February 17, 2017
Union – It’s just what we do. A positive perspective and a ‘Thank you’
TCCLC Sisters & Brothers,
Greetings to all TCCLC delegates, reps and labor activist! I’m Brian Golden for my brothers and sisters I have yet to meet; hello again for those that I already come to know. Thanks for your vote and support as the incoming president of the Tarrant County Central Labor Council. You can be assured I’ll work hard to continue the work of the TCCLC as an asset and resource for unions and members for legislative and policy issues that affect working people across Texas. Here in North Texas, down in Austin, and up in D.C. labor can expect daily attacks from reactionary bullies. But we will stand up. We will fight back. We are Union. It’s just what we do. For now, this is just a quick introductory letter and some thoughts I have about what we are facing in the coming years.
Welcome to 2017! Here we are in a whole new reality. I remember watching the 2016 Democratic Primary media coverage and being frustrated at a news broadcast with a split screen of a Bernie Sanders speech and an empty podium. The Sanders speech was muted. The commentators we're awaiting former reality TV star running for President and discussing what outrageous thing he was likely to say next. I was frustrated at the time because they had muted Bernie for an empty podium. Looking back over all that has happened and where we are now – it is infuriating. This past election, the forth estate failed us and now we live with the consequences. With few exceptions, I have not watched the national network news or the cable news shows since the election… and – not surprisingly – I’m not any ‘less’ informed. Yet – I know, simply blaming and boycotting the ‘mainstream media’ we will not move things forward for Labor.
Today as the current occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue vilifies the media, and blames everyone and everything for his faults and failures it clear to me that blame is a poison. It is a weapon used by the weak, fearful and ignorant. Real strength, purpose and honor come from continuing to move things forward, progressive ideas, and working together - not in blame. For us as Union members and as a Labor Council; We have to move forward.
We will be progressive. We have to be positive. There is a drive and purpose in each one of us to fight injustice whenever we see it. We get back up again, and again, and again when we get knocked down. There is something inherent in our DNA that drives us to leave the world better than we found it. We are Union. It is just what we do.
As Union members and as a Labor movement we should see this election in an historical context and keep fighting. Martin Luther King said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
We may indeed be facing very difficult times ahead but let me offer a few historical perspectives of the long arc and bend of justice in the universe:
- 618,222 American lives lost in the Civil War to end the blight of slavery. But…it did end.
- 41 years for a national child labor law to be passed. But…it is now the law of the land.
- 144 years from “all men are created equal” to the 19th amendment. But… women now have suffrage.
- 95 years from the 15th amendment to the Voting Rights act of 1964 But… we all have a vote.
In the next few years, make no mistake; the American oligarchy will mount an unprecedented attack on our rights as workers and on our civil liberties. Reactionary state legislators in Austin, and in D.C. will be heeding their master’s call to dismantle any and all good things that benefit workers and Unions in Texas and across the United States. Be prepared. As Union members, as Unions and as a Labor Council we are going to have to work harder than ever before just to bear this historic bend away from justice. But.. it will bend back towards justice.
We will have to educate, inform, shout, rant & rave louder, longer and harder than we ever have. We will have to pool all our resources and call on all favors and friends just to simply hold our ground. It’s going to be a hard two years till 2018. But…We WILL stand our ground.
Thank you again for your support and vote for me as President of the Tarrant County Central Labor Council. Along with pressing for Union and Labor friendly candidates, policy and legislation, I will be sharing some ideas and thoughts with you in the coming weeks about transforming and growing how we use the tcclc.org website and our social media like twitter and Facebook to be a resource for our members for facts, activism and our movement. There is a vast and terrible storm on the horizon. But... We will weather it. We are Union. It is just what we do.
Thank you again for your support.
Tarrant County Central Labor Council