Salutes to working men and women and scorn for the current president were served in roughly equal portions Monday morning at the North Bay Labor Council’s 20th annual Labor Day Pancake Breakfast.
Federal, state and local politicians turned out en masse to express solidarity with about 200 pro-labor people who came in for a free breakfast on a mercifully cool morning at the Carpenters Labor Center in Santa Rosa.
Serving bacon in the food line was Sydney Moy, a school librarian and Classified School Employees Association member wearing a T-shirt that said: “A woman’s place is in her union.”
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, giving the first in a series of brief speeches, excoriated President Donald Trump’s anticipated elimination of the Obama administration policy that protects illegal immigrants who entered the country as children, calling it “foolishness on the part of this president.”
“They are as American as anybody here today,” Thompson said.
“I look forward to standing with labor … to make sure we deliver a better deal,” he said, citing the motto for the Democratic Party’s new agenda, “A Better Deal.”
State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, said Trump is “diminishing all the great work we’ve done over the years,” while Sacramento Democrats are “making sure that we’re protecting” working people and the environment.
“We’ve got a fight on our hands, folks,” Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, said. “We’ve gotta get ready for 2018. We’ve gotta take back this country. We’ve gotta start with the House of Representatives.”
State Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, said the “best way to stand up to President Trump is to continue our progress in California.”
Daraka Larimore-Hall, vice-chairman of the California Democratic Party, affirmed the connection between labor and the party that controls state government.
“Every worker deserves the dignity and power that come from being in a union,” he said.
Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey and Assembly members Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters and Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, among others, also addressed the crowd.
Jack Buckhorn, the labor council’s executive director, said he had an answer to a woman who had referred to the breakfast as “just a rally for politicians.”
“Politicians are important because they write the rules,” he said.
Sandy Reynolds, a retired teacher and Santa Rosa Democratic Club president who stood in the crowd, told a reporter the event is recognition of “the working class that really made this country.”
Rick Luttmann, a member of North Bay Jobs with Justice, said he appreciated the strong political support for labor.
“It’s clear that the capitalist class in this country has way too much power,” he said.
You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 707-521-5457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.