Greg Fischer & Unions: a Press Conference and an Interview
September 4, 2010 Leave a comment
I’ve recently become a contributor to Louisville station WLKY’s Local Voices blog! My first post on Local Voices, is my contribution to the “This is what a young feminist looks like.” blog carnival. This is my newest post.
Today at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 29 local labor unions announced their support for Greg Fischer in his candidacy for mayor. I walked in twenty minutes early, found my way back to the gym where the conference was being held, and looked around. There were small groups of men and women standing about and chatting. A podium was set up in front of the stage, with the IBEL seal on the front of it. A camera from WHAS was setting up. Chairs lined the walls. Coffee, of course, was available in the back. I had time to kill, so I took measure of the crowd. I quickly noticed that I was the only attendee under the age of 35. Combine that with my blazer, and I stuck out like a plum in a bed of tomatoes.
For the press conference itself, many of the union representatives gathered behind the podium, sporting Greg Fischer stickers and holding signs. He thanked the unions for their support, and spoke of the importance of creating jobs, saying, “Working men and women are the backbone of Louisville’s economy, and it is good paying jobs that have created a strong and thriving middle class, keeping our community healthy.” The press conference ended with the union supporters chanting one of Greg’s catchphrases: “Put Louisville back to work!”
Afterward, the attendees mingled with Greg, who chatted with everyone that said hello, the camera right behind. I spoke to one of the union representatives, Dennis Brown, a pipe layer. He came up to me as I sat waiting to speak to Greg and struck up a conversation. He said that he’s been supporting Greg since last fall. He didn’t like most politicians, he said, but Greg was different. “I look at him and I can tell he really believes what he’s saying.”
I met two of Greg’s staff, who embodied Greg’s ideal of “customer service.” One, Lawrence Winburn, went the extra mile when I asked to speak to Greg. He only had a few minutes between two consecutive interviews and a luncheon, but Mr. Fischer was kind enough to sit down with me and answer a few questions.