Though keynote speaker Congresswoman Betty Sutton was unable to attend the event in person, the representative from Ohio’s 13th Congressional District reached out to Wayne County Democrats in a videotaped message urging local Democrats to stay true to their vision.
“We believe in the American people,” said Sutton.
“We know that if given a fair shake and a chance to work hard and climb the ladder of opportunity that they can and they will because we’ve seen them do it. But we also believe that there needs to be a ladder of opportunity,” said Sutton.
“In the last election, you heard a lot of Republicans repeat the refrain that people don’t want government on their backs. I agree. People don’t want a government on their backs, but they do want a government on their side and that’s what I’m here to make sure they get because that’s not what they’re getting from Republicans in Washington or Columbus,” said Sutton.
Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, who represents the 25th Senate District, took up the cause of working-class Ohioans in her remarks as well.
“The truth is, in this country today, there is the wealthy and there is the rest of us. Something is wrong with that,” said Turner.
“I am a free market kind of girl, don’t get me wrong. But when the free market impedes on the progress of everyday ordinary people something is wrong with that,” said Turner adding, “it is time for Congress to stop coddling billionaires.”
Turning to the ongoing state fiscal crisis, Turner challenged the notion that “somehow public sector workers have caused this maelstrom of deficit that we are engaged in as a state and as a nation.
“The truth of the matter is there was a fiscal crisis in this nation that had an impact… on everybody in 2008,” said Turner adding that “public sector workers have given over $300 million back in concessions because they understood very clearly that it was their moral and fiduciary obligation to bear some of the burden of the fiscal crisis that we face.
“Public service work is noble,” said Turner.
“We have hundreds of thousands of folks across the state of Ohio who sacrifice on a daily basis so that we can continue to enjoy the comforts that we are entitled to in this state and in this nation, but the story that the Republicans are telling is that our public sector workers are overpaid,” Turner continued.
When he took the podium for his remarks, the Democratic leader in the Ohio House, Armond Budish, echoed Turner’s sentiments.
“When I was growing up, I always heard from my friends and my parents that teachers and other public servants were actually underpaid, that these folks give up a lot to serve in these kinds of jobs” said Budish, challenging assertions that public employees are paid 43 percent more than their private sector counterparts.
Budish also called for support for the current efforts to repeal Senate Bill 5 before issuing his fellow Democrats a call to action.
“We need to take back our state,” said Budish.
“We have to take back the legislature in 2012 so we can stop the bad things that have been pushed through. Then in 2014, we have to take back our state by taking back the governor, the attorney general, the secretary of state, the auditor and the treasurer,” said Budish.
Published: October 11, 2011