President’s Message: No Retreat!

CBTU President Bill Lucy delivered a powerful and timely speech at the opening plenary session to a standing room-only audience that punctuated his remarks with sustained applause and a chorus of “Amen,” “Tell it, brother, “Bring it, Bill.” On Iraq, President Lucy said, “I don’t care if President Bush finds a nuclear device in Iraq as big as the state of Texas; we should thank him for his efforts, proceed to elect a new president and send him back to his ranch in Crawford, Texas.”

President Lucy’s sharpest remarks focused on labor politics. He criticized the rationale given by former AFL-CIO political director Steve Rosenthal for creating his own “527” organization to do voter education and mobilization in communities of color. When Rosenthal asked the AFL-CIO Executive Council to fund his Partnership for America’s Families, he attacked CBTU and other labor constituency groups that ran voter turnout operations for being “ineffective,” “inefficient” and “unaccountable.”

After rebutting Rosenthal’s bogus claims, President Lucy declared, “The days of plantation politics are over. We will not be scapegoated when labor-backed candidates lose and ignored when our efforts are the winning difference for labor. If we are that important and that critical, then let’s jointly share the resources to empower our community rather than pimping off it.”