The summer of 2023 is just getting started, so that means the 2024 Presidential election season is already underway. President Joe Biden kicked off his re-election efforts with a labor rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday June 17, 2023. The AFL-CIO sponsored the event which brought together activists from a wide range of industries united under the banner of labor to support President Biden’s quest for four more years. The President has overwhelming support from labor due in large part to his long record of support from and for labor unions. In 2020 he declared he would be the most pro-union president in United States history.
Although the event was in neighboring Pennsylvania, AFT-Maryland activists made the trip and were excited to support President Biden’s re-election efforts. Beverly Grace, a member of the Baltimore County Federation of Public Health Nurses Local 5102, attended the event. She said she was supporting President Biden and Vice President Harris for re-election because “they are very strong for unions, they are very strong for public education [and] they are very strong for public employees.” President Biden demonstrated just how important working people who make up the labor movement are, saying “if the investment bankers of this country went on strike tomorrow, no one would notice… If this room didn’t show up to work tomorrow, the whole country would come to a grinding halt, so tell me – who matters more in America?”
Lisa Oeflke, a member of AFT Healthcare-Maryland Local 5197 also attended the Pennsylvania rally. She was moved by President Biden’s appeal to union members and believes he’s the best choice for public employee labor members because “he has delivered for public employees and unions by increasing funding for infrastructure projects, creating jobs, and protecting worker's pensions.”
Oeflke and Grace echo the sentiments of AFT President Randi Weingarten. Weingarten, also in attendance at the Philadelphia labor rally, enthusiastically supports re-election of the current administration saying “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have our backs. They fight for working people. They fight for working families. They’ve delivered! We need to let them finish the job.”
The event at the Philadelphia Convention Center was host to 2,000 labor activists from across the AFL-CIO family.