Bipartisan congressional relationships stand to benefit SMART members

July 31, 2023

Congresswoman Craig

SMART’s political advocacy has paid off during recent years, as pro-labor members of Congress voted to invest in our jobs and our industries with the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. International and local union leaders continue to forge political relationships in order to benefit members across the country — and in April, the strength of those relationships was made clear, as congressional leaders from both parties stopped by SMART’s reception during the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) Legislative Conference.

SMART members in attendance heard from Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Nannette Barragán (D-Calif.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Valerie Hoyle (D-Ore.). Members in each representative’s respective state turned out in force to put those candidates in office; in return, each candidate has acted on our behalf: from introducing legislation to bring labor to the table on workforce training standards, to voting to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

“I’m standing here today because of labor,” Craig said before urging Local 10 (Minnesota) members to leave to watch the Minnesota Wild playoff hockey game. “You knocked so many damn doors, and I promise I will be here for you every damn day.”

Congresswoman Hoyle

“I can guarantee to all of you that I’m never going to stop fighting for you,” Hoyle declared later. The former UNITE HERE member added: “If you come into my office, I’ve got hard hat stickers from SMART, I’ve got my AFL-CIO posters up — you walk into my office, you know it is a union office.”

SMART members also heard from Local 19 (Philadelphia, Pa.) President and Business Manager Gary Masino, who is currently running for city council to represent Northeast Philadelphia. Masino was born and raised in Northeast Philly — he knows from experience that working people need a champion for their interests in office. As councilmember, he vowed to work tirelessly for safer streets, jobs that pay livable wages and to invest in Philadelphia schools.

“I’m going to fight for labor and do everything I can to make Philadelphia a union town again,” Masino said.