California Workers Mourn the Loss of Sen. Edward Kennedy
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“California workers mourn the loss of a great friend and ally today with the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy. Even though Sen. Kennedy represented a state more than 3,000 miles away, his tireless advocacy for working people and his unflinching resolve to do what’s right leave a lasting impression on California.
“On his signature issue – health care reform – Sen. Kennedy’s voice was always present, regardless of whether the debate was in Washington or California. When the California labor movement was in the throes of a huge fight to pass health care reform in 2004, Sen. Kennedy came to the state to lend us invaluable support and guidance. When he spoke in California on health care his voice rose with such passion the rest of the world seemed silent for that moment. There was no mistaking his dedication to the cause or his commitment to help — anywhere, anytime.
“Sen. Kennedy’s work on issues such as health care, immigration, and workers’ freedom to form and join unions touched the lives of so many in California, leaving a legacy few others in American politics can match. Throughout his storied career, we always knew that no matter how big the challenge or how long the odds, Sen. Kennedy was in Washington fighting for us. He never gave up hope that we could create a better America in which workers’ rights were respected, the vulnerable were protected and quality health care was available to everyone.
“Today, California workers recommit to ensuring the Sen. Kennedy’s vision for America becomes a reality.”