“Every time they talk about COVID and the economic crisis like it’s in the rearview mirror, it’s an insult to our health care workers, it’s an insult to the 15,000 Floridians we have lost, and it’s an insult to the tens of thousands of workers who apply for unemployment every week here in Florida. Again, they don’t have a plan, and what happens when you don’t have a plan is chaos.” — State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez
MIAMI, FL — Yesterday, ahead of Mike Pence and Donald Trump’s visit to Miami, Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez, State Rep. Javier Fernandez, and Wendi Walsh, Secretary-Treasurer of Unite Here Local 355 slammed Trump and Pence’s erratic and ineffective COVID-19 response that has failed working families and led to an ongoing unemployment crisis in Florida. Read highlights from their remarks below or contact [email protected] for video footage.
Yesterday, the DNC War Room deployed a floating mobile billboard to Miami’s waterways, displaying the multilingual message “Trump Lied, 215,000+ Died” in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. The floating billboard interrupted a Trump boat parade, illustrating with stark imagery that Trump’s failure to respond to the pandemic cannot be ignored, especially for those who lost a loved one in the last seven months.
DNC floating mobile billboard interrupts Trump boat parade ahead of Trump’s Miami town hall
Miami elected and labor leaders led a press conference to swat away Trump and Pence’s campaign lies, and highlight economic toll Trump’s incompetent leadership is continuing to reap
HIGHLIGHTS FROM PRESS CONFERENCE
Congresswoman. Debbie Murcusal-Powell – Also delivered remarks in Spanish
“The public health and economic crisis that we are facing today have worsened this problem. And yet, Donald Trump continues to downplay the threat of this virus. Unfortunately, later today, he will continue to mislead the country on the threat of COVID-19. Trump has been joined at every step of the way by his golfing buddy, Carlos Giménez who is my opponent, and has overseen the death and the economic destruction here in Miami-Dade. Just like President Trump, Carlos Giménez revealed during COVID just how little he cares about working people.”
“…The American dream is at stake in this election. That’s why we need people who will fight for families…we need to fight for the HEROES Act, give direct payments to people, unemployment benefits, funding for testing, for schools, and for first responders… We need leaders like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who have a plan, a national strategic plan, to crush this virus and to make sure we build better after this pandemic. Our vote is our voice. If we vote, if we vote, we will win.”
State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez – Also delivered remarks in Spanish
“Even though Trump and Pence are going to be here today in Miami, they have not been here for us in the last few months, especially during this pandemic. And the truth is, they don’t have a plan — Ron DeSantis doesn’t have a plan, Trump and Pence don’t have a plan, either for the pandemic, or for the economic crisis. And because they don’t have a plan, when they talk about COVID, when they talk about the economic crisis, they talk about it like it’s in the rearview mirror.
“In reality, and we don’t have to tell anybody this, other than DeSantis and Trump, but the reality is that our constituents are still suffering. Every time they talk about COVID and the economic crisis like it’s in the rearview mirror, it’s an insult to our health care workers, it’s an insult to the 15,000 Floridians who have lost, and it’s an insult to the tens of thousands of workers who apply for unemployment every week here in Florida. Again, they don’t have a plan, and what happens when you don’t have a plan is chaos. And that’s what DeSantis, Trump, and Pence have brought us.”
Former State Rep, Javier Fernandez, and candidate for State Senate District 39, where Pence held his rally
“As we all know, Florida has been very hard hit by this pandemic. Tens of thousands of South Floridians have lost their jobs, seen their hours cut, pay slashed, lost their health care coverage, and in many cases, the business they built their entire lives [were] destroyed in recent months.”
“…The people of this community earn far too little for the amount of hours they put into making our community better every single day. A minimum wage should be a floor that allows people to earn a living wage, not a ceiling for their hard work. Unfortunately, people like Donald Trump, Vice President Pence, and my opponent, Ana Maria Rodriguez, don’t seem to understand the sacrifices people make to get by today.”
“The choice is between what kind of country and what kind of community we want to be: one that takes care of each other, or one that just looks out for the wealthy and powerful — and we’ve got too much of that in Washington and Tallahassee today. The stakes of this election are extremely, extremely high and we can’t pass up on our opportunity to vote.”
Wendi Walsh, Political Director for Unite Here Local 355
“In March, almost all the 34,000 hospitality workers represented by Unite Here were laid off, as stay at home orders spread throughout the state. Governor DeSantis and President Trump played politics with the pandemic, ignoring the seriousness of it, for people’s lives and for the economy. As a result, we had many members who then fell sick for several weeks, and some who have since died. Nearly all of our members continue to be out of work, especially here in South Florida, where stadiums, several of our hotels and restaurants remain closed, or if they’re open, have nearly no guests. Nearly 90% of our membership continues to be out of work.
“But let’s not get lost in the statistics. Let’s talk about Hermana Maya. Hermana Maya [worked at] the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. He was a loving father, a loving husband, with four beautiful children. When his hotel closed in March, Herman lost his livelihood, and lost his health insurance. He and his wife contracted COVID, and like so many others, Herman lost his battle and lost his life to the virus.
“President Trump has been endangering people’s lives — not only by failing to take the virus seriously, but also by failing to provide national unemployment relief to laid off workers who desperately need it, and failing to extend health benefits to all Americans. Herman and his family, they did nothing wrong. Herman was an incredible hard working man, and a great provider for his family.
“Our members are struggling. They’re facing evictions every day, and the hospitality industry continues to flounder. Our members will never forget how they were treated over the past six months. I have no doubt that that will be reflected in the polls on November 3rd. Our members have never been more engaged politically then they are today. They know who has stood with them, and who has left them behind.”
“…I have no doubt that no one could have stopped this virus from coming, but President Trump and Governor DeSantis haven’t taken it seriously. And by that, they haven’t taken working people seriously, and their families. The impact it’s had on us here in Florida didn’t need to be this devastating.”