ABOVE PHOTO: State Rep. Ron Waters presents Samuel Staten Sr. with a Proclamation from the Pennsylvania Black Caucas during the tribute.
(Photo by William T. Wade Jr.)
Governor Ed Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter, Congressman Joe Sestak, former Mayor John Street , Rep. Louise Williams Bishop, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato and many other political, labor and civic leaders attended a retirement dinner for long time labor leader Samuel Staten, Sr. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which raised over $200,000 for the Laborers’ District Council Charity Fund.
More than 800 attendees looked on as Mr. Staten, Sr. was presented with various awards, citations, honors and a tribute video recognizing his vision, leadership and humanitarianism.
“Today I look back and think about the roads over which I’ve traveled and it’s amazing. I can remember my first pay rate was $2.60 per hour. We had no health and welfare, we had no pension, no dental or legal plan. It was a different world for laborers. Think about it, as they say, ‘We’ve come a long way baby!” said Mr. Staten, Sr. “I want to say a few words to the new leaders.
Never forget our purpose. Never feel that this fight is over. There will always be people who think that we don’t deserve it and the moment you take your eyes off the prize, we’ll lose.”
“We all know that it’s the working family who are the engine of our economy and will lead us out of these difficult times. It is incumbent upon every one of us to recommit our energy to completing the work that Sam and the admirable leaders here tonight have started and maintained to give workers the opportunities they deserve,” said Congressman Joe Sestak.