March Meeting Introduces Steel Making Start Up and New Direction, Congressional Candidate, for Protecting Retirement Security

March 12, 2018
Many guests were greeted with a warm welcome from another packed house during the Granite City and Southern Illinois SOAR Chapter 7-34-2 March meeting yesterday.

After 27 months of the USS/Granite City Works being idle, the recent announcement by corporate to restart iron and steelmaking gave reason for a toast among the Chapter E-board and USW Local 50 President Craig Mckey. Craig expressed his appreciation for SOAR offering so much assistance during the entire length of long-term layoff steelworkers while giving a report on the restart, including the USS Director of Operations assurance that GCW would be provided all the resources for a successful start-up.

With the primary election cycle only one week away, SOAR Chapter President, Jeff Rains assessed the many reasons for endorsing one of the many meeting guests, Brendan Kelly for Congress for the Illinois 12th District.

Rains expressed his deep concerns developed following a recent visit by few SOAR Chapter members with the current incumbent for the 12th Mike Bost. “We delivered petitions signed by members asking he respect and protect senior’s retirement security. Bost voted for a tax cut that will add $1.8 trillion to the national debt. This will offer Bost and his party a pathway, another attempt to justify their planned efforts to make cuts to these earned benefit programs. Disturbingly, Bost had never heard of the ‘Scrap the Cap’ design that would add long-term stability to the Social Security revenue stream. He pledged not to vote on any bill that affects current recipients of Social Security or Medicare, but everything else is on the table.”

These topics combined led to a good reason to endorse the introduced candidate, Brendan Kelly.
Keeping with the theme for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, Kelly beckoned back to his ethnic roots saying, “These Irish eyes are smiling a lot lately. Before serving as the St. Clair County States Attorney, I served in the Navy. Putting our country first, just like those of you in this room, I believe in service. Running for Congress is a position I believe will lead to replacing some of those currently in office that look upon Medicare and Social Security programs as just a burden. We have a group of Congressmen who have this world view that it’s every man for himself. We have an obligation to take care of one another.”

Touching on the excitement built in the room following the toast with Mckey, Kelly said, “I am excited these steelworker jobs are coming back. Adding to the national security concerns that American-made steel provide, the ship I served on was made of American steel. We want to keep it that way. We also want to stop efforts to destroy organized labor. If not, there will be a real threat to the middle class standard of living.”

The Senior Vice-Commander of the Madison-Venice American Legion Post 307 was a guest as well. He provided details for the Operation Comfort Warrior Program. “One hundred percent of donations go to this program. This provides rehabilitation for veterans, offering funds for what the federal programs consider non-essentials. We are going into the 100 year anniversary of the American Legion and everyone is welcome to attend our events.”