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Democrats Unite

Presidential candidates speak out for unions

By Alonzo Webb | null null , null

alonzo webb and obama
Kid Reporter Alonzo Webb with Senator Barack Obama at the Building and Construction Trades Department conference. (Photo: Suzanne Freeman)
The Building and Construction Trades Department (BTCD) held their annual legislative conference in March 2007 in Washington, D.C. The conference was very special this year because the department invited Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to speak.

This was a chance for the BTCD to learn more about the candidates and possibly pick one to support.

"We intend to see all the candidates in action and hear what they are saying before making an endorsement,” said Edward Sullivan, president of the organization.

The presidential candidates who came out and spoke were former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM), Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL). No Republican candidates attended the conference.
hillary clinton and alonzo webb
Kid Reporter Alonzo Webb with Hilary Clinton at the Building and Construction Trades Department conference. (Photo: Courtesy of Alonzo Webb)

If the BTCD picks one of the candidates to support, it may give the candidate a better chance to win his or her party nomination. The BTCD provides important support to labor unions for workers in building and construction trades. Because they can reach so many people, the BTCD has the ability to educate and mobilize voters—which basically means they may be able to influence who voters choose.

Overall, the Democratic candidates agreed unions should be able to organize much more easily than they can now. Democrats also agreed there should be tougher free trade laws, so U.S. companies cannot just pick up and leave.

"We should stand with those who stand for us not for CEOs who pick up their headquarters and move them to Dubai, not for people who make record profits and just can't figure out how to share those with their employees," Senator Clinton said at the conference.


Scholastic Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail. Keep up with the latest election news in this special report. 


About the Author

Alonzo Webb is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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