from the associated press and the auburn citizen
14 June 2008 - WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats tapped a teacher from upstate New York to make the case that their party will do more for working Americans than Republicans will.
Jeff Alberici, an eighth-grade history teacher in Auburn, N.Y., was chosen to deliver the Democrats' Saturday radio address — an unusual choice for a weekly task usually performed by elected officials.
Alberici, 37, described how the rising prices of gasoline and food makes it tough for him and his wife Megan to pay bills and still save for their three young kids' college tuition.
Text of Democratic Party weekly national radio address, delivered by Auburn teacher Jeff Alberici
"Good morning, my name is Jeff Alberici. I'm from Auburn, New York - a small city forty-five minutes west of Syracuse. I grew up in Auburn, married my high school sweetheart, Megan, and now we're raising our three beautiful children here - Anthony, who is 10, Nicholas, who is 9, and our youngest, a soon to be 2-year-old, Sara.
"I teach American history to eighth-graders, and Megan recently went back to work as a teacher's assistant. Like most parents, Megan and I spend a lot of time driving our kids around town to little league games, lacrosse practices and other activities.
"We're not rich and we're not poor. But like so many other middle class families in Auburn and all over America, lately our lives have gotten a lot harder to afford. Last week, Megan went for a haircut. When she drove by the gas station on her way, gas was $4.03 a gallon. On her way home, she looked again and the price was up to $4.06. We joked that she should've filled up before her haircut.
"I drive a Ford Taurus and my wife drives a minivan. It used to cost us $20 or $30 to fill up; now it's easily $60. Groceries have also gotten a lot more expensive. We used to spend about $125 a week at the supermarket - now it's at least $200, and our kids are definitely not eating twice as much.
"When Megan went back to work last year, we thought we would finally be able to pay off our debt and start saving to get ahead. But with the cost of gas and food and health care and so many other things all skyrocketing, even with a second pay check, things are no easier.
"We'll be OK, but let me put it this way: on the occasional nights when we used to order a pizza, now we're sticking with grilled cheese sandwiches. And we worry a lot about how we're going to put three kids through college.
"My wife and I don't talk that much in public about politics, but we are both proud Democrats - and for a simple reason: Democrats understand what families like ours are going through, and they're trying to make things better. In just the last couple of weeks, Democrats in the Senate proposed three bills that would have helped bring energy prices down in the short term and the long term.
"One of their bills would have stopped giving American tax dollars to the giant oil companies that are already making record profits - and would have stood up to the foreign countries that produce the oil and charge us way too much.
"Another Democratic plan was to give tax incentives to innovative American companies that are researching and developing new ways of powering our cars and heating our homes, like solar, wind and even geothermal power.
"And Democrats introduced a third bill to fight global warming, reduce our country's dependence on oil, create jobs here at home and grow our economy.
"But Republicans? They haven't offered much of anything. In fact, Republicans are spending their time blocking Democrats from getting anything done at all, including those three bills to lower energy costs. And that's the difference: Democrats are trying to change things, but Republicans only want more of the same old ideas that got us into this mess in the first place. More of the same isn't working for my family, and I bet it's not working for yours.
"Father's Day is tomorrow. I'll be spending it with my three children, thinking about how I can be a better dad - and provide my kids with everything they deserve. I know it's not supposed to be this hard to get ahead. But Democrats are trying to make the American Dream affordable again, and in a country as great as ours, I know we can succeed.
"This is Jeff Alberici - a husband, a father and a teacher from Auburn, New York. Wishing my father Gino and all fathers a happy Father's Day. Thanks for listening and have a great weekend."