support a woman’s right to choose and ensure that all women have access to the full range of reproductive health care options, resources, and services they need and deserve.
  • Ensure that all women have access to health care clinics.
  • Advocate for legislation mandating that comprehensive sex education programs be taught in all public schools across Massachusetts.
  • Build on his track record of challenging and demanding that corporate America play a leadership role in advancing the career growth of women.

As Treasurer, Steve Has:

  • Hired women to fill the roles of deputy treasurer, chief of staff, executive director of the Massachusetts State Lottery, and executive director of the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust.
  • Revised the proxy voting guidelines at the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, which he chairs. Treasury has zero tolerance for zero diversity, meaning it votes against corporate boards of directors without women or people of color 100 percent of the time.
  • Created the Small Business Banking Partnership, a pioneering initiative that has helped generate more than $1 billion in loans to small businesses, with an emphasis on businesses owned by women, minorities, immigrants, and veterans.
  • Created new procurement guidelines making it easier for women-owned businesses to secure business opportunities with the Commonwealth.

As a Small Business Owner, Steve Has:

  • Been proud to have equal pay for equal work at his fourth-generation family owned company, and finds it unacceptable that even in 2014, women across the country still earn just 77 cents for each dollar men make.
  • Provided paid family leave to his own colleagues for more than 25 years. That’s why in 2006, he was proud to be the first business owner in Massachusetts to testify in favor of earned sick time.

Democratic Covention selects candidates For primary election

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WORCESTER — The results are in for the 2014 Massachusetts Democratic Convention:

Treasurer

Deb Goldberg 38.9%
Tom Conroy 33.9%
Barry Finegold 27.1%

Attorney General

Warren Tolman 51.8%
Maura Healey 48.1%

Lieutenant Governor

Steve Kerrigan 37.6 %
Mike Lake 35.4%
Leland Cheung 16.2%
James DeRosa 10.6%

Governor

Steve Grossman 1547 35.2%
Martha Coakley 1024 23.3%
Donald Berwick 972 22.1%
Juliette Kayyem 535 12.1%
Joe Avellone 311 7.0%

Candidates listed in bold have qualified for the September primary ballot.

BY GARRETT QUINN For MASSLIVE.COM

WORCESTER — State Treasurer Steve Grossman topped a five-person field to win the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s endorsement for governor at their state convention on Saturday.

Grossman, the widely favored candidate heading into the convention this weekend, won easily with 35.2 percent of the vote from convention delegates. Attorney General Martha Coakley, the current front-runner in most polls of Democratic primary voters, finished in second with 23.3 percent of the vote, just 1.2 percent ahead of the third-place finisher, former Medicare and Medicaid administrator Don Berwick.

Former Boston Globe columnist Juliette Kayyem and former health care executive Joe Avellone failed to cross the required 15 percent threshold when they received 12.1 and 7.0 percent, respectively.

Grossman called it a “wonderful victory.”

“We were thrilled with the result. Look, when the second place finisher, frankly, is rejected by 75 percent of the convention delegates, that’s also noteworthy. She chose to not go to a second ballot, we won the endorsement by acclamation,” said Grossman, noting that Coakley declined to participate in the second round of voting, after which the party issues a formal endorsement.

Orange-clad supporters for Grossman packed the arena waving orange rally towels while whipping votes for him on the floor for much of the convention.

Grossman acknowledged that he trails Coakley by a wide margin, but expressed confidence that he will make up the difference by hitting the campaign trail.

 

“I believe this ultimately going to come down to a choice between me and Martha Coakley. I will say to the people of Massachusetts: If you want a progressive job creator. I am your guy. If you want a proven prosecutor, a career prosecutor, support somebody else,” said Grossman.

Grossman praised Avellone and Kayyem for bringing power and energy to the race for governor.

Coakley downplayed her second-place finish while meeting with reporters shortly before the official votes were announced. Coakley has led in all polls of primary voters before the convention, but the opposite was true of informal polls of convention delegates. Coakley said that the stark difference in support is because of the process, not her popularity.

“I think they’re totally different processes. They have different focuses, there have been 4,000-6,000 people focused on this race through caucuses. It’s a very different dynamic and we’ve known that all along,” said Coakley.

Coakley dismissed a question from a reporter that suggested her second-place showing was tied to dissatisfaction among the Democratic Party faithful with her due to her 2010 loss to Scott Brown in a special election for U.S. Senate.

“We’re really happy with our results today,” said Coakley.

Coakley explained to reporters early in the day her reasoning for addressing her failed 2010 run in her convention speech.

Third-place finisher Don Berwick said he was thrilled but not surprised with his finish.

“This is to me just the realization of what we’ve been feeling all along for several months, this incredible momentum, great receptivity to the progressive agenda we’re bringing forward,” said Berwick.

Berwick, once a virtual unknown in Democratic circles, has steadily gained support from the party’s liberal activist base for his stances on single-payer health care and opposition to resort-style casinos.

“We need to refocus on justice as a core for public policy and I make no apologies for that,” said Berwick.

Berwick has polled in single digits throughout the early stage of the campaign.

Members vote to Endorse Warren Tolman & Tom Conroy

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At the May member meeting held at the Old Dorchester Post. A recommendation to endorse Warren Tolman for MA Attorney General and State Rep. Tom Conroy for MA Treasurer was made by the Local 264 Legislative Committee. They had recieved letters from both candidates and reviewed and debated the records of  both when it comes to working families and the issues that affect Local 264 members as well as all workers across the state.

A motion was made and seconded by the members and was voted upon at the meeting. The members unanimously voted to endorse both candidates and Local 264 will do what we can to support these two great candidates.

Warren Tolman served as State Senator and State Representative in the Massachusetts Legislature from 1991 to 1999 where he fought the tobacco industry, led the fight for clean elections laws, championed environmental protection, and stood up for working families. The 7th of 8 children, Tolman was the first member of his family to graduate from college earning a degree in economics from Amherst College and a law degree from Boston College.

In 1998, Tolman was the Democratic nominee for Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor in the closest governor’s race in the country. And in 2002 he ran for the Democratic Nomination for Governor. He made Massachusetts’s history by running as the first “clean elections” candidate under public financing in the Commonwealth. He has spent the last decade as a practicing attorney at the law firm of Holland and Knight and has also taught at Boston College Law School and Northeastern University School of Law.

Warren has been a consistent advocate for working families. As a legislator, responding to years of federal inaction, he pushed to increase the state’s minimum wage. Warren was an early supporter of legislation to ensure that part-time and temporary workers receive fair pay and benefits, and backed the use of project-labor agreements in publicly funded building projects. He also attended the 2014 MA State Council of Machinist breakfast to meet with and speak to Machinists from across MA.

He spoke about enforcing the state’s minimum wage law and will work to hold businesses responsible for failing to pay workers and exploiting children by neglecting the Commonwealth’s child labor laws. Warren will ensure that all workers are protected and that no business gets an unfair advantage by skirting the rules.

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Tom Conroy has served as the state representative for the 13th Middlesex District, representing his hometown of Wayland, Sudbury and parts of Framingham and Marlborough. He is currently the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development previously served as the Vice Chair of the Health Care Financing Joint Committee.  In 2009 he was appointed to Governor Patrick’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Science Advisory Council.

Throughout his career, Tom has been focused on public service and problem solving.  After graduating from Yale, he worked for two U.S. Senators, Gary Hart and Barbara Mikulski, ultimately serving as her foreign policy and national security assistant.

As a state representative and legislative leader, Tom authored critical new laws that have helped improve Massachusetts’ credit rating to AA+ (one of the highest available), saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the past four years by lowering borrowing costs. He has led the way in the Legislature to improve the Commonwealth’s fiscal health and protect critical services by directing funds toward trusts and savings.  In addition, he authored a law that helps cities and towns reduce their pension liabilities by granting access to the state’s investment management expertise.

Tom was one of the few state reps to speak out against the H59 bill at the committee hearing last fall. He came to Local 264 April member meeting and spoke to the membership about the focus on providing access to education, job training, and capital for every single resident—and particularly for those too-often excluded from economic recovery, such as working families, minorities, and women.  With sound management skills, creative and strategic thinking, and a core belief that everyone should have an equal opportunity to succeed, we can restore the fundamental promise of our Commonwealth: if you are willing to work hard and play by the rules, you can climb the ladder to the American Dream.

There will be opportunities in the coming months to volunteer to assist with fellow members to hold signs, do phone banks, or door knocking for these two great candidates and people. The Legislative committees will keep members posted of up coming events. If you are interested in helping out email us at iam264boston@gmail.com

We hope all the members will come out and be involved to help people that help working families in MA get elected.