Labor Day Message from our Executive Director, Jon Riley

Siblings, the Napa Solano Central Labor Council would like to thank you for supporting working men and women by attending our 9th annual Labor Day Breakfast. This holiday is meant to pay tribute to the courageous men and women who paved the way towards the rights we enjoy today and honor those that currently continue to fight in these extraordinary times. 

 We also hope to identify a new generation of warriors, not only to fight to keep the benefits, wages and rights we still have, but to use their collective creativity, passion and grasp of the issues to take back what has been lost. Never has a generation of young siblings had at the tips of their fingers, keyboards that allow them to educate, motivate and generate a following of likeminded people than we have today. We need to allow them the latitude to show us more seasoned combatants the tools that we have at our disposal and let them flag their own futures.

 We find ourselves in a place in history never imagined and the steps we take in the next year will be the most critical ever faced. And if we have any chance of surviving it will take a willingness to listen to our young siblings, form never considered coalitions and take a hard look in the mirror at what our mission really is. 

The theme for our breakfast is “the future of labor and party in these extraordinary times”. Notice that I did not name any particular party and even though our special guest is the new chairperson of the Democratic Party I am sure he would agree the if we hope to move forward it will take a willingness to acknowledge, Party and Labor alike, that working men and women come in all shapes, sizes, genders, races, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and yes, even political parties!

 If we are not willing to change the way we talk to our members and what we talk to them about, we risk losing them forever. Election after election our members are convinced to vote against their own best interests by supporting those that use biases, maybe just one, to get us to turn away from our shared values. Whether it’s Immigration, sexual orientation or any number of issues meant to divide us, they use any one of these cracks in our character to blind us, if only for the instant it takes to punch a ballot, of what is truly important, like the right to raise our families with dignity and respect.

 We cannot hope to fight those attempting to divide us if we ourselves are divided. We cannot accuse others of using divisive tactics against us while using them against ourselves. So I challenge our young siblings, who have the most at stake, to step up. Use your gifts to cut through the chaff and identify the best way forward and then demand to be that adult in the room when deciding your futures.

 The Napa Solano Central Labor Council is the place where all working people stand together!  

Jon Riley

Executive Director - Napa-Solano Central Labor Council