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In Tribute to John Drew

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  John Drew, UAW

In Tribute to John Drew

Congresswoman Gwen Moore
115th Congress, 2nd Session
15 May 2018


[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 79 (Tuesday, May 15, 2018)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E642]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                        IN TRIBUTE TO JOHN DREW

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. GWEN MOORE

                              of wisconsin

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, May 15, 2018

  Ms. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize John Drew, Regional 
Representative for the United Auto Workers (UAW). John Drew is retiring 
from the UAW after 44 years of service. Originally from a large Irish 
Catholic family in Waukegan IL, John Drew started working at the 
American Motors Corp. (AMC) plant in Kenosha . He began as a spot 
welder on the line at the American Motors' Kenosha plant and quickly 
became a union activist.
  He has served as the elected steward, chief steward, and executive 
board member in UAW Local 72 including Vice President and President. 
During a large portion of his tenure at Local 72, it was the largest 
and most influential labor organization in the state. John Drew was a 
part of and later led the UAW Local 72 Bargaining Committee which 
brought Renault vehicles to Kenosha as well as Chrysler car and engine 
production. He worked with local, state and federal government 
officials to help keep new engine lines at that plant as long as 
possible. John was elected Vice President of Local 72, serving with the 
legendary Rudy Kuzel. Then in 1996, John became President of the Local 
and continued to fight to keep the Kenosha assembly plant open. In 
2004, John went to work for the UAW Regional office representing 
workers in plants throughout the Milwaukee, Racine, and Kenosha area.
  John Drew has consistently fought for social and economic justice 
issues. In fact, John formed a caucus in the local called ``the 
Fighting Times'', with his colleagues Jon Melrod and Tod Ohnstad and 
exposed racist and sexist practices of management in the plant. AMC 
financed a multimillion dollar lawsuit to try to squash their voices 
but the Fighting Times prevailed. John has also been a major force 
organizing UAW members and retirees to support progressive candidates 
that would fight for working peoples' interests. John's community 
engagement led him to an appointment by former Governor Jim Doyle to 
the UW Board of Regents.
  John has a Bachelor's Degree from the George Meany Center in Labor 
Studies and a Master's Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from UW 
Milwaukee. He is also an avid sports fan and a soccer player. He 
coached soccer for many years and still plays occasionally.
  John is married to Lauren Baker, a union and community activist. They 
have one son, Nick who graduated from Milwaukee Public Schools and UW 
Madison. He is a professional videographer and union member, in 
Chicago.
  Mr. Speaker, I am proud to call John Drew my friend for over two 
decades. I am pleased to recognize his unwavering commitment to uphold 
the labor movement and its mission. I have sought his valuable counsel 
on many occasions and found him to be both honest and sincere. He and 
his wife Lauren have opened both their hearts and home to me and many 
others who share their passion to assist people from all walks of life. 
I have many stories of driving through inclement weather with John and 
Lauren to reach Martin Luther King Day celebrations in Kenosha. John 
Drew has left a legacy of strong leadership and has touched many lives 
in a positive way with his dedication, passion, enthusiasm and 
motivation. The citizens of the Fourth Congressional District, the 
State of Wisconsin and the nation have benefited tremendously from his 
service because he has always been a voice for those who have the 
least, a voice for working people, a voice for justice and fairness. I 
am honored for these reasons to pay tribute to John Drew.

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