Tim Ryan, Ohio Representative Shuts Down ‘Workers First’ Campaign at Shelby | New
SHELBY – The story is still the same.
Seven hundred tons of metal a day. Now you tell me the world has changed, once I made you rich enough to forget my name.
On Monday, Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan quoted these words from Bruce Springsteen‘s “Youngstown” to workers sitting in front of him at United Steelworkers (USW) local 3057 in Shelby.
“It’s on the backs of the middle class who won the wars, who built the economy, who built the big cities. And then when times changed, we forgot who everyone was,” he said. Ryan said. “I’m running because it’s time this country remembered your hard work.”
Ryan represents the 13th district of Ohio, including the eponymous song town. But he visited Shelby on Monday as part of his campaign for a seat in the US Senate.
Monday’s stop at the union hall, along with a visit to ArcelorMittal, was part of Ryan’s “first worker tour” to hear workers from all corners of the state talk about the challenges they face.
“If you’re out there breaking your butt trying to make ends meet for yourself and your family, trying to contribute to society, you should have a pension, health care, good schools. for your kids, ”Ryan said. “Are we really asking too much?”
Ryan, 47, launched his campaign for the US Senate in April, the first Democratic candidate to succeed Republican Senator Rob Portman, who announced in January that he would not run for a third term in 2022.
“It’s a tough time to be in public service,” Portman said in a statement, citing the hyper-partisanship in Congress.
The second seat of the Ohio Senate is occupied by Democrat Sherrod Brown, who was re-elected in 2018.
So far, the Republican field for Portman’s seat includes former state treasurer Josh Mandel, former Ohio Republican Party chairperson Jane Timken, military veteran and EMS pilot Michael Leipold. , and businessmen Mike Gibbons, Mark Pukita and Bernie Moreno.
Ryan is currently serving his 10th term in Congress. He briefly competed for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 and attempted to topple then-minority leader Nancy Pelosi in 2017.
With the upcoming Senate race in 2022, the first major election in a post-pandemic world, Ryan underscored his campaign’s message to put workers first. He called for unions to work with businesses to hire more people and let workers “take action” to resuscitate the middle class.
“I think this campaign in Ohio is going to be ground zero,” Ryan said. “Where do workers go in Ohio when they have a choice between a Tim Ryan / Sherrod Brown, a worker-based candidate, and a bunch of people who want to talk about Dr Seuss and any other crazy problem that doesn’t is irrelevant to the needs of the vast majority of people in this state? ”
Ryan, who is the co-chair of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus, comes from a working class family. He spoke of his grandfather working as a steelworker, but still having time to be an active member of his community.
“He was the union treasurer, the chief usher of the church, and ran the beer tent at the church festival every year because he didn’t work seven days a week, 18 hours a day trying to make ends meet. “, Ryan mentioned. “He had a good job where he worked hard and did it well, and he still had time to participate in the other things that were important to all of us.”
This resonated with Norm Shoemaker, president of United Steelworkers Local 3057 and president of the Mid-Ohio Area Labor Council representing seven counties, including Richland. Shoemaker said most of the people in the room had the same problem, working seven days a week, due to the labor shortage.
“We can’t find workers, and for most places that need electricians and other laborers, we can’t find skilled workers. We need training,” Shoemaker said. “We need people to get back to work. We have a backlog like we’ve never had; we’ve booked at least eight months, and we don’t have workers to do the job.”
Ryan has said he wants to reset the politics and economic positioning of the middle class in the United States as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a reason our stop in this county is in the union hall, because it’s going to start here and we’re going to build it from here,” he said. “I’m not doing bullshit on you, I need your help. We’re not going to do this without you.”
Dustin Beck, a member of the United Steelworkers in Marion, said he first heard of Ryan after his recent headline speeches in the House.
“It’s good to see a Democrat with a bit of fire, who isn’t afraid to speak up. I’m pretty attached to you after some of the things you said on the floor,” Beck said. “My thing is gun rights – I couldn’t support someone who isn’t for the Second Amendment.”
Ryan said he did not want to take guns from law-abiding citizens and supported basic background checks on gun owners, noting that he wanted to keep guns “out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. bad people”.
Susan Gentille, chair of the Richland County Women’s Democratic Caucus, asked how Ryan could support workers by also supporting women in the workplace.
“Women have been hit the hardest during the pandemic,” Ryan said. “We have to make sure that working families can afford child care … and that the wages have to be high enough that if a parent wants to stay at home, you earn enough money for someone to do it. one can actually stay at home.
“If we want to build an economy on family values, what is more important than taking care of our children?”
Alan Koser of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Board asked Ryan about his stance on immigration. Koser said his wife immigrated here legally, but it was costing her around $ 3,000 to become a U.S. citizen.
“I suspect a lot of people can’t afford to become a US citizen,” Koser said. “I want people to do it legally, but why wouldn’t we want people to come to this country?”
Ryan said he supports the new technology-based border security to prevent “criminals and terrorists” from entering the country. He also supported a simplified way for people to become citizens – especially those who have exceeded their visa term.
“Then we can start organizing a lot of these workers and increasing wages,” Ryan said. “Who benefits most from undocumented workers? Corporations. When we have a system that actually works, we can start pushing up wages.”