LORAIN — A lot is at stake for the midterm elections, according to many Democratic elected officials and candidates at Black River Landing on Sunday.
Organizational leaders, elected officials and state and federal candidates, including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, spoke at the 23rd annual Labor Day Family Celebration.
Brown spoke about the importance of the working class to the productivity and prosperity of the U.S.
“In this country, we don’t see or appreciate the dignity of working,” he said in an interview before the speech. “Workers aren’t seeing pay increases, management is making more and more money, corporate profits are up, workers are getting more and more productive. They’re not getting paid what they should, and until the labor movement gets stronger again, companies continue to keep wages flat.”
“It’s clear that workers in this country don’t get the respect they should get whether they work in a factory, whether they punch a clock, whether they work construction, whether they work in a hospital, whether they work in an office, people aren’t getting paid what they’ve earned and it’s time we do something about it better than we have,” he said.
He spoke about how health care, trade policies, environmental policies and civil rights for minorities, labor and women’s rights are all at stake on the November ballot.
Lorain Councilwoman Mary Springowski, D-at large, also spoke at the event, introducing Sharon Sweda, a Democrat running against state Rep. Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville, for a state Senate seat.
“We need to restore local control back to our government, our schools and our community, by ending the kickbacks in Columbus,” she said.
Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Betty Sutton made her statement to the crowd to let them know that her campaign will fight for working-class and middle-class Americans in the state.
Janet Garrett, Democratic candidate for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District seat currently held by Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, said a lot is going to be on the ballot. Education, health care and infrastructure will be on the ballot, she said, but not listed as issues but rather in the form of Democratic candidates who will represent the working people of Ohio.
Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray said people’s fundamental constitutional rights are at stake this November, as well as ending corruption and gerrymandering.
“We can’t count on going to Washington to have those rights protected, we have to protect them by electing the right people who will stand up and protect those rights right here in Ohio,” he said.
Cordray also spoke about how the Democratic Party should embrace the younger generation so it can move forward and succeed.
“When we do that, we will make this state better, we will step into our future, we will be the progressive state we will be proud of and our children will want to stay here and raise a family here and strengthen our community,” he said.
Ken Harbaugh, Democratic candidate for the Ohio 7th District seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, said the key to winning the seats in government November is working together.
“If we lock arms, if we stick together, nothing can stop us,” he said. “The stakes couldn’t be higher in November of 2018, you’ve got to elect this entire slate, and we’ve got to do it not just for ourselves, but for my kids, for your kids, for the entire American working class and the middle class, which is on the ballot in this election.”
Lorain resident Ruben Marquez, 32, secretary treasurer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1802, said he enjoyed the event and Brown’s appearance.
“I’m always an advocate of Sherrod Brown, so I hope everything goes well with him come November,” he said.
At the end of his speech, Brown gave everyone in the crowd a mission: Find five people who may not know what is on the November ballot, educate them about the issues and then take them to vote early. With any hope, he said, especially with younger Americans, it could be make them more likely to vote in the future, knowing that their vote truly matters.