Bustos invites John Deere worker as State of the Union guest

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced that she has invited Pam Davidson, a John Deere worker from Galesburg, to be her guest to the President’s State of the Union Address this Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

Davidson is a lifelong resident of Galesburg, and has worked at John Deere in Moline since 2004. Before that, Davidson worked for Maytag in Galesburg for 15 years, until the plant and her job moved to Mexico in 2003. Davidson is an active member of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“Nothing is more important to me than fighting for American workers like Pam Davidson and to rebuild our manufacturing base and the good-paying middle class jobs it provides,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “That’s why during my first year in office, I prioritized creating jobs here at home in Illinois, growing our local economy and standing up for the working families of our region. I strongly hope that President Obama will focus his State of the Union Address on laying out a clear agenda that puts Illinois workers like Pam ahead of politics and creates a future of greater economic opportunity for all working-class Americans."

Last year, Bustos invited Dot Turner, a laid off Sensata worker from Freeport, to be her State of the Union guest. Dot Turner was one of 170 Illinois workers whose jobs got shipped overseas after Sensata Technologies’ Freeport plant was shut down and moved to China. Many of the workers at Sensata were forced to train their Chinese replacements before their jobs were shipped overseas and the plant shut down.

During her first year in office, Bustos has made fighting for American jobs and manufacturing a top priority. As part of the House Democrats’ “Make it in America” initiative, Bustos introduced the American Jobs Matter Act, a common sense bill that would increase American manufacturing and boost job creation at home by allowing the government to consider the creation of American jobs when accepting bids for taxpayer-funded federal contracts. Following a tour of the seven community colleges that serve the region, Bustos introduced the Access to Education and Training Act which would allow students, many of whom are non-traditional, who receive Pell grants to take advantage of them year-round so they can complete their courses faster and get back into the workforce.

Bustos has also launched “Partnering for Illinois’ Economic Future,” to help increase collaboration to create jobs and bolster the region’s economy. As part of this on-going initiative, Bustos partnered with the University of Illinois to hold three regional economic meetings in August and a district-wide economic summit in November; she’s also solicited the public through a variety of ways to get input on how to best improve the region’s economic future.

Additionally, Bustos has supported efforts to strengthen the “Buy America” requirements for transportation and infrastructure projects, eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, crack down on unfair currency manipulation from countries like China, fight against sequestration and furloughs and ensure that American flags are made right here in America. Bustos also holds regular “Cheri on Shifts” where she meets with and shadows workers at their job site.