June 9, 2020

Mr. Richard Trumka
815 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Re: Committee on Human and Civil Rights and Legislation and Policy Resolution

Dear President Trumka,

On behalf of the Metal Trades Department, please be advised that I applaud the work of the Committee on Human and Civil Rights and Legislation and Policy, and I wholeheartedly urge the Executive Council to adopt the proposed resolution.

The past weeks have been ones of deep reflection for me. I have listened to the statements of our members, activists, and the American people engaged on all sides of the conversation about racial equity. It is not lost on me that as a white man, who has benefited from the privilege of being so, that I cannot fully understand the struggles and obstacles overcome by our brothers and sisters of color. But I have learned that I can and must listen to their voices, and that I can and must do better.

Our nation and our movement are at a crossroads. Years of being under attack by special interests and corporations with unlimited resources have necessarily led to the devotion of significant resources into preservation rather than progress. This  resolution represents a measured and appropriate first step in the right direction.

We must do more than renew our focus on empowering our members of color. We must also listen and welcome with open arms the statements and ideas of our brothers and sisters in the Black Lives Matters movement. It’s far past time that all in labor roll up our sleeves and join these marches for justice and equality. Let’s open our doors and welcome the Black Lives Matter movement as a partner for social change. Let’s devote our experience and resources in organization and strategic campaigning to empowering and supporting this movement.

With warmest regards, I remain

In Solidarity,

James Hart

6.9.20 MTD Hart-Trumka Civil Rights Policy Resolution