Mahlon Mitchell to Wisconsin Democratic Convention: “Let’s Make History”
"I’m asking for your help in Wisconsin."
Following his speech, Mitchell was joined by Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-4) who echoed his call for a proven leader to take on two-term Governor Scott Walker. Rep. Moore is the only sitting member of Congress to endorse in the democratic gubernatorial primary, and joins Mahlon Mitchell’s growing endorsement list, including the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, AFSCME Wisconsin, The International Association of Fire Fighters, Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, Service Employees International Union Wisconsin Council, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1473, Wisconsin State Council of Machinists, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 420, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998, Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney, and received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction.
Photos from the convention can be found here.
Below are Mitchell’s remarks, as written:
Are we fired up?
Are we fired up?
I see my fire fighters are fired up there in the back, thank you for coming!
My name is Mahlon Mitchell and I’m going to start off by telling a joke.
First of all I want to acknowledge my team: my wife April, my kids – my daughter is actually a freshman here at UW Oshkosh and my son who is in 8th grade in public school. Thank you all for your support and time. This is not an easy thing for families, so if you all could give them a quick round of applause.
My son has a dance tonight, he’s the president of his 8th grade class. So he told me that if I want to learn how to win an election he’s the only Mitchell that has done that.
But in all seriousness, I’d like to talk to you all briefly about my journey-
I ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2012 and I got to meet a lot of you then. I got 1,156,520 votes – ish. But who’s counting?
Why labor is so important to me?
How did I come to this journey where we’re at right now?
In the interest of time I can only tell a quick part of this story and it goes like this:
When I came on the job, about 6 years in, there was a young man by the name of Casey Carlin. Long story made short, Casey was in a bad, bad accident. He had about one year on the job, he was a military veteran, had his life ahead of him.
Unfortunately, when he fell off the snowmobile it triggered a call. On my voicemail, I actually heard other firefighters, my other brothers and sisters pumping on his chest. I heard paramedics trying to revive Casey because he pulse was non-responsive.
Casey was the catalyst behind commitment to the labor movement because what I saw after that was brothers and sisters, firefighters from the city of Madison and across the nation that came together to help Casey in his greatest time of need.
Casey actually ended up being a quadriplegic, unfortunately, at a very young age. The firefighters in Madison, across Wisconsin, and even across the country came together to take care of Casey.
What happens in the state of Wisconsin when someone doesn’t have brothers and sisters there to help them build a house like we did for Casey, to help them get the best healthcare they deserve? To help them with best wheelchair money can buy?
Why can’t we have a state government that cares about people the way my fellow firefighters cared about Casey? The short answer is: We can. But what happens when people in the state don’t have that? I believe that we can build that support that in our state.
So the question is can we help the Casey’s of this state? Can we make sure we take care of all citizens of this state – all Wisconsinites?
The answer is – we can. But we can only do that together. And that’s why I’m running for governor.
As firefighters, when communities are at their worst, we respond and we have to be at our best. And that’s what we need as elected officials – that’s what we need in state government.
That means a school system that isn’t starved for funding. We cannot afford two separate and unequal school systems. We have to make sure we give public dollars to public education and make sure we take care of our kids. Because they are our greatest commodity.
It means that we have family supporting jobs – I’ve come out for $15/hour before it was sexy. $15/hour is the floor because what $15/hour can get you in Marquette, Adams and Green Lake counties is not what it can get you in Milwaukee, Dane or Waukesha County.
So $15 is just the floor and we will go from there.
It means decriminalizing addiction because being addicted in not a crime.
So I’m telling you this. I’m going to work like hell to be your governor. As firefighters we have a mantra: “All Hands Working” It means that we’re problem solvers. Everyone on location is doing something to make it right for the community.
So I’ll tell you this at the end of the day, we need a fighter in the state house.
I’m asking for your help in Wisconsin.
I’m asking for you to believe in your capacity for change.
We can make history.
Together, we can have our first African-American governor.
We can make history, but we have to make it count.
We need the fierce urgency of now to win this, to take it to Scott Walker and I’m the person to do it.
Thank you all for your support, and I’ll see you all on the other side.
Mahlon Mitchell for Wisconsin
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Mahlon Mitchell
"Walker continues to pay us lip service with hollow political stunts instead of actually governing."
"Scott Walker’s fake outrage is as out of step as his priorities."
Today’s endorsement joins Mahlon Mitchell’s growing list of support.