In The News
Obama to speak at Laborfest in special rally for workers
Barack Obama will be the special speaker at Laborfest.
Fresh from his triumph at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the presidential candidate will bring his visionary message, plans for a better American and powerful oratory to Milwaukee, consciously connecting the national worker’s holiday, Labor Day, with the union members who in Milwaukee celebrate annually with a parade and free family festival at the Summerfest grounds.
But a warning – absolutely no tickets for the Obama evening event will be distributed at Laborfest.
The Obama visit, under tight security, will fill the Marcus Amphitheater (south of the main grounds) and start at 6 p.m. Monday, September 1.
Doors for seating will open at 3 p.m. for the 6 p.m. event.
Tickets for the general public will be distributed in advance only at Obama campaign offices throughout the state and for union members in special advance arrangements (away from Laborfest) with their union leaders.
Obama will lead this Rally for America’s Workers, speak directly about his plans to provide real relief for working families and discuss why we can’t afford “four more years of the same old politics and the same old policies.”
For the public, required tickets can be picked up starting at noon Sunday at Obama campaign offices – as long as the tickets last. While open to the public and the press, seating for the event is limited, so this is really a first come-first served rally for the public.
Plans for all this were rapidly developed by the campaign and by the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO, sponsor of Laborfest.
Union members will have to work through the offices of their locals or through meetings off the grounds with their union leaders Sunday and early Monday to get their tickets.
Thousands of tickets are available to them and thousands more will be
distributed to the general public through Obama campaign offices in Wisconsin listed below.
A statewide interest in Obama’s speech – indeed a national interest, with traveling media expected from around the world -- is anticipated, so Obama organizers suggest visiting a campaign office starting Sunday to get the essential tickets.
The central office of the Obama “Campaign for Change” is downtown at 744 N. 4th St. (corner of Wells St.). In fact, seven hours before the Obama event starts, that’s where the vintage cars and Harley motorcycles gather to kick off Labor Day's 11 a.m. parade through downtown to the Summerfest grounds.
The free events there, open to all residents and families, are full of activities for children and adults. Dozens of Summerfest’s traditional food and beverage vendors will be open for business. Two bands will rotate full time at the Miller Stage. Bingo, pro wrestling and special displays and raffles are among the attractions.
These Laborfest activities run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., leaving enough time for participants to stroll over to the Obama event, which was announced just two days in advance, on Aug. 30.
Obama’s last Milwaukee visit was Feb. 16 in a major appearance for the state Democratic Party ahead of the Wisconsin primary. Many commentators have credited that primary with galvanizing his national campaign. Obama supporters expect his speech at Laborfest will do the same for the November 4 election.
It is hard to overstate the interest in his appearances and plans.
It’s an outburst of belief reflected in the numbers who watched his acceptance speech August 27 (the most-watched convention speech ever: 38.4 million viewers -- 57% more that John Kerry in 2004).
It was also anticipated by Milwaukeeans in 2004, when Obama (not yet even the senator from Illinois) spoke at Washington Park. Many pressed forward to greet him in person, saying “I’m shaking the hand of a future president.”
The story of that talk is still on our website at http://www.milwaukeelabor.org/in_the_news/article.cfm?n_id=0012 – as is a reminder that 2004 was the first time Obama was invited to Laborfest.
A note for union leaders only (who may have been out of the office as these late plans for the Obama visit developed): call (414) 771-7070 Sunday (limited office hours, but leave a message with Robin or Lynnda) for information on how the Milwaukee Area Labor Council will be handling the tickets for union officers to distribute.
For the public, here are the Obama campaign offices (and one related outlet) where free tickets will be distributed starting at noon Sunday:
Campaign for Change Office-Appleton
214 E. College Ave.
Appleton, WI 54911
Campaign for Change Office-Beloit
432 E. Grand Ave.
Beloit, WI 53511
Campaign for Change Office-Dodge County
1231 Madison St.
Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Campaign for Change Office-Elkhorn
21 E Walworth Ave
Campaign for Change Office-Fond du Lac
39 S. Main St.
Fond du Lac, WI 53935
Campaign for Change Office-Green Bay
1041 Velp Ave.
Green Bay, WI 54303
Campaign for Change Office-Janesville
1300 Milton Ave.
Janesville, WI 53545
Campaign for Change Office—Jefferson
218 Wisconsin Drive
Jefferson, WI 53549
Campaign for Change Office-Kenosha
5810 6th Ave.
Kenosha, WI 53140
Campaign for Change Office-Madison
1709 Monroe St.
Madison, WI 53711
Campaign for Change Office--Mequon-Ozaukee County
10521 N. Port Washington Rd. (Entrance E)
Mequon, WI 53092
Milwaukee Campaign for Change Headquarters
744 N. 4th St.
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Campaign for Change Office – Milwaukee – North Side
7984 W. Appleton Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53218
Campaign for Change Office – Milwaukee – North Shore
6805 N. Green Bay Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53209
Campaign for Change Office – Milwaukee – Fifth Ward
170 S. 2nd St.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Campaign for Change Office-Oshkosh
480 N. Main St.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
Campaign for Change Office-Racine
522 6th St.
Racine, WI 53403
Campaign for Change Office-Sheboygan
501 N. 8th St.
Sheboygan, WI 53018
Shaolin Boxing Methods
202 Travis Ln
Waukesha WI 53189
Campaign for Change Office-Waukesha
804 N. Grand Ave.
Waukesha, WI 53186
Campaign for Change Office-West Allis and Wauwatosa
8633 W. Greenfield Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53214
Campaign for Change Office-West Bend
152 N. Main St.
West Bend, WI 53090
Campaign for Change Office-Whitewater
153 W. Main St.
Whitewater, WI 53190