Friday, April 22, 2011
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!
These worthy programs have refocused our attentions on the need to conserve resources. As we've seen by the radical shift in global climate, our planet needs our help and it looks like we're finally starting to get it.
As Neil Armstrong made that historic first step...hopefully future generations will look back at our efforts as the first steps in a greener tomorrow. Have a great Earth Day!!
Click HERE for more on Earth Day
Friday, April 15, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Each year, the Teamsters Union awards thousands of dollars to deserving students through scholarships. Among other prizes, awards totaling $1,000 are given to students who answer a specific question through essays. Last year, applicants were asked to write about how their parents’ or grandparent’s involvement in the Teamsters has influenced their lives. Winners were decided and awards were given before the war on workers was declared, but we felt these students’ messages about working families are timeless.
For Imelda Larios, daughter of Local 630 member Daniel Larios, union membership is about more than building a strong middle class. For Larios, union membership exemplifies everything positive about being an American, from a chance at a dream to the values of democracy.
The Teamsters work hard to educate all of their members so that they will be better prepared for any kind of situation in the workplace. All the Teamsters are like one big family and I know that no matter what happens my father’s voice will be heard through the Teamsters.
My father’s membership has taught me the importance of a democratic society in which people can organize and fight for fair treatment. Through the Teamsters I have come to see that being a part of the union is a clear advantage. The Teamsters negotiations with employers allow for a higher pay, better health care and overall, a less stressful career.
The Teamsters are important to be because they allow me to stay informed through my father. As I start to enter the workplace, I am more aware of my rights and am better prepared to defend myself should I be mistreated in the workplace.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the State Senate unanimously confirmed Kenneth Adams as President and CEO of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, and Darrel J. Aubertine as Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets.
"Darrel and Ken are intrinsic to the reinvention and reopening of New York as a destination for good jobs and growth," Governor Cuomo said. "Darrel's expertise on agricultural matters and his tireless advocacy for farmers in the state legislature is unmatched. Ken knows what it takes to keep private sector jobs from leaving and bring new ones to the state. He will be essential to my administration's message that New York is open for business. I thank Senators Skelos, DeFrancisco, Alesi, Ranzenhofer and Ritchie for ushering these nominations to confirmation."
Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Darrel Aubertine said, "New York's diverse agricultural industry and vast marketplace requires responsible oversight and advocacy – roles I am proud to take on. Governor Cuomo's vision of creating greater access to locally produced farm and food products sets the stage for a resurgence of our economy and offers hope for farming communities across the state. I look forward to working with our agricultural partners to help our farmers and industry flourish."
Darrel J. Aubertine most recently served as State Senator of the 48th Senate District in Central and Northern New York, which is comprised of Oswego, Jefferson and part of St. Lawrence counties. He served as chair of both the Senate Agriculture Committee and the Rural Resources Commission, and as the ranking majority member and vice chair of the Energy & Telecommunications Committee. Before joining the Senate in 2008, Mr. Aubertine represented the 118th Assembly district in the New York State Assembly for five years, where he served as the chair of the Commission on State-Local Relations. From 1996-2001, he was a member of the Jefferson County Legislature and was elected to chair in 1998. Mr. Aubertine's career in government began in 1994, when he served as a member of the Cape Vincent Town Council.
Since 1971, Mr. Aubertine has owned and operated the sixth-generation heritage Triple-A Farm in Cape Vincent, for which he purchased a plot of land while still in high school. Mr. Aubertine has been a member of numerous cooperatives and organizations, including the Cape Vincent Milk Producers, Allied and Eastern, Agway, St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau, the New York State Farm Bureau, and the Dairy Herd Improvement Association.
Senator Patty Ritchie, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, said, "I'm confident that together will be able to help insure that the Department of Agriculture and Markets works as a partner with our farm families to help revitalize the upstate economy. Commissioner Aubertine will be able to help me look out for the needs of our neighbors and friends across the state and in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Oswego counties." Senator Tim M. Kennedy, Ranking Member of the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, said, "With the nomination of Darrel Aubertine, farmers can trust that they have someone looking out for them at the head of the Department of Agriculture and Markets – someone who as a seventh-generation farmer uniquely understands the agriculture community.
At a time when New Yorkers are hungry for job creation and economic development, Ken Adams is an excellent choice to take the helm at the Empire State Development Corporation. Steering New York along the road to recovery will not be an easy task, but with Commissioner Adams's and Commissioner Aubertine's tested and proven abilities, we will develop and enact the right policies to rebuild our state's economy by creating jobs." Senator Bill Perkins, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, said, "Based on Mr. Adams' wealth of knowledge, experience, and reputation in the business community I am hopeful that the Governor has made an excellent choice in his selection of Mr. Adams as the new President and CEO of ESDC. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Adams to help revitalize New York's economy by advancing the opportunities for small businesses and MWBEs to thrive." Acting-President & CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Heather Briccetti said, "Kenneth Adams understands business in New York and what it will take to make the state more competitive. He is an outstanding choice to lead the Empire State Development Corporation. The Business Council congratulates Kenneth on his confirmation and Governor Cuomo on making a great appointment." Rob Simpson, President of CenterState CEO, said, "Ken has the knowledge, experience and positive attitude needed to achieve real economic transformation in the state. He will do a great job at ESDC on behalf of businesses everywhere and I look forward to working with him in this new chapter of his career." Dean Norton, President of the New York Farm Bureau, said, "NYFB welcomes Darrel Aubertine as the new Commissioner at the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Farmers and our organization have had a great relationship with him through the years, and look forward to his leadership at a critical time in the food and agriculture sector in New York. NYFB is pleased to see his enthusiasm for the opportunities in agriculture today and looks forward to working with the Commissioner and Governor Cuomo in the years to come."
David J. Skorton, President of Cornell University, said, "During his long career in public service, Darrel Aubertine has proven that he understands the needs of our state's agriculture industry, is more than willing to work across the political aisle, and is a strong advocate of the role higher education plays in helping New York build a brighter future. I look forward to working with Commissioner Aubertine as we face the challenges and the opportunities ahead."