November 14, 2016
Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States, and I offer my congratulations to the president-elect.
I also offer my thanks to Hillary Clinton on her hard-fought campaign.
This was a long, and at times, divisive, election, but as brothers and sisters in the IBEW, there remains much more that unites us than divides us, and it is more important now than ever that we work together over the coming days, months and years.
Last Tuesday revealed a deep anxiety among the electorate over a declining middle class, stagnant wages and the sense that our political system is rigged in favor of the top 1 percent.
To the extent that President-elect Trump is serious about working toward growing the middle class and providing real opportunities for working Americans, we are willing to work with him. On issues like trade, infrastructure, jobs and outsourcing, there can be common ground between us, and I am committed to finding it.
But building an economy that works for everybody and restoring the shared prosperity that made the American dream possible for millions of working people requires policies that put people and families first.
This includes raising wages, protecting and expanding health and retirement benefits and promoting the right of every working person to come together and negotiate collectively as part of a union.
What we do not need are policies that drive income inequality, reward corporate greed and outsourcing, slash retirement and health security and limit workers’ rights.
Our interests remain today the same as they always have, the well-being of you, our brothers and sisters in this movement. We will continue to fight to make sure you have good-paying jobs, quality health care and the promise of a secure retirement. You can bet on that. Those are the issues that are on my mind when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night, and that will never change.
As Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday morning, “Our democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time,” so let us get to work together to build the kind of America that works for all of us.
Lonnie R. Stephenson