Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant... voters should force the politicians to respond to this issue

Doesn't it seem a little strange, that during an election, St. Paul candidates for city council are evading the issue of what can be done to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant?

Two-thousand jobs are at stake and Pat Harris' major concern is the contamination of the Little League Fields. How is it this soil was not tested long ago knowing Ford's record for contaminating its sites? Young people were allowed to play ball on this site... a site which we now know presents a danger. Here we have another issue of politicians not caring about human health and safety... just like with the I-35W Bridge.

Now, are we to trust Council member Pat Harris and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce in telling us that a manufacturing use for this Plant can not be found?

Well, why not consider the option of public ownership? Rangers can continue to be produced in this Plant indefinitely.

Common sense tells us there continues to be a strong market for the Ranger class of pick-up trucks in the construction industry, the Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources, as vehicles used in recreation to pull boats and campers and for hunting and fishing.

Slash the price of the vehicle, cut out advertising, and sell the vehicles to government agencies across the country and around the world at the real cost of production.

There is no reason why at least 7,000 workers can not be employed at a plant operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Cut the work week to 36 hours with forty hours pay.

We talk about democracy in this country yet no one has asked Ford workers or the people in the community if they want to keep this plant operating. Certainly after all these years the existing work-force doesn't need Ford management to tell them how to build a world-class pick-up truck. Workers can run this plant if it is placed under State/Community ownership.

We always hear politicians talk about, "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

Well, here is the opportunity to create thousands of new jobs managing this plant to produce vehicles society needs while putting people to work; and, what do politicians want to do? Demolish a perfectly good plant sending the jobs down the river just like what Ford has been doing for years with its contaminated waste.

The hydro dam and the plant should be protected through legislation as a single entity by bringing both under public ownership... after all, tax-payers have subsidized Ford's operation in St. Paul for about 80 years. Isn't it time tax-payers own the plant and the dam already?

For those who dislike the concept of public ownership because it sounds too much like socialism (as if capitalism has been able to solve this problem) I would suggest that should public ownership not work out, the plant could always be sold back to private industry or demolished later... but, saving this plant right now and at least 2,000 union jobs should be our primary concern.

The candidates for St. Paul City Council should be addressing this issue. Why aren't they?

Some people say it will take too much money to bankroll such an operation... well, let's put an end to this dirty war in Iraq and we can create a world class manufacturing facility... the school and research center already exist as an integral part of this plant's operation.

Actually, I am wondering why the Chair of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, Brian Melendez, has not led a delegation of St. Paul and Minneapolis City officials and DFL state legislators on a tour of this plant to talk directly to the workers who will be losing their jobs to see what they think about the idea of public ownership of this plant. Quite frankly, I think we all know the answer. two-thousand workers would rather be working and don't care who owns the plant. These politicians could ask the workers if they want to run the plant and if they are capable of doing so. From the plant this delegation could tour the community and surrounding neighborhoods to find out what people think about this idea. Isn't this what democracy is supposed to be about?