Saturday, September 03, 2016

La Pietra Will Walk to "Bridge the Gap" Between Marshall's Labor Monuments on Labor Day Morning


John Anthony La Pietra is running for Michigan's 63 district State Representative.

John Anthony La Pietra
for State Representative/63rd District

611 N Linden St  *  Marshall, MI  49068
Facebook:  jalp4thePeople

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2016
[re-distributed September 2]

La Pietra Will Walk to "Bridge the Gap" Between
Marshall's Labor Monuments on Labor Day Morning
Green Candidate for 63rd District State Representative
Will Visit Monuments to Founding of Railroad Union and
Commemoration of Anti-Slavery Crosswhite Incident

John Anthony La Pietra, Green Party candidate for 63rd District State

Labor Day "Bridge the Gap" Walk

Starting at 11 am on Monday, September 5.

Intersection of Michigan Avenue, East Drive, and East Mansion Street in

To honor the labor and anti-slavery history of the 63rd District.

John Anthony La Pietra, the Green Party candidate for State
Representative for the 63rd District, will honor labor history -- and
resistance against slavery -- on Labor Day by walking from one of the
district's national labor monuments to the other.

John will start his walk at 11 am at the intersection of East Drive,
East Mansion Street, and Michigan Avenue in Marshall -- original site of
the house where a union known as the Brotherhood of the Footboard was
founded in 1863.

That name didn't last long; the next year, it changed to the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Engineers.  But the union itself endured -- and endures
today, adding Trainmen to its coverage in 2004 when it became a division
of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The house, home to founder Jared C. "Yankee" Thompson, still stands too
-- though it has been moved to 633 West Hanover (at the corner of
Linden).  One of Marshall's 47 state historical markers is there.

Eighty years after the union was born, it put up a stone monument on
that small triangular spit of land -- which also boasts a plaque to
another piece of what could be called Marshall's "labor" history:  the
1847 Crosswhite Incident, where city residents helped protect an escaped
slave from agents of his former owner.

After reading the inscriptions on the two monuments there, John will
start walking to the Thompson home.  On the way, he will also stop at
the Marshall Peace Park on the south side of Michigan Avenue, a block
and a half east of the Fountain Circle.

Time and weather permitting, John will show respect for those who have
labored before -- by cleaning up the monument site and the park.

"Michigan has a total of fifteen entries in the Inventory of American
Labor Landmarks, and two of them are right here in Marshall," John
notes.  "They give the people of the 63rd District a way to remember
what Labor Day is all about.

"I welcome anyone who is willing to join me in taking time, on a holiday
brought to us BY the People, to honor the other benefits grassroots
organized laborers have brought all of us . . . everything from safer
workplaces to workdays and -weeks short enough to leave some precious
time for an actual family life -- FOR the People."

John adds, "In this year when more people are recognizing that Black
Lives Matter, respect should be paid to the Crosswhite Incident -- to
those whose lives once mattered to others only as property, and to their
defense against unjust law and authority BY the People."  He also notes
a recent study suggesting that union membership helps narrow wage
inequality for African American workers.


For the full list of US Labor Landmarks, including Michigan's, see

A picture of the Thompson home that was the birthplace of the
"Brotherhood of the Footboard" can be seen at

The Center for Economic and Policy Research's study "Black Workers,
Unions, and Equality" can be downloaded from

[UPDATE:  There is also another new report, from the Economic Policy
Institute, titled "Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers:  The
overlooked reason why wages are stuck and inequality is growing".  It is
available at the link below.]

You can read a column John wrote for the former Marshall _Review_
newspaper about his 2002 Labor Day walk, and other alternative ways to
celebrate the holiday, at

For more information on the Green Party of Michigan, its Ten Key Values,
its platform, and its other candidates -- including eight more that
Calhoun and Kalamazoo County voters will see on the November 8 ballot --

    Green Party of Michigan
    PO Box 504
    Warren, MI  48090-0504
        Facebook:  migreens
        Twitter:  @migreenparty

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prepared and distributed
(with donated labor) by

John Anthony La Pietra
for State Representative/63rd District

611 N Linden St  *  Marshall, MI  49068
Facebook:  jalp4thePeople