Working Families Tell Lawmakers: ‘Protect Our Future’


01/30/2013 Mike Hall

 Photo by Katelyn Hartford

After Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) office ignored requests from Columbus-area families to meet and talk about the kind of budget policies he and other lawmakers are pushing that would hurt both working people and the recovering U.S. economy, they decided to drop by anyway.

The Wednesday action outside Portman’s Columbus office was just one of dozens of “Protect Our Future” demonstrations around the country. The events focused on rejecting any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid; closing loopholes for Wall Street and the richest 2%; and canceling the sequestration crisis lawmakers like Portman, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and others created for themselves and the rest of the country.

More than 30 people from several unions of the Central Ohio Labor Council and Working America, the Alliance for Retired Americans and other groups took part in the action and spoke about how Social Security and Medicare are providing vital safety nets for their family members and millions of others.

Here’s a quick look at other actions and you can check out more photos on the AFL-CIO Facebook page.

More than 100 people rallied outside the Social Security office in Freemont, Calif., in an event sponsored by the Alameda Labor Council where Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) told the crowd:

This country made three contracts with our people—Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. We’re not going to minimize Medicaid, were not going to voucherize Medicare, and we’re not going to privatize Social Security!

Read full coverage of the rally at the California Labor Federation’s Labor’s Edge blog.

The Maine AFL-CIO teamed up with the Maine People’s Alliance for a pie delivery to Sen. Angus King’s (I) Portland office. They asked the senator to vote on the side of “baking a bigger pie” for the federal budget.

The Central New York  Labor Federation hosted an event with the ghost of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jan. 30 is his birthday) calling on Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)  to protect the Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid safety net.

In Wheeling, W.Va., members of the Ohio Valley Trades & Labor Assembly met with Rep. David McKinley‘s (R-W.Va.) staff and stressed that America should not be held hostage to Republican demands to cut social insurance programs in the next “fiscal showdown.”

Sporting “No More Tax Cuts for The Rich” and “Don’t Cut Our Medicare Benefits” signs, working family activists met with Rep. Ann Wagner’s (R-Mo.) staff in her St. Louis office. They urged her “to grow”—not slow—the economy by investing in good jobs and closing corporate tax loopholes instead of cutting vital services and killing jobs.”

 Union members meet with Rep. Ann Wagner's staff. Photo by Cathy Sherwin

Union members also called on lawmakers who have stood with working families in the past to continue their support. In Tacoma, Wash., union members from the Pierce County Central Labor Council met with Rep. Derek Kilmer’s (D-Wash.) staff to thank Kilmer for his past support of labor, where they signed a shared Op-Ed on budget priorities that was to be delivered to the local paper.

In Atlanta, a coalition of advocacy groups, small business owners, and community leaders met with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to thank him for his leadership on the fiscal cliff crisis.

Working families thanked Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) for his support.

In Santa Fe, the New Mexico Federation of Labor staged a “Drive-By Phone Bank.” The group set up tables with phones and fliers where passers-by could call the state’s senators and congressional representatives to urge them to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Learn more at

Author: AFGE Local 704

Representing over 900 bargaining unit employees working at the U.S. EPA Region 5 Offices in Chicago, Ann Arbor, MI and Westlake, OH.

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