Statement By SEIU President Andy Stern On Appointment To National Commission On Fiscal Responsibility And Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published 1:32 PM Eastern - Friday, February 26, 2010

Ramona Oliver, 202.360.6258, Ramona.Oliver@seiu.org & Lori Lodes, 202.368.6584, Lori.Lodes@seiu.org

I am honored to have been asked to serve on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and thank President Obama for ensuring that the voice of ordinary working Americans will be heard.

I have talked to thousands of our members, many low-wage workers, who have to make hard choices everyday to make ends meet, while never losing sight of their dreams -- to provide a more prosperous future for their families. They also want and expect their government to make the right choices: to restore our economic health, make smart long-term investments, create a fiscally sound, and fair economic system that rewards hard work and allows their children and grandchildren to live a better life than their parents.

And they expect that, in times of need, the critical safety nets that served their grandparents and parents will be secure both for themselves and future generations.

We have an administration that understands that the path from this crisis to long term economic health doesn't lead backwards toward the failed policies of the past. A vision that is grounded, first and foremost, in the acknowledgment that the foundation of a strong economy is the creation of good jobs, with decent wages, and a vibrant middle class.

In the short term, as millions of Americans struggle to find work, that means continuing to invest in creating jobs and boosting growth. In the long term, it means beginning a new dialogue about how we fund vital government programs, while at the same time restoring long-term fiscal discipline and defining a clear, progressive vision for our nation's future.

We must take advantage of this critical moment to have a new 21st century conversation that truly involves the American people and breaks out of the narrow debates that dominate our political discourse in Washington.

As a country, like so many families, we are faced with difficult choices about how we are going to build a future for our kids and their grandkids, and about how we pass on the American dream and not America's debt.

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With 2.2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.

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