Washington, D.C. — John D. Podesta, Chairman of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement today on the loss of Mark H. Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department:
This Easter Sunday, America lost an important leader. The Center for American Progress joins the American labor movement in mourning the untimely death of President Mark Ayers of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department. President Ayers was a powerful progressive champion who left a long legacy of success in fighting to improve the lives of working people and to strengthen the competitiveness of the American economy.
The Center for American Progress was honored to join forces in solidarity recently with President Ayers and the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department in a partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative to create good jobs for working families through energy-saving building retrofits and infrastructure investment. In this effort and in all our work to build a strong, just, and sustainable American economy, CAP counted President Ayers and the unions he represented among our most important allies.
President Ayers was a great man. His thoughtful and understated manner, along with a keen intellect, an uncanny strategic sense, and a fierce commitment to the needs of working people, was a powerful combination that made him an irreplaceable leader. Under his direction, the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department were at the forefront of creating green jobs in a clean economy. We look forward to carrying this important legacy forward in his memory. The Center for American Progress extends its deepest sympathies to Mr. Ayers’s family and to the workers of the building and construction trades.