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Congressman Al Green Hosts Annual Labor Legislative Breakfast with Special Guest Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)

On Monday, October 21, 2013, Congressman Al Green hosted his annual Labor Legislative Breakfast with union leaders and local officials. Representatives from unions across the Greater Houston Area and Texas voiced their concerns on important labor-related issues. Keynote speaker Congressman Luis Gutierrez (IL-04) spoke about the strong ties between the immigrant rights’ movement and the labor movement, as well as his experiences in both. Congressman Luis Gutierrez is the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Immigration Task Force and is a member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Border Security.

During the meeting, Congressman Al Green spoke about his recent arrest along with Congressman Gutierrez to raise awareness on the issue of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

“A misdemeanor charge is a penalty that I am willing to accept to raise awareness about the issue of immigration reform,” Congressman Al Green said. “Families are being torn apart and whole communities are plagued by uncertainty, and as a result, are unable to live up to their full potential.”

He also expressed his opposition to the government shutdown, debt ceiling crisis, and the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act. Union representatives stressed the need for Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform, not raise the age of eligibility for Social Security, and discontinue the practice of legislating from one manufactured crisis to another.

“Self-imposed shutdowns and threats to default on our debts are not the way forward for the leader of the free world,” Congressman Al Green said. “When we allow extremely abnormal tactics to become the norm, we do more than place the full faith and credit of the United States at risk, we put our very way of life in jeopardy. We must compromise for the good of our country before we compromise the greatness of our country.”

During the 113th Congress, Congressman Al Green re-introduced the Original Living American Wage Act, which would increase the minimum wage by 15 percent above the poverty line every four years. He also advocated for the Johnson Space Center Workforce  Stability Act of 2013, which would create a job-training program and promote economic growth in the Johnson Space Center region.

Congressman Al Green ended the meeting by emphasizing his goals as a legislator.

“I am committed to making sure that all hard-working Americans have an opportunity to obtain a good job, fair pay, benefits, and safe working conditions that are consistent with our American values,” Congressman Al Green said. “What we are asking for is not radical. We are asking for fair wages, economic stability, and for those economically and socially contributing to this country to be granted some certainty about their status.”

 

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