Hugh Giordano to Philadelphia union leaders: ‘It’s time to put an end to the two party system’

The following is an open letter written, sent to various Philadelphia unions and published by Hugh Giordano, a union organizer and Green candidate for state representative in Philadelphia who received over 18 percent of the vote in a 3-way race this year.  I, Ross Levin, worked on Giordano’s campaign as a volunteer and continue to volunteer for the Green Party of Philadelphia.

What We, As Labor Leaders, Must Do!

Dear Union Brothers and Sisters,

This letter is more of a “cry for action” rather just an informational or ideological statement or platform. It is meant to be serious and intense, and I hope you take this letter in that form! This letter is being sent to as many union brothers and sisters as possible.

I have been involved in the labor movement now for about ten years, from non-union worker/union activist, to member, and officially becoming a union representative for UFCW Local 152. I have been a part of every aspect of the union movement, and now I must take the next step – Labor leader.

What do I mean by leader? Being a leader does not mean having the title of Business Manager or President of a local. It means standing up and saying what needs to be said against the status quo. There were numerous forms of this leadership before me, and their will be numerous ones after me – but I am worried about what is happening in today’s present labor environment.

Many of you might have heard about me in my run for State Representative as an Independent with the Green Party, and I am proud of that decision. I ended up getting the highest vote of any third party in Philadelphia and I am pretty sure I received the highest in a three way race. This is what needs to be done! I did this using basic union organizing skills and having a handful of unions behind me. Imagine what would have happened if I had all of the Philadelphia unions behind me?

Why do we support the Democrats and Republicans when all they do is take our money, use our man power, and then leave us out to dry? Why do we support CEO’s, corporate consultants, and corporate attorneys, when 365 days of the year when they are not running for office, they are fighting unions, breaking labor laws, and spreading their greed? But all of a sudden when they run for office as a ‘Democrat”, they have changed their ways? This just proves that the Democrats are as corporate as the Republicans.

Labor has the power to change this, and we must! Many labor unions still believe the Democrats are “labor’s friend”. Really? How can this be when they failed to pass EFCA, they bail out the super rich, failed to pass Single-Payer health care, pass horrible trade laws (NAFTA), attack pensions, and most of all – are in the pockets of the same people we fight everyday, the corporations! I am not writing this letter so I can fill it with boring facts, but the Democrats took 53% of the total “corporate” contributions – 53 %!

Why are we, the strong men and women of the labor movement, bowing down to the corporate bosses and politicians, when we could run for office, win, and do what we need to do – enact laws that benefit working people and poor people. We have the man power, money, and knowledge to run OUR UNION REPRESENTATIVES and win!

But here is the catch, we CANNOT run as a Democrat or Republican; those two parties are too corrupted and entrenched. We must strengthen and build a THIRD PARTY! Yes, we must do what our past labor leaders tried to do and that is build a party that is about us. Some of you might say, “That will never work, and it can’t happen”. Well I would say you are dead wrong!  The corporate Democrats ONLY win because we fuel them, but then they turn their backs on us. If we run with a clean and fresh party such as the Green Party, we can call the shots and be as progressive as we choose.

It amazes me how some local leadership bows down to the Democrats and “fears” them. Union brothers and sisters, when any one of us becomes “fearful” or “controlled” by a political party – it’s time to step down and pass the torch on. WE are the voice of working people, and WE should be telling these politicians what to do; not the other way around.

We owe the Democrats and Republicans NOTHING, because they have done NOTHING for our members, for our contracts, and for the movement. How much longer are we going to support a bunch of failures? WE don’t have to because WE can blackball them just like they blackballed our members and the movement. We gave them plenty of time and opportunities and each time, they spat in our face!

Here is what needs to happen:

*We have to come together and make a collective of progressive, fearless, and strong locals that will run with the Green Party.

 

*We have to talk about the issues we want passed in City Council and in the State Legislature.

 

*We then must pick union representatives to run for these seats in City Council and the State Legislature.

 

*We must stick together and focus on winning for once!

 

*WE CAN DO IT AND WE WILL DO IT!

The Green Party is the party of labor. They have a platform that is 100% pro-labor (repeal Taft-Hartley, NAFTA, and prosecute CEO’s who break the law). Other labor unions around the country are supporting Green Party candidates in local races, I say we RUN AS GREEN PARTY CANDIDATES. Here is the link, http://www.gp.org

It’s time we make history and do the right thing. We have an obligation our members, to our future, and we have an obligation to the men and women who died to form and join unions. If we keep on doing what we are doing, then we have slapped everyone in the face that fought for us.

Sincerely,
Hugh Giordano, Union Organizer

28 thoughts on “Hugh Giordano to Philadelphia union leaders: ‘It’s time to put an end to the two party system’

  1. Opeach Obama, I mean, is this the best we can do? [Lake]

    The Buzz says, remember, every time a senator spends a billion dollars, a lobbyist gets his wings.

    Embattled GOP Republican Party chairman Michael Steele is seeking a second term, despite a rocky two years marked by allegations of financial mismanagement and frequent verbal gaffes.

    “Yes, I have stumbled along the way but have always accounted to you for such shortcomings. No excuses.

    No lies. No hidden agenda,” Steele said. “Our work is not done, and my commitment has not ended.”

    The Buzz says, oh, he should be committed all right — to an institution for the politically tone-deaf.

    Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/18/2530008/the-buzz-which-political-party.html#ixzz18ax0QoAu

  2. Catholic Trotskyist

    It relates to this thread because the Green Party is working hand in hand with the Republican Party, which Don’s comment was about, to destroy the work of the Catholic Trotskyist Party and its coalition with the Democratic Party in our imperfect, neanderthal single-member district system. Only by joining the website which cannot be named here, can Hugh Giordano come to his full potential and start changing the political system. Stop having such a narrow definition of topic. And read Isaiah chapter 40.

  3. Opeach Obama, I mean, is this the best we can do? [Lake]

    NewFederalist // Dec 19, 2010:
    “Don [Lake] What does your comment have to do with this thread?”

    ———- We owe the Democrats and Republicans NOTHING, because they have done NOTHING for our members, for our contracts ……….

    ———-we CANNOT run as a Democrat or [a] Republican; those two parties are too corrupted and entrenched. We must strengthen ………

    Dennis // Dec 19, 2010:
    [To Don Lake:] Do you live under a bridge and harass the billy goats when they try and cross? [Well, if they are Democans or Republicrats …….]

  4. Brian

    Seriously, wtf is this parliamentary shit? Is it like some weird-ass fantasy club or something? How are you contributing to this comment thread? Moreover, how are you contributing to political change?

  5. Brian

    This site has the weirdest fucking commenters of any site that I have ever frequented. Kinda reaffirms the stereotype that 3rd party-types are nut jobs. People need to be able to take us seriously.

  6. Dennis

    @ 8 & 9,

    I am so glad you asked what the Hell is going on here. Because I am lost. I assumed that I had fallen asleep and woken in some bizarre alternative universe, where Don Lake holds elected office and America functioned on a parliamentary system.

    Then I realized this was just some bizarre third party fantasy football game.

  7. Ribert Molnes

    There is no way Lake, Cath Trot and Milnes will not be forever banned and soon…. Please. Please. Please. Please. These clowns live for posting their nonsense here. Let them die.

  8. Mik Robertson

    Good Luck, Hugh. You are going to need it. You are looking into the teeth of a very, very powerful Democratic Machine in Philly.

  9. Ross

    Mik, you’re right, but things are definitely looking up for us. We’re working getting a few strong candidates for 2011 and we’ve already gotten a few positive responses from union leaders about this letter.

  10. Brian

    These guys sound like civil war re-enactors or something. Just because a couple of buddies and I sit around and follow parliamentary rules doesn’t mean we’re important or that anyone wants to hear about it.

  11. Dennis

    @ 18,
    Exactly. I don’t think they are familiar with “fantasy football,” but what I was implying is that they are playing a game online, and that it has no applicability in the real world. Also, these posts about this “parliament” are detrimental to this website’s credibility, and deter from viable conversations regarding third party politics.

  12. Catholic Trotskyist

    Why are people bothering Milnes here? He hasn’t posted on this thread. He is also not yet on the US Parliament team, but hopefully soon will be.

    The US Parliament is much more important than any of the candidates being posted about on this website. Occasionally an independent or third party wins, like Jesse Ventura or Lincoln Chafee, which shows that it could be done, but that happened only under special circumstances, which will probably not happen under Hugh Giordano under this system (see, this post is on topic now). Only through the USP can new and energetic parties like the Catholic Trotskyist Party, the Defender of the Republic Party, and the American Libertarian Party, lead the charge for proportional representation and a new and vibrant political order. Dennis and Bryan, thanks for your recognition that this is a unique site; I appreciate being part of such a privileged weirdness. But you need to join the team quickly.
    I only heard of the US Parliament a month ago. Other than talking with James on the phone once now, I have had no connections with any of the project’s members outside the Internet as of yet, and only a couple even on the Internet. But I see the potential of this system, and have been willing to step forward as an officer. As well as making a subtle change in my writing style here on IPR.

    A blessed Christmas and winter solstice to all IPR readers, amen.

  13. Opeach Obama, I mean, is this the best we can do? [Lake]

    Ribert Molnes [or whom ever you are] // Dec 20, 2010:

    ‘There is no way Lake ……..’

    [Lake: why am I being included in this? Plz point out where I do not post the documented truth! Is it the Christ Mass thing? I have a right to not celebrate Christ Mass ——- especially with PAGAN indoor trees and plastic credit cards! I have been to Jerusalem in December, thrice. December, the TENTH MONTH. Christ was not born on December 25th in the Roman Year Zero. Not in any way! Why include me, specialty, in the troll’s list?]

  14. Censorus Imperius

    The extraneous comments should be removed from this thread, or, if possible, moved to the US Parliament thread.

    That thread exists so those who are interested in that subject can discuss it without clogging up other discussions, such as this one.

  15. Scott West

    Congrats to Hugh. This is the kind of local work and connections to civil society that are necessary to make a movement, not just political campaigns.

  16. Michael Cavlan RN

    Brian #8#9 and Dennis #11

    At your guys comments, I just about lost it laughing.

    OMG, I am with you both. I have heard it said that Third Party politics attracts two types of people.

    Visionaries and nut jobs.

    I am with others. I am an almost total 100% Free Speech kind of guy.

    Having said that. These clowns are fucking things up, getting in the way with the whole fantasy political football thing.

    If they cannot chill and control themselves, then boot them the fuck off of this site.

    IMHO

  17. Daniel Surman

    I cleaned out most of the comments about the US Parliament from this article. It was made quite clear all discussion of that belongs in the open thread. Remember, off topic comments are not necessarily banned, but continued posting of off-topic material on a singular topic will generally result in the elimination of your comments. It is a compromise between the traditional free speech zone that is IPR and the need to maintain a bit of legitimacy around here.

  18. NewFederalist

    Remember this site is for sale. With all the just plain crazy nonsense that gets posted about PLAS and the USA Parliament and all that sort of stuff won’t help attract a serious buyer with real money.

  19. paulie

    It is interesting to see more union interest/support for local and state level Green candidates. Other interest groups that the Democrats and Republicans take for granted as part of their guaranteed support base should show more independence as well, which will give the D/R-oids more reason to pay attention to their needs rather than, well, taking them for granted.

  20. MMP James Ogle [Free Parliamentary]

    Paulie, you’re incorrect. The Ds and Rs don’t need third parties and independents. The D/R’s chance of success are forever at 50/50, and no matter what the interest groups may say or do, mathematically the smaller factions are destined to average 0% of the representation in partisan elections and most non partisan elections as well.

    And the continual splintering under plurality elections helps perpetuate that scenario. That’s why the Green Party wants a three-party system as the article implies.

  21. IYF

    @26 should read @25 again. @25 did not say Ds and Rs need other parties or independents.

    Interest groups, besides unions, could include, among others: environmental groups, gun owners, “values voters,” feminists, gay rights activists, supporters of various nation-states around the world, and so on.

    The general dynamic that occurs is that these groups attach themselves to one or the other of the Ds and Rs. What the unions are showing in this case is that they are willing to back Greens in some cases.

    Other such interest groups may wish to learn from this example and make themselves more independent, backing a major party or smaller party as the circumstances indicate. That gives them a better negotiating position vis a vis their preferred major party. Otherwise, the feeling on the part of the big party bosses is “where else are they gonna go? Of course they’ll vote for us, they have no choice.”

  22. MMP James Ogle [Free Parliamentary]

    @27 Maybe Paulie didn’t write the word “parties”, but most small interest groups are like parties themselves anyway.

    For example the NRA. Just like a union or a party. They all elect chairs, charge dues, and have members.

    As soon one claims some word other than D or R, they have self marginalized, or splintered.

    Maybe this Hugh person wants to use pure proportional representation, but he sure is keeping it a secret if he does.

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