Presidential candidates answer member questions at Teamster forum in Iowa

From left to right: Local 856 Representative Corey Hallman, Local 350 Member Quentin Booker, Local 856 Shop Steward Erica Goldblatt, Local 856 Political Director Tricia Suzuki Blinstrub, Local 350 Secretary-Treasurer John Bouchard, and Local 2010 Recording-Secretary Ali Tweini

Early this month, Local 856 Shop Steward Erica Goldblatt, Political Director Tricia Suzuki Blinstrub, and Representative Corey Hallman traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to take part in the Teamsters Presidential Candidates Forum on December 7th.

Six top Democratic candidates were in attendance: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, investor and activist Tom Steyer, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The candidates answered questions in front of 700 Teamsters from around the country and were held to task on issues identified through surveys as the most important to members: pension and retirement security, expanding collective bargaining rights, and fair trade.

“I think the candidates recognize the power Teamsters have and recognize that we vote and have influence not just politically, but individual influence in our communities,” said Erica who is shop steward at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco.

With the California primary election just around the corner on March 3, 2020, it is becoming increasingly more important for all Local 856 members to become politically informed as they prepare to head to the polls.

“I think our members understand that in the workplace if you don’t say something and make your desires known, other people will make those decisions for you,” continued Erica. “But we have to make sure we know this in politics as well. It’s always about having a seat at the table and voting is sticking up for yourself, your family, and your community.”

If you missed it, you can go to to watch the full Teamsters Presidential Candidates Forum.

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