President gives videotaped remarks to delegates

President Obama has delivered a videotaped greeting to over 240 delegates at the opening of the national convention of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists in Chicago.

“From the opinion makers in our news rooms to the performers and entertainers, whose talents add so much to the cultural life of our nation, the work you do is admirable and I honor you for your contributions,” Obama said Thursday. “I also want to applaud you for what you do every day to represent folks all across news and entertainment industries fighting to ensure that people are safe at work and treated fairly at the workplace, that they have the health care and benefits they need and the chance to earn a decent living for their families.”

AFTRA’s convention will conclude Saturday at the Hyatt Regency. The union reps about 70,000 members including actors, news anchors and correspondents, hosts, recording artists, weather forecasters and other performer categories.

“In the weekend you set policies and elect new national officers, I hope you’ll take a moment to remember whether it’s helping to make sense of what’s happening in the world or just bringing a smile to somebody’s face, our country is a better place because of what you all are doing,” Obama said. “Thanks so much.”

Dennis J. Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, noted in his remarks to the convention that Obama had given his acceptance speech at the same venue when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. “You are the faces and voices that carry our message to America, and that message is: We are as good as we are because we are united in solidarity,” he added.

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