Speaking Out, Fall 2015

What do you see are the issues that will most affect you in the 2016 Presidential campaign, and which of the candidates (Democrat or Republican) do you feel are addressing those issues?


Chris Ericksen
Vice President
Local 270

With the campaign process in full swing, there are two issues that rise to the top of my list: skyrocketing college tuition, and the need for all people to earn a living wage. As a parent, I am concerned that my son and daughter may enter adulthood with sizeable college debt. As a citizen, I believe in bettering our communities through improved working conditions and higher wages. Senator Bernie Sanders has a long history of supporting working men and women and their families. My two foremost concerns are important parts of the Sanders 12-point plan. Affordable college costs and a living wage have always been important to Bernie. Reviewing his record proves it. He has spent his career putting the working people of Vermont first, and it’s time we put somebody with his ideals and passion in the White House.

uwuamag_fall2015_russ-mazzolaRuss Mazzola
Local G-555

In the last two Presidential elections, Democrats talked about the shrinking middle class. Now, in the Republican debates, the candidates are telling us how they want to help the middle class. No one is talking about the reason for the decline in the middle class — the attacks on unions and the loss of union membership. I am waiting for Hillary Clinton (or someone), to make a stand on how they will support union organizing efforts. This is how you support a living wage and improve the lives of the middle class.

uwuamag_fall2015_dominic-riosDominic Rios
Union Representative
Local G-555

I am supporting Bernie Sanders because he is in favor of unions and what they can offer to their members – higher wages, better benefits, secure retirement, and rebuilding the middle class. In addition, he is committed to strengthening and expanding the future of Social Security and its impact on future retirees; as well as investing funds in America’s infrastructure, which secures employment for more Americans.

uwuamag_fall2015_paul-talbooPaul Talboo
Executive Treasurer
Local G-555

The issues that I believe will have the most impact on myself and my family are the same as those that will affect all middle class American families in  his election cycle – wealth inequality, lack of living wage jobs, raising the minimum wage, and supporting the right to collectively bargain. The candidate who I believe is currently supporting my issues is Senator Bernie Sanders. He opposes bad trade deals, supports expanding Social Security, supports universal healthcare for all Americans, supports equal pay for women doing equal work, and supports making public colleges and universities tuition free. These are the same positions that should be our movement’s rallying cry, and it is why they resonate with me.

uwuamag_fall2015_ryan_pottsRyan Potts
Grievance Officer
Local 456

I believe health benefits and job security are the most important issues for me and my family. I like Donald Trump in the upcoming election. I think he is a straight shooter and tells it like it is. I also think he will bring jobs back to America. We the people need to take care of ourselves. He is a business minded individual that can help bring America back into good standing. I hope that Trump, or whoever is elected to be the leader of our great country, steps up and does the right thing for the working people of America.

uwuamag_fall2015_lpuis-degonzagueLouis deGonzague
Vice President
Local 393

Income inequality, the war on unions, and corporate influence and money on elections are the issues that are going to affect myself and my family in the 2016 elections. I like Bernie Sanders. He always speaks about issues that impact working people, and really seems genuine in his concern for the middle class.

uwuamag_winter2016_speaking_k-parsonsKevin Parsons
Local 69

I believe that the issue that will affect myself and my family is protecting the rights of working class people. This simple task by the new President and Congress will make our country stronger. The elected officials are there to represent the people that elected them and protect them. We are the ones that make this country, not corporate America. I support Bernie Saunders for that reason. I feel he is the one that will do just that.