ATLANTA – American Federation of Government Employees National President and Democratic National Committee member J.David Cox Sr. released the following statement after the election of Tom Perez as Chairman and Keith Ellison as Deputy Chairman of the Democratic Party:
"I am committed to working with the Democratic Party’s new chairman, Tom Perez, and Deputy Chairman, Keith Ellison, to build a party that is focused on the struggles of working and middle class Americans whose security and economic well-being must be at the center of all we do. Although I supported Keith Ellison’s candidacy, I applaud Tom Perez for acknowledging the closeness of the race and naming Keith his Deputy Chairman as his very first act.
"The Democratic party cannot succeed if it minimizes its historic commitment to economic justice and shared prosperity. The vast majority of Americans, including the federal and District of Columbia employees represented by my union, want political leaders to focus on their bread and butter issues: higher wages, affordable healthcare, retirement income security, good public schools, good roads and public transportation, clean air and water, and safe communities.
"We cannot cater to every desire of Wall Street and our corporate donors and simultaneously meet the needs of the majority of American workers. It doesn’t work like that.
"Democratic Party unity is a must, but it cannot occur if leaders ignore the pain that working and middle class Americans are experiencing with the assumption that the other guy will always be worse.
"I am confident that Tom Perez will not ignore Keith Ellison’s supporters because they represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. They represent the Party's conscience, its commitment to inclusivity, equality, and a just economy. Tom Perez is no stranger to this wing of the Party. As Secretary of Labor, he was a strong advocate of unions, and growing and strengthening the labor movement should be the Democratic Party’s top priority, because union members are the Party’s most reliable progressive voters, and unions are the most effective means of raising up the standard of living of all Americans."