State Reps. H. Gilson Blair (D-Weathersfield) and Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) today announced a recent conference call with Trump administration officials in response to their repeated attempts to urge the Trump administration to assist them in bringing General Motors back to Lordstown, Ohio.
“After several letters, these conversations were an important step forward,” said Rep. Blair. “We stand ready to continue working with the president to create good paying jobs right here in the Mahoning Valley.”
Reps. Blair and O’Brien wrote several letters this summer to President Trump describing the situation in Lordstown and requesting a meeting or phone call with the president to discuss their goals for the area and to ask for assistance with issues caused by the idling of facility. The lawmakers wrote a similar letter to Governor DeWine in June, urging him to use his office to encourage GM to bring jobs back to the Valley. A week later they met with Governor DeWine at his residence and discussed the issue. Governor DeWine offered any assistance he could provide.
“We are advocating on behalf of the Mahoning Valley to bring jobs back to our area, and help the families who lost so much when GM closed the Lordstown facility,” said Rep. O’Brien.
After learning that President Trump and Vice President Pence would be visiting Ohio, Rep. Blair and Rep. O’Brien released a statement on July 29 requesting a meeting with either or both of them, and wrote to Governor DeWine requesting his assistance in setting up a meeting with the president or vice president.
Below is a timeline of the communications between Reps. Blair and O’Brien and President Trump, Vice President Pence, the Trump administration and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in recent months:
- June 17: Letter to President Trump.
- June 27: Letter to Governor DeWine.
- July 23: Letter to President Trump.
- July 29: Letter to Governor DeWine requesting meeting with the president and/or vice president.
- July 31: Letter to Governor’s staff on the future of GM Lordstown.
- August 20: Letters to Vice President Pence and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.
- August 21: White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs sets up phone conference with Reps. Blair and O’Brien.
- August 29: Reps. Blair and Rep. O’Brien speak with William Crozer, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, representatives from Vice President Pence’s office and Secretary Ben Carson’s office, and members of the President’s economic staff.
- August 30: President Trump tweets about GM coming back to the U.S. A week later, he meets with GM CEO Mary Barra at the White House.
“We’re encouraged that this administration is taking action to address the situation in Lordstown and grateful for the support that Governor DeWine has provided along the way,” added Rep. Blair. “We stand with UAW workers, all GM employees, and all employees of supply chain companies associated with the closure across the country as they fight for fair treatment, and we urge the president to continue to speak out and stand up for families here in the Mahoning Valley as we work together to bring jobs back to Lordstown.”