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Cohen: Democracy Must Be Everyone's Second Issue

The Alliance for Justice honored CWA President Larry Cohen with its 2014 Champion of Justice Award. Presenting the award was Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) with a special video message from Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who praised Cohen for leading the charge to change the Senate rules on nominations.

 

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The Alliance for Justice named CWA President Larry Cohen its 2014 Champion of Justice for leading the charge to change the Senate rules on nominations. From left: Senator Tom Harkin, AFJ President Nan Aron, President Cohen.

Photo credit: Elliott O'Donovan

 

Harkin spoke of Cohen's passion and determination to get things accomplished. "Larry was the critical part of our work on the Employee Free Choice Act. We met week after week after week to get this done, and we came so close. If it weren't for the Senate rules, we'd have employee free choice, we'd have labor law reform. And it was Larry's leadership that drove the rules reform effort. He was relentless and never stopped for a minute, until we won."

"Our work with Larry and the other members of the Fix the Senate Now coalition led to the extraordinary reform of Senate rules, which helped break the pattern of obstruction that has been doing so much damage to our courts and our democratic institutions," said AFJ President Nan Aron.

Cohen stressed that Aron and AFJ have been a big part of the campaign to get key nominations confirmed by the Senate, even when the focus was on executive nominations, like members of the National Labor Relations Board, instead of judicial nominations. "In our work together, Nan said 'we need to be united,'" Cohen said.

"Maybe the issue you most care about is collective bargaining rights, or financial reform or climate change. That's good. But the democracy movement to rebuild economic justice must be everyone's second issue. Or we won't get anywhere," he said.

Click here for another good example of why the democracy movement matters.