Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Ernie!!


Today is the birthday of an Icon for working class families across this country. Ernie Labaff (we won't say how old he is) is an incredible person that has spent his life standing up for the safe working environment, fair wages and social justice for the working class. Ernie has been the voice of the voiceless and today we celebrate his life's work.

The North Country Democrat will never forget a speech that was given by Ernie at the Watertown Fairgrounds a few years back. This was a rally put on by the Jefferson County Democratic Party in tribute to the men and women of labor. I don't think the crowd knew what to expect when Ernie walked up to the podium. Not a tall man in height but an absolute giant among men. By the end of the speech you could feel the pulse of everyone in attendance blasting red, white and blue.

Ernie is a devout man that has instilled in his extended family the right and responsibility of every man and woman to be a voice for the voiceless. On this day we need to thank Ernie and his family for what they have done and sacrificed for so many across this country.

If you see Ernie today or the coming days please pat him on the back and thank him for his selfless dedication. God bless you Ernie and thank you!

1 comment:

  1. An Election Field of Little Choice and no Progressive Voice in Mayoral Race:
    We live in the City of Watertown, or a town that likely surrounds it, and ask ourselves is it so hard to run a Mayoral election, that includes a true ‘Progressive’ in the race? There has to be a ‘Progressive’ thinker willing to run for the Mayor of Watertown, New York and he or she needs to step up to the plate now. The City Manager Mary Cooriveau, who is responsible for the day to day management of the City, affords the Mayor of Watertown the chance to become the voice and facilitator of the City's move towards a better future.
    Mayor Jeff Graham also has his own Radio show where one day a regular is made to feel part of the family, and the next day cast aside if his or her views fail to parrot the Mayor’s take on government. This Mayor feels no custodial roll for the citizens he serves, nor displays any innate desire to improve the condition of the poor. The citizens he serves in his mind are desirous of ‘Free Stuff’ and most lack real ambition. Unless they have the Jeff Graham seal of approval, which only comes if you support his pomposity and narrow view, of what makes the ‘City of Watertown’ work, and where the only real people who count are small business owners.
    Of course people who own property and can be held up for ‘Property Tax’ increases at the City Manager’s urging, and therefore have a certain mundane value; as long as they stay nice a quite. A year and half effort to get him to provide ‘Property Tax Relief’ is still in murky water, although he’s agreed its needed several times on ‘Hotline,’ but then goes and hides behind the skirts of Mary Cooriveau and the buffer of the City Council. After all those people will make the final decision on ‘Property Tax Relief’ in Watertown, something almost every citizen needs and wants, but please don’t blame the Mayor Graham if Tax Relief doesn’t work out.
    A Mayor who has nothing good to say about a social safety net, which by the way Mayor is more than just a ‘Food Pantry,’ can’t be called a Moderate, or Progressive. He reeks of indifference and the powers that be, owe the ‘Citizens of the City,’ a Mayoral slate that includes a Progressive; or the whole election is a sad farce. The Mayor has used his Radio show to suggest that a Progressive candidate has no currency in the Mayor’s race. The truth as I see it being, that his opponents are two Republicans Jeff Smith and Joe Butler, who come from the heavily stacked Republican City Council and that has nothing to do with the merits of a ‘Progressive’ Candidate in the 2011 Mayoral Race.
    The Mayor’s statements disparaging Progressive or Democratic type voices in the Mayoral race, is a political ploy to give the Mayor the Democratic, or Progressive vote by default as he’s no moderate, but Democrats or Progressives would likely have little choice other than to support Mayor Graham. We can do better if we try, let’s start encouraging a 'Progressive' candidate to run in the Mayoral race of 2011.

    Mike Flynn ‘Middle-Class Mike’