Edwin Gomes

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Edwin Gomes


Edwin Gomes is a Connecticut State Senator.

Background

Edwin Gomes was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1963 and began a 24-year career at Carpenter Steel, a job that also turned him into an activist with the United Steelworkers of America. He left Carpenter in 1977 for a full-time job as a district representative with the Steelworkers.

At end of his Army enlistment, he was stationed in Washington D.C. and participated in a civil rights march that he says changed his life.

Gomes served on the Bridgeport City Council from 1983 to 1989 and from 1999 to 2005, aligning himself with progressives. He joined the board of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group, whose members backed his campaign for the General Assembly. In 2007, he was the only Senate Democrat to oppose a major energy bill criticized by CCAG as insufficiently protective of consumers.

He lives in Bridgeport. [1]

Supported Progressive Health Care Reform

In late 2009, Edwin Gomes was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,[2]

"Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."

AFSCME conference

AFSCME's Council 4's annual conference and convention took place April 21, 2012 in East Hartford. Nearly 200 members participated in a day filled with inspiring speakers, including U.S. Reps. John B. Larson (CT-1), Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) and Chris Murphy (CT-5), Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Comptroller Kevin Lembo and Secretary of State Denise Merrill.

The conference closed with the presentation of Council 4 PEOPLE political action awards to Tom Stough (Local 991, Manchester), Jon Green of the Working Families Party, and State Sen. Edwin Gomes of Bridgeport (with Anna Montalvo accepting on Sen. Gomes’ behalf).[3]

Communist award

Fatima Rojas, UniteHere Local 215 organizer, presents awards to Edwin Gomes, Edwin Vargas, Jr. and Laurie Kennington, while John Olsen, president emeritas Conn. AFL-CIO, looks on from back row

The 2013 Amistad Awards were presented by the People’s World on Sunday, December 1 at 4 p.m. at a special ”MARCHING ON for Jobs, Freedom & Peace” anniversary rally in New Haven at Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, 177 College St.

We celebrate the contributions and example of Laurie Kennington, Edwin Gomes and Rep. Edwin Vargas, three wonderful leaders and role models who challenge economic inequality and are in the forefront of organizing for jobs, health care, union rights and the needs of youth.

Laurie Kennington is president of Local 34 UNITE HERE which won a contract advancing current workers and opening jobs at Yale for New Haven residents. She is in the forefront of the community/labor alliance that helped elect union members to the Board of Alders.

Edwin Gomes was inspired at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom to dedicate his life to working people and the fight for equality as International Representative of United Steelworkers of America, and State Senator from Bridgeport where he is still organizing.

State Rep. Edwin Vargas, Jr., past president of Hartford Federation of Teachers, is on every picket line for civil rights, workers’ rights and peace. In the Commerce Committee he helped win passage of a Future Commission to study alternatives to military production for jobs.

The annual awards are presented to allies by the People’s World on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of the Communist Party USA.[4]

"They're trying to turn the working class into the working poor and the only ones who will stop it are people like you in this room," said Gomes, recalling his years working at Carpenter Steel in Local 2216 United Steel Workers in Bridgeport. It was enjoyable to serve in the Senate, he said, but his best experience was union organizing. He urged everyone to keep the pressure on elected officials to meet people's needs.

Stationed at Walter Reed Hospital at the time of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Gomes went to the rally. The experience changed his life. Gomes was among those featured in a video produced by AFT Connecticut shown as the audience arrived.

All the awardees praised the vision and work of the Communist Party USA in their communities. The event was held on the occasion of the CPUSA's 94th anniversary.[5]

WFP

Edwin Gomes, a Connecticut state senator and former steelworker, was elected on the Working Families Party line.[6]

References

The following people and organizations are based in Connecticut.