RIDGWAY – The Elk County Democratic Committee is pleased to announce that Rick Bloomingdale, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, and John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor, will be the guest speakers at their upcoming Fall Dinner on Oct. 13.
The buffet dinner event starts at 5:30 p.m. and will take place at the Laurel Mill Golf Course Clubhouse, 230 Bonifels Ln., in Ridgway. Reservations for the dinner are currently being taken by the committee.
Bloomingdale became the fourth president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO on June 1, 2010 following his unanimous election by delegates attending the 39th Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Convention in Pittsburgh.
He began his career in the labor movement with AFSCME in 1977. Over the past four decades, he has worked tirelessly to ensure workers’ rights and was a driving force in the enactment of agency shop legislation in Pennsylvania, which was vital to workers and their families.
In 2002, he was named to the PoliticsPA “Sy Snyder’s Power 50” list of politically influential Pennsylvanians. He was also named to the PoliticsPA list of “Pennsylvania’s Top Political Activists.
In 1992, Bloomingdale worked, on loan from AFSCME in Little Rock, Ark., as labor liaison for Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaign and used his knowledge and experience to coordinate labor issues in the formation of the campaign.
He has also served on numerous boards across the Northeast and has lectured at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
Fetterman, the current mayor of Braddock in Allegheny County, has emerged as one of Pennsylvania’s leading progressive voices for working people, running on issues like inequality, racial justice and ending the failed war on drugs – issues that Democrats recognize as key to winning over and turning out voters.
He is a “true American success story.” Pennsylvania born and raised, he was born to teenage parents who were just starting out on their own. At the time, his father worked nights to put himself through college. Fetterman grew up in York, and later followed in his father’s footsteps to Albright College, where he played offensive tackle for the Lions.
At the age of 23, Fetterman joined up with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, mentoring an 8-year-old boy who had recently lost his father to AIDS and whose mother was battling the disease.
With Fetterman’s mentoring, his “little brother” graduated from college, a promise Fetterman made to the boy’s mother. Fetterman continued his service to his fellow man by joining AmeriCorps two years later.
He went on to earn a Master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he focused on finding solutions in social work, business and public policy to confront urban challenges and economic inequality.
He then returned to Pennsylvania to start a GED program in the town of Braddock, a town facing many obstacles. He focused on turning Braddock into a thriving and growing community.
In 2005, he ran for mayor. He managed to win the crowded primary by a single vote, and he’s been hard at work ever since. During the last 13 years as mayor, he has worked to build Braddock back from the verge of extinction.
In 2018, Fetterman decided to run for lieutenant governor to be a champion for struggling towns all over Pennsylvania, including places like Braddock that have gotten a “raw deal.”
In addition to Bloomingdale and Fetterman, surrogates will be in attendance to speak on behalf of Gov. Tom Wolf, U.S. Senator Bob Casey and the Susan Boser for Congress campaigns.
Democrats and union members from throughout Elk County and the surrounding area are encouraged to attend the dinner.
The buffet dinner will feature stuffed chicken breast and sliced roasted beef, sides and dessert. A cash bar will also be available.
Tickets are $20 and reservation arrangements can be made by calling 814-594-5500 or e-mailing ElkCountyDemocrats@gmail.com.