John Ratzenberger to Host Series of Town Hall Meetings on Manufacturing Issues
TV and film star will headline Keep it Made in America events to encourage voters to ask presidential candidates to speak out about the issues that threaten U.S. workers and manufacturers
TV and film star will headline Keep it Made in America events to encourage voters to ask presidential candidates to speak out about the issues that threaten U.S. workers and manufacturersWASHINGTON, D.C. (September 20, 2007) — On Sept. 25 in Manchester, N.H., television and film star John Ratzenberger and the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) will kick off the ‘Keep it Made in America’ Town Hall Meetings. The town hall series, which will travel to seven cities in 12 weeks, will highlight the growing demand among voters that the presidential candidates address the challenges facing American workers and manufacturers.
“I’m proud to partner with AAM on the ‘Keep it Made in America’ Town Hall Meetings. I’ve traveled all across this country and I’ve seen firsthand how manufacturing drives our economy. Our manufacturers, workers and their communities are the heart and soul of America,” said Ratzenberger. “In this presidential election, we have a chance to make the voices of American manufacturing heard in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina where it matters first. We're going to educate and inspire voters to ask the candidates the hard questions about jobs and to find out how they will 'Keep it made in America'.”
From humble beginnings in Bridgeport, Conn., John Ratzenberger gained international fame on the acclaimed television series ‘Cheers’. During more than three decades of movie making and theatre, John has enjoyed success as a screenwriter, director, producer and multi-Emmy nominated actor. He is also an accomplished entrepreneur and philanthropist. Today, John hosts his own show about manufacturing on the Travel Channel. John Ratzenberger's Made in America, which airs Tuesday’s at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, brings viewers the stories of the best people, places and products in the United States. He honors the men and women in the United States who work with their hands and skillfully make products that are the backbone of the American economy.
“John has a deep understanding of the challenges we face, including unfair trading practices, that affect real people and real communities all across the country,” said Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers. “In the towns that we will visit, in companies featured on John’s show, and across America, American workers and companies are under attack. Since 2000, we’ve lost a staggering 3.2 million manufacturing jobs, jobs that offer a better standard of living for millions of hard-working Americans. The town hall series will bring attention to issues that American voters are demanding to hear about—a real commitment from presidential candidates to ensure a strong manufacturing industry.”
“Keep it Made in America” town hall meetings will be held in the following cities:
• Tuesday, Sept. 25 – Manchester, N.H.
• Wednesday, Oct. 17 – Des Moines, Iowa
• Thursday, Nov. 8 – Columbus, Ohio
• Tuesday, Nov. 13 – Pittsburgh
• Thursday, Nov. 29 – Buffalo, N.Y.
• Date TBD – Chicago
• Date TBD – South Carolina
The series will target voters in the early voting and swing states like New Hampshire and Iowa who have a unique opportunity to impress upon the presidential candidates the urgency of the problems facing American manufacturing. During the town hall events, Ratzenberger will encourage voters to ask the presidential candidates three key questions to determine their commitment to keeping manufacturing jobs in the country:
• How will you save American manufacturing jobs?
• What specific policies will you enact to strengthen the American manufacturing base, which is vital to our economic and national security?
• What steps will you take to enforce our trade laws and hold cheating countries like China accountable?
“Democratic and Republican presidential candidates alike have not adequately addressed the immense challenges facing manufacturing in this country, despite the fact that this important economic sector is central to our national security. American manufacturers supply advanced materials for equipment like the Joint Strike Fighter, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Abrams Tank,” said Scott Paul, AAM’s executive director. “Voters all over America know how critical it is to reverse the decline in our industrial base and save American manufacturing jobs. We no longer can afford to sit idly by while countries like China cheat on trade agreements, threatening our ability to produce what we need domestically.
“John Ratzenberger shares AAM’s dedication to keeping the American manufacturing industry alive, and he has joined us in our quest to urge the candidates to focus on these issues,” said Paul. “The American qualities of hard work, ingenuity and innovation have enabled us to get where we are today. But, for America to remain the leader in the global economy, we have to overcome some very real challenges that threaten the vital core of our economic engine. Our town hall events will initiate this important dialogue and empower voters to continue the discussion with the presidential candidates.”
For more information on the “Keep it Made in America” town hall series please visit: www.americanmanufacturing.org and www.manufacturethis.org.