Teamsters at the DNC

Once again, Teamsters played a big role at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., from Sept. 4-6. Members of Charlotte’s Local 71 helped set up the convention, but Teamsters were visible throughout the gathering that nominated President Obama for a second term for president. Many Teamster members even served as delegates for Obama.

A highlight for Teamsters was when one of their own, Carroll County Deputy Sheriff Ken Myers, addressed the assembled delegates at the convention. Myers, a member of Local 238 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, started out his speech saying, “I am a Teamster and a father.” Here’s some of his speech:

“I’m lucky to walk a pretty quiet beat, as they say. But one evening last spring, me and two other officers answered a call, a domestic disturbance. As one of my partners knocked on the front door of the house, I went around back. That’s when, through a window, I saw a man with a gun. And he saw us. He started firing. We took cover. Backup arrived, and we spent the night trying to convince the suspect to surrender. By morning, he walked out the door, hands in the air. Thankfully, no one was hurt. 

“First responders like me put our lives on the line. We’re proud to do it. It’s the job we signed up for; to protect and serve. But we need a leader who will do the same for us. And that leader is President Barack Obama.  

“Governor Romney has said, ‘it’s time to cut back’ on public employees like teachers, firefighters and cops. And that’s exactly what his plan would do. When the Republican governor of Ohio attacked the collective bargaining rights of police officers, Romney supported him. The Romney-Ryan budget could cut funding for first responders by 20 percent…

“In his big speech last week, Mitt Romney talked about helping families. We help families every day. And let me tell you, what Mitt Romney doesn’t understand is that there’s nothing helpful about undermining public safety. When you cut funding for first responders, that means there will be fewer of them. And that means help may take longer to get there, or may get there far too late. President Obama understands that.  

“In places like Carroll Country, we do things for ourselves. We’re not strangers to hard work. But part of that work is looking out for our neighbors. That’s why we need police. That’s why we need firefighters and teachers. And that’s why we need a president who fights for us, a president who stands up for middle class jobs and middle class communities. President Obama has our backs. And in this election, we have his,” Myers said.