(audio) “I came to tears I mean quite literally, watching the images of these...many of them I saw were men and women. They were dressed in their Sunday best on a Tuesday morning…”
That’s Andrew Gillum, the former Tallahassee mayor and 2018 Democratic nominee for Florida governor, on the latest “State of the Unions” podcast, talking about the restoration of voting rights in Florida:
(audio)“…hours and moments before the Supervisor of Elections’ office opened where they walked in and came back out and said today I feel whole. I feel seen for the first time. I feel like a real man for the first time. It is amazing the stories, the individual stories if we would have had an opportunity to understand those vignettes individually of each of those persons. I’m certain they would all confess that although they are proud to have the right to vote they feel in many ways made whole because they have access and they feel like they may be able to enjoy the full rights of citizenship. It was huge and I do think it is transformational if we do what we have to do to not just register, but to politicize, to help those individuals see that the right to vote in and of itself is nothing unless you one, exercise it, but two, then show up and hold elected officials accountable so that they take you seriously when it comes to creating better jobs and expanding access to Medicaid and paying you what you’re worth. And all those other things that we know help to improve upon people’s living experiences...that’s what we ultimately want as a result of these individuals having the right to vote.”
Gillum also shares his experiences on the campaign trail and previews the important fights ahead on voting, worker and civil rights; check out the full interview on the AFL-CIO’s “State of the Unions” podcast, available wherever you listen to podcasts.
For the latest labor calendar, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
In today’s labor history, on this date in 1869, Big Bill Haywood – future leader of the Western Federation of Miners, and co-founder of the Industrial Workers of the World -- was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Today’s labor quote is by Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man launched the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and the birth of the civil rights movement.
Rosa Parks, born in Tuskeegee, Alabama on this date in 1913, who said:
“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right. ”
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