Obama Wins Re-election, NATCA Leaders Reflect
Friday, November 09, 2012

After a long, tough fight, the members of the National Legislative Committee (NLC) are able to breathe easier on Election Night 2012 after the President's victory was sealed. The NLC joined NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, and NATCA members and staff at a Washington, D.C., celebration.

President Obama Wins Re-election, NATCA Leaders and NLC Reflects

"We look forward to working with the Administration to move forward and continue the highly successful collaborative work we have undertaken with the FAA. Our nation’s airspace system is already the world’s safest and most efficient. From day one, President Obama has been fully committed to improving it and we have been proud to stand with him. We are eager to continue this progress by modernizing the system and providing air travelers the safety and professionalism they expect and deserve. The collaboration between NATCA and the FAA has been the result of both the President’s restoration of fair collective bargaining for controllers and other safety professionals, and his strong leadership to restore and expand labor-management partnerships in the federal government. We believe this kind of collaboration is good for the system and ultimately enhances its safety and efficiency."

- NATCA President Paul Rinaldi

"On election night, at that moment that President Obama’s re-election was clinched and announced, my thoughts went immediately to our members.  Our members have been the key to making this union stronger and more unified, they have made our system safer and better and more modernized with their hard work and dedication to the highest professional standards, and they have elevated our professions in a very profound way. There was a lot riding on the outcome of this election for NATCA and that it turned out so well is a direct reflection of the incredible level of work, long hours and personal sacrifice that so many in NATCA put forth in this campaign season. Your support not only benefited the President and Vice President but friends of NATCA from both sides of the political aisle in other races around the country as well. Thank you."

- NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert

"November 6 showed that elections do matter. Many of the critical policy issues that are so important to NATCA’s membership were at stake during this particular election, and because of the great work of the NATCA team, our union remained relevant throughout these elections. I know I speak for all of us when I congratulate the Administration and all the members of Congress who won, but more importantly, the staff and I look forward to working with the Obama Administration and congressional members/staff on the issues that affect NATCA’s members."

- Jose Ceballos, Director of Government Affairs

“I'm very pleased with the election results. I want to thank everyone who spent time working on campaigns this year. The outcome of these elections was critical for NATCA's members. Our activists knew this and stepped up to support President Obama's re-election and the campaigns of our friends in the House and Senate across the country.  

“Campaign work is a grind, but our activists and our Government Affairs Department staff rolled up their sleeves and did the hard work necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for NATCA. We now look forward to working with President Obama's administration, and building and strengthening relationships with the members of the 113th Congress, to ensure that federal employees rights and benefits are protected, and we continue to operate and maintain the safest, most efficient air traffic system in the world.”

- Steve Weidner, NLC Chairman

“Thanks to all of my fellow NLC members. Special thanks and appreciation goes out to all of the volunteers at the facility, district and state levels for all of their time and effort. President Obama’s re-election saves NATCA for at least four more years. Since we won’t be fighting and reacting to proposals to get rid of us, we can spend the next four years educating Congress.”   

- Marcus Tomlin, NLC Alaskan Region Representative

There are many benefits to our members of our successful work in helping the President with this re-election. One of those is the continuation of the possible, as opposed to a return to the improbable regarding modernization. As Union members, federal employees and safety professionals, we were certainly on the precipice of deleterious actions against us. NATCA is strong enough to have survived and even prospered if necessary in the world of a President Romney. In fact, contingencies were ready to go if that had been the outcome. But with this re-election, the remarkably successful NATCA/FAA collaboration of subject matter expertise on a multitude of current modernizations and improvements within the NAS can continue. NATCA members all share a common belief in intelligent, functional and safe operational improvements. The continuation of our members involvement in ensuring this makes all the hard work and countless hours spent on the campaign worth it... and the result is a bargain for the taxpayer to boot.

- Grant Anderson, NLC Central Region Representative

"I'm extremely happy with the results. Having President Obama for another term is obviously good for this Union and, I believe, for this nation. The future is going to be very tough with federal budget cuts that are sure to come. I appreciate all the hard work from NATCAvists all over the country who walked door to door and made phone calls for the Presidential and local races. The work needed for a NATCA majority in Congress never ends, but the election helped keep the energy level up so that we can continue on this endeavor."

- Andy Lewis, NLC Eastern Region Representative

"Obviously, the election results were all we could have hoped for, and justified everything we worked so hard to accomplish. As the Great Lakes Legislative Chair and the Ohio state coordinator, I had my hands full from morning to night for months. Luckily, we are blessed in the Great Lakes to have some of the smartest, hardest working NATCAvists in this Union. The way they came together to educate and motivate their members, canvass, and fight like hell until the last bell was nothing short of inspirational. Once Ohio was called for Obama, we were able to relax for the first time this year. I am truly humbled by the amount of passion and work they put in to see our champion remain the President. We cannot thank you enough!"

- Mike Hanlon, NLC Great Lakes Region Representative

"With the toxic environment towards federal employees, this was by far the most important election of our time. We all worked very hard for our membership not only on the Obama campaign, but numerous key races nationwide. Our collective efforts brought us success and, in turn will benefit our membership for years to come."

- Jay Bowers, NLC New England Region Representative

"I am extremely proud of our members who volunteered their time to make sure President Obama was able to keep our country moving in the right direction. The Northwest Mountain Region had some tough races, like many other states. Thanks to our activists we were able to keep all our friends in office. I am so proud of our region, and the hard work and passion our members have for our Union."

- Denise Spencer, NLC Northwest Mountain Region Representative

“Our membership was empowered and motivated about this exciting campaign season. NATCA, from the most junior member up to Paul and Trish, showed the unfettered solidarity that has become a benchmark for our union when faced with political challenges. Some of our members may say that they are proud of NATCA for what we accomplished on election night, but NATCA never ceases to impress me and I feel that way everyday!”

- Jason Arnold, NLC Southern Region Representative

"Our membership walked streets, knocked on doors, and made phone calls on behalf of the Obama campaign. I am always amazed at our membership and the ways they always step up to the task.  Watching the returns come in Tuesday night surrounded by NATCA members and national office staff I had the great feeling of knowing NATCA had a hand in the re-election of President Barack Obama."

- James Keith, NLC Southwest Region Representative

"Unfortunately, I was not able to be in Washington, D.C. on Election Day with the beloved NLC, however, I was able to represent the USA on the International Team in the Air Traffic Controllers World Cup in Brazil. When I learned about the outcome of the election my heart was filled with pride not only to be a NATCA legislative activist but also to be an American. Air Traffic Controllers from around the world who face their own struggles shared in our joy and excitement as we celebrated President Obama's second term. Together we have helped to ensure the success of our organizations future!"

- Trisha Pesiri, NLC Western Pacific Region Representative

Albany County Tower (ALB) members

Chicago Center member Jim Barnes, decked out in American - and President Obama - pride

Daytona Beach Tower (DAB) members

Election night was also victorious for Retired NATCA Active Volunteers (RNAV) Committee Chairman Bill Otto, who won his election for a Missouri state representative position! He'll represent District 70, which includes the areas of Bridgeton, and Hazelwood, Mo., along with Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. In the photo below, Bill is in the light colored jacket, fourth from the right, joined by family and friends during campaigning last week.

South Fla. area members