PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WYTV) – Representative Tim Ryan, of Niles, joined a powerful lineup of lawmakers, celebrities and advocates Thursday night to speak in front of the Democratic National Convention.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi spoke before him. Then, just before 8:00 p.m., he walked onto the Philadelphia stage and talked for seven minutes.
From the very first word, Congressman Ryan talked about home.
“I’m from Niles, Ohio, an old manufacturing town in the Steel Belt halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.”
He talked about the loss of the steel industry and his grandfather, John Rizzi, who was a steelworker. Ryan said that one day, he asked his grandfather if they could go to the closest store.
“He said, ‘No. The meatcutters are on strike and we will not cross that picket line.'”
On Donald Trump, Ryan said that the Republican nominee got rich stiffing small businesses and contractors.
“Now he says he’s going to bring our jobs back. Hey Ohio, we ain’t buying it.”
In his address, Ryan also said that Trump cuts deals to make his line of products in China, Mexico and Bangladesh; not in Youngstown, Akron, Niles, Warren or Pittsburgh.
When it came time to talk about Hillary Clinton, the congressman got the audience involved.
“When President Obama needed a secretary of state to rebuild America’s standing in the world, Hillary said, ‘Send me.'”
Ryan mentioned his alma mater, Warren JFK High School, and ended with a rally cry for Clinton.
“Tonight you’ll hear from Hillary Clinton on how she will lead us to our best days, together.”
I’m from Niles, Ohio, an old manufacturing town in the Steel Belt. When our largest steel plant closed on September 19, 1977, 5,000 workers lost their jobs overnight. Over the next decade, 40,000 more lost theirs. Families were wrecked, communities destroyed, and we felt betrayed. But, we were fighters, we were gritty, we stuck together, and we never lost the basic American value of respect for work and respect for workers.
For 40 years, my grandfather, John Rizzi, was a steelworker. One day, late in his life, he asked me to take him grocery shopping. We’d go to one store for meat, another for cheese, always looking for the sale. Hours later, with one last stop, I asked, “Grandpa, could we go to the closest store?”
And he said NO! “The meat cutters are on strike. We will NOT cross that picket line.”
That’s how I was raised. That’s how many of you were raised. When in doubt, we are on the side of the worker. Because we respect the men and women who punch a clock, the ones who shower after they get home from the job. We respect the fighters who go to work early, stay late, and pour their hearts into what they do.
But Donald Trump? He’s been stabbing workers in the back for years. Trump got rich ripping people off, stiffing small businesses and contractors. Now he says he’s gonna bring back our jobs? Hey, Ohio, don’t buy it! This guy cut deals to make the Trump line of products in China, Mexico, Bangladesh! Not Youngstown, not Akron, not Niles!
If he really cared about our jobs, he would have hired some of our people! Trump’ll take care of millionaires like himself, but the rest of us? We’ll end up holding the bag, again. Economists say he’s promised so many tax breaks to rich guys and corporations, it will cost us 3.5 million jobs, and put us $30 trillion deeper in debt. Meanwhile, he says he’ll let Wall Street gamble with our economic security, again. This isn’t a road map for a better future, it’s what tanked our economy in 2008. Donald Trump is not on our side.
But you know who is? – Hillary Clinton. She respects workers, and she’s got a plan to help them. In her first 100 days, she’ll make the biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II. She’ll put people to work repairing roads, bridges, and schools. Her “Make it in America” plan will put $10 billion into rebuilding our manufacturing sector.
These initiatives will be a huge shot in the arm for our autoworkers, our steelworkers and our friends in the building and construction trades. And Hillary Clinton has proposed a plan that lets workers share in the profits they create, because Hillary knows that working people built this country, together.
Our workers deserve respect. They deserve peace of mind, and a piece of the pie. They deserve a President who will put them first, and it’s up to us to elect one.
As a Catholic school boy, my favorite Bible verse became Isaiah 6:8. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord say, ‘whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ …here I am; send me.” At every stage of her life, Hillary has said, “Send me.” When our children needed health care, Hillary said, “Send me.” When our first responders in New York and New Jersey needed support after 9/11, Hillary said, “Send me.” When President Obama needed a Secretary of State to rebuild America’s standing in the world, Hillary said, “Send me.” And each of these times she got it done! So now it’s our turn.
Find out how you can get involved by downloading Hillary’s app. Take out your phone and text APP to 47246. And let’s send her all the way to the White House. Because just like workers on the job we are stronger when we are together; Stronger Together when our economy works for everyone; Stronger Together when we work with our allies to keep our nation safe; Stronger Together when every citizen has an opportunity to live the American dream; and tonight you’ll hear how Hillary will lead us to our best days, together.