In The News
Obama Will Speak at Milwaukee’s Laborfest in Company of Trumka, Solis
Posted August 30, 2010
The president of the United States – along with his secretary of labor and the president of the national AFL-CIO -- will be the special Labor Day guests at Milwaukee’s Laborfest.
Barack Obama, after a motorcade through Milwaukee that Monday, September 6, will give a speech to working families and the general public in the early afternoon of the traditional free festival organized for the community every year by the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
The seating around Miller Stage on the Summerfest (Maier Festival Park) grounds will require a special presidential ticket. These are being distributed by union affiliates of the council to their members and working families. However, as many Milwaukeeans know, the arrangement at Laborfest allows the general public to see and hear the speakers at Miller Stage from around the grounds.
The text of the president’s speech has not been released but it will deal with the economy and jobs -- key issues for the working community, noted the event’s lead organizer, the council’s chief operating officer, Sheila D. Cochran.
Laborfest, which traditionally ends at 5 p.m., has also been extended until 7 p.m. Since all activities will be suspended during the president’s appearance, the extra time allows all Laborfest side-events to continue. That includes a children’s stage, sports exhibits, multiple food and drink vendors, games, vintage car display, exhibition tents, and dance music from two bands, culminating in traditional raffles (including the finale giveaway of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle). Union volunteers help run the festival.
Many political dignitaries will also attend the parade and Summerfest party.
Obama will be including in the festivities the special guests accompanying him. Among them are Richard Trumka, the new leader of the national AFL-CIO, and Hilda Solis, who heads the US Department of Labor.
In 2008, during his successful run for the White House, Obama visited Laborfest in a special event at the Marcus Amphitheater that drew a sizable crowd.
In 1996, President Clinton was also a special guest at Laborfest.
Wisconsin has many active political races in its mid-term general election November 2, and Obama is making his third visit to the state in two months, the last time headlining a Milwaukee fund-raiser for gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett.
The White House will control security and access issues for the Laborfest appearance. Its advance teams are working out details with Cochran and labor council liaisons on related issues of special guests and security, reported Dominique Paul Noth, communications director for the council and editor of Milwaukee Labor Press.
In related Labor Day news from the administration:
“You want an America that produces things again!”
– Listen to Hilda Solis’ special Labor Day message to working families, availabe this year in both Englih and Spanish videos on the Internet.