Lawrence Abbott is one of Move to Amend’s most active, tireless, enthusiastic and effective volunteers locally in the Oakland Bay area, state-wide in California and nationally – serving on our Labor Caucus.
A retired member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Lawrence has also been extremely active in volunteering with his local labor federation: the Alameda Labor Council (ALC).
Lawrence was recognized recently by the ALC as the “Unionist of the Year” for his tireless, enthusiastic, and effective volunteer activities.
click on the image or on the link below to watch his inspiring acceptance speech.
He touches on the importance of volunteering, the need for a powerful Labor movement to organize for justice in all its forms and the need for fundamental change – including enacting the We the People Amendment – to save the world!
We congratulate Lawrence for his well-deserved award! He is one of many incredible MTA volunteers across the country – many of whom are reading this right now – working selflessly to connect people, groups, issues and strategies for justice, community, democracy and a livable world that takes many forms – including ending corporate “personhood” and money as free speech.
We're glad he's on our team!
Read his speech below.
Lawrence Abbott's Unionist of the Year Award Acceptance Speech
I want to talk about volunteerism, Labor, and saving the world.
Volunteering is special because it’s a personal decision, we don’t have to do it, and we don’t typically get an award or anything for doing it.
Thank you again!
But to win for labor requires volunteerism because we can only win for workers with power that is greater than corporate power - and that power - is people power!
So as corporate power keeps growing, and getting stronger, (SCOTUS) and the dark winds of Fascism have come to America to solve our growing problems - by killing democracy - we as labor can’t keep our heads down. As unionists, we can’t afford to stay in our lanes when our system is going off the rails, and as our world burns. It just isn’t logical, nor safe - not for our union members- not for our children - not for anyone.
And the many great leaders that make up this labor council deeply understand this, and that, is the primary reason why I choose to volunteer here!
The Alameda Labor Council is, and has been, fearless in fighting for justice, not just for our members contracts, and local high road jobs, but for human rights, and women’s rights, and all types of minority groups, and for system change to save democracy and our planet, and to fix this rotten ass broken and corrupted system! (Oops, sorry)
And this labor council knows how to fix it! We really do!
Our resolutions for justice are many, but my favorite alc resolution is the one that passed unanimously, supporting Pramila Jayapal’s We the People Amendment, as the best - and most comprehensive way to overturn Citizens United, to end corporate personhood and money as speech, and restore OUR constitution, democracy, and OUR rightful power - people power, …and as Barbara Lee told this council a few ago, this amendment will benefit unions by greatly increasing the power of the people, and unions run on people power! (Thank you again Senator Lee- oops!- Representative Lee, for supporting us, as cosponsor of We the People!). Barbie!!!
Restoring our constitution and our power with this amendment won’t be easy nor quick, but it will pass when we all demand it, and I want to see it happen in my lifetime, so that we can finally finish the pledge of allegiance - “with liberty and justice for all”, period exclamation point!!!
And fellow unionists and volunteers, please take note - our California labor councils can now support Alex Lee’s AB83 as a stepping stone (and an accelerator) towards passing our amendment, and Minnesota just passed this identical bill with support from every single Democrat because it will stop foreign money influence - the massive amounts of dark and dirty corporate foreign money that has been influencing and corrupting our elections since Citizens United. (think Prop22 when Uber and Lyft kicked our ass with over 200 million dollars. If AB83 were law back then, they wouldn’t have been able to spend a penny against labor because , turns out, they are heavily foreign owned multinationals, like most giant corporations are - and they won’t be able to spend a penny In Minnesota, and soon, with your help, California too! )
We felt absolutely terrible here, when we failed to defeat Proposition 22,. It turns out it was Saudi Arabia that defeated us! Now I just feel terrified.
So, you see, I absolutely had to use my time on this stage, for organizing for the long term success of this labor council, and for the labor movement, and for all of us. Because when we organize?…I couldn’t hear you. When we organize? … I don’t think they heard you in the lobby. When we organize?. …
That’s right, when we organize strategically and fearlessly we will win - a bright new day for Labor and everyone!
Volunteer my friends!!! Stay safe! And always keep a focus and a commitment, to make life wonderful for each other!
Thank you again.
Shelly, George, Katie, Cole, Daniel, Jennie, Keyan, Michael, Margaret, Joni Alfonso, Jessica, Jason, Tara, Ambrosia & Greg
- Move to Amend National Team
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