By Brandon Moseley
Monday, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL07) joined Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in welcoming the U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh to Birmingham. The visit was intended to promote the signing of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14026, which increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour for federal contractors and the Biden-Harris Administration’s Build Back Better agenda.
“I want you to know that we’re going to continue fighting in Washington for everyday people,” Sewell said during her remarks from Monday’s lunch at the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union’s Hall. “This president promised to deliver, and I am proud of the fact that he’s delivered on three major things. First, he said that he was going to pass the American Rescue Plan and give money directly to counties, cities, and essential workers. Which is exactly what he did in the American Rescue Plan.”
“Secondly, he said that he would do infrastructure! The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill's $1.2 trillion dollars will create two million good paying jobs every year in the United States of America.” Sewell said. “The third thing he promised to deliver on is the Build Back Better Act that just passed the House of Representatives. This bill was not just about physical infrastructure, it was about social infrastructure and creating that social safety net to ensure that working families can really do what? Work!”
Sewell said the bill will help families with childcare, elder care, universal pre-k, and healthcare.
“I’m also a proud supporter of the PRO Act, which ensures that unions can organize and collective bargain,” Sewell said. “This intimidation from management must STOP and I want to thank the Amazon workers of Alabama for leading the way on that.”
“In closing, Secretary Walsh, you are welcome to come back! We don’t only have the University of Alabama we have Auburn too,” Sewell said. “We have a lot of great football players but we also have southern hospitality that we are very, very proud of and that you will continue to experience today."
Walsh joined local leaders at Innovation Depot, a startup ecosystem in Birmingham, where they were joined by University of Alabama-Birmingham President Dr. Ray Watts, leadership from UAB, Innovate Birmingham, and Birmingham Promise for a tour of the facility. The Birmingham Promise project provides scholarships and apprenticeships to Birmingham City School students. Current and former students of Innovation Depot described their experiences with the program.
Sewell joined Walsh, Mayor Woodfin, and two local union workers for a rally in the historic Kelly Ingram Park to celebrate the signing of Executive Order 14026. This was followed by a tour of the park where Walsh saw the “Four Spirits” memorial to the four little girls who died in the 16th Street Church bombing in 1963. Walsh later toured the 16th Street Baptist Church.
The visit concluded with a tour of The Dannon Project followed by a roundtable with Woodfin, Walsh, Sewell, the Executive Director of The Dannon Project Kerri Pruitt, and the Alabama Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington.
According to Sewell’s office, Alabama will receive $5.2 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years. Alabama will receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state.
Republicans claim that Biden’s policies are responsible for record inflation, particularly in food and fuel prices.
Sewell is the only Democrat in Alabama’s congressional delegation. She is serving in her sixth term representing Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District.