Tom Perez Talks Infrastructure, Jobs, and Rebuilding the Democratic Party in Ohio
June 12, 2017
Last week, after Donald Trump’s speech in Cincinnati to pitch Ohio voters on his massive handouts to Wall Street and special interests as an infrastructure plan, DNC Chair Tom Perez traveled across Ohio to meet with hardworking Ohioans who are demanding real investments in Ohio’s infrastructure that use American products, create jobs for American workers, and allow American businesses to grow and thrive. While Trump and Republicans in Washington continue to stall on infrastructure funding for projects like the Brent Spence Bridge and Western Hills Viaduct (both of which Trump failed to mention during his visit), and continue to sabotage insurance markets, which will cause nearly 70,000 Ohioans to be kicked off their health insurance plans, Democrats at all levels are working to advance meaningful legislation that supports working families, create jobs, invest in our future, and make a positive impact on local economies.
During his visit to the Buckeye State, Chair Perez met with community members, local business owners, labor leaders, and elected officials in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Youngstown.
In Cincinnati, Chair Perez held a press conference with Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper and DNC member and former mayor of Cincinnati, Mark Mallory to highlight the need for action on a real infrastructure plan that addresses Southern Ohio’s immediate needs, including the dilapidated Brent Spence Bridge and Western Hills Viaduct. He also met with local party leaders about the future of the Democratic party.
WCPO: DNC chair: Trump doesn't intend to fix Brent Spence Bridge
“It was no accident that President Trump failed to mention the Brent Spence Bridge in his Wednesday speech to Cincinnati, Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez said Thursday evening. Although the president made big promises about rebuilding infrastructure in the United States, Perez said he doesn't believe Trump has any sincere intention of taking the monkey off of Greater Cincinnati's back. It's not profitable enough, Perez said. ‘It's not a toll bridge,’ he said. ‘Private investors don't want to invest in it, and private investors are the major beneficiary of the Trump infrastructure plan.’
WLWT: Democratic Party responds to Trump infrastructure speech
WKRC: DNC Chair says Trump plan favors investors over projects
Cindy Saalfeld: DNC chair: Trump won't fix Brent Spence Bridge
In Cleveland, Chair Perez spoke at a Labor Town Hall, hosted by Ohio AFL-CIO. Perez talked about the Democratic Party’s positive message of economic opportunity that strengthens and expands the Middle Class.
WTAM Radio: DNC Chair takes Trump to task over his proposed budget
Cleveland.com: Ohio Democrats need to speak to the issues that 'keep people up at night,' new DNC chair says
“Democrats didn't do a good enough job at communicating with Ohio voters in 2016 about the ‘issues that keep people up at night,’ new Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said in Cleveland on Friday. ‘We need to be talking to voters every month of the year, not just in the three months leading up to the election,’ Perez said before ducking into a meeting with labor leaders at the United Steelworkers union hall in the North Broadway neighborhood. ‘We need to better understand people's hopes and fears, and then we need to be moving forward to fight for them.’”
“Q. What do Democrats need to improve, and what are the lessons of last year's election?
“Perez: ‘We need to organize in every county in Ohio, and that's exactly what we're doing under Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper's leadership. We need to speak to people everywhere. And we need to speak to them about the message of opportunity for everyone.
“’The Democratic Party has always been the party fighting for good jobs, fighting to make sure you have Social Security if you're a senior. If you have diabetes right now or some other pre-existing condition, this Republican healthcare bill is going to put you in harm's way. If you know someone who is confronting the opioid epidemic, Republicans are going to make your life harder. And we need to communicate that directly to voters in every ZIP code in rural, in urban and in suburban Ohio.’”
In Youngstown, Chair Perez stopped by the Mahoning County Democratic Party Resistance Summer volunteer appreciation lunch to rally canvassers and phone bankers already hard at work to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in the 2018 midterm elections.
WFMJ: Chief Democrat: What can party do to win back Valley voters?
“While at Wedgewood Pizza in Boardman, Perez told 21 News that the party needs to reach out to Democrats to find out what is important to them. ‘The reason I'm out here is because we need to listen to folks. We need to speak to them and articulate what we stand for. We stand for good jobs. We stand for economic security. We believe health care is a right for all and not a privilege for a few,’ said Perez.”
WKBN: Republicans, Democrats discuss Trump’s effect on the election
“Perez was at Wedgewood Pizza in Boardman on Friday to speak with local party and union leaders. He and other party leaders have been traveling the country to meet with local Democrats who switched parties last year to vote for Trump. Despite losing the presidential race, Perez said Democratic candidates can get elected. ‘You look at all the down-ballot races, Democrats did very well in this neck of the woods, and what we need to do up and down the ticket is speak directly to people’s fear and hopes and talk to them,’ he said. Friday’s private party was part of what leaders are calling their ‘Resistance Summer,’ in which they hope to give a boost to state party organizations and local candidates heading into their fall general elections, as well as the midterm races in 2018.”
“Perez was at Wedgewood Pizza in Boardman on Friday to speak to 75 people about getting Democrats elected for seats on local school boards, and to the White House, while criticizing Republicans. Mahoning County is typically a Democratic stronghold, but it narrowly went for Hillary Clinton, the party’s presidential nominee in last November’s election, 49.9 percent to 46.6 percent.
“When asked to explain why, Perez, a Clinton surrogate and former secretary of labor, said, ‘We have to do a better job of speaking more directly to the pocketbook issues that bring people to the ballot.
‘The Democratic Party has always stood for the working family, for that person in the middle class who wants to stay in the middle class and that person who wants to graduate to the middle class.’ But ‘during this last campaign, that message got muddled, and that’s why I’m here to say very clearly that the Democratic Party is the party that’s fighting for the labor movement. The Democratic Party is the party fighting for quality public education and access to health care and the issues that matter most to the people in the Valley. The fact that Democrats won virtually all the other elections [in the Mahoning Valley] tells me that we can turn it around.’”