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Ross seeks AFL-CIO endorsement for her gubernatorial run

Grace Ross, the Green-Rainbow candidate for governor, said yesterday that workers in Massachusetts have been ``under fire for a long time" and called for a constant, collective fight to bring about ``more economic justice."

Ross, who spoke to about 130 labor leaders during the Massachusetts AFL-CIO annual state convention, said that the state should close corporate tax loopholes and move toward more technology that helps preserve the environment. She also said she opposes a state income tax rollback. Instead, she offered a plan to adjust tax rates by adding taxes and fees together, so that everyone pays the same rate.

``A better future for all of us depends on many folks, and that includes the labor movement," Ross said in an interview.

Ross highlighted her history as a community activist and her fight for workers' rights. During her speech, she used her working-class and nongovernment background to relate to the group and stand out from the other candidates; four other gubernatorial candidates spoke on Thursday.

``I am running because I know in my bones that the only time we ever get what we need is when we work together," she said, according to remarks prepared for delivery at the event yesterday. ``It is the blood, sweat, and tears of working people, of people like us, that really built this country ."

Her speech was given the day after the other gubernatorial candidates, except Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, squared off in a forum, a critical test as the 400,000-member union prepares to consider endorsing one of the candidates on June 22. An endorsement requires a two-thirds majority of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO executive council.

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