"Raising the retirement age would inflict further hardship among a group of workers who are likely to face health and economic problems in their 60s." –Doug Hart, President, Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans
"Of all the lies and confusion that still surround the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the greatest is that it is bad for seniors." - Dave Meinell, President, Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans
"My father died when I was three. Because of Social Security (survivors) benefits, my Mom, my younger sister and I survived." – Diane Fleming, DC Alliance Member
"We fear that Congress will balance the budget on the backs of the 98 percent, which is working Montanans and retired Montanans. We simply cannot afford these devastating cuts to vital services such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," –John Forkan, President, Montana Alliance for Retired Americans
"Along with national parks and Social Security, Medicare is one of the best ideas we Americans have ever devised." -Tim Cunningham, New Mexico Alliance Member
"Seniors have earned and deserve their Social Security checks, and they shouldn't have to go to Congress every 10 years and beg for the program to be renewed." –James Parent, Alliance for Retired Americans Regional Board Member
"Today's retirees paid Medicare and Social Security taxes in every paycheck we ever earned. Now that we are retired, these programs help us to be able to stay healthy and pay our bills. They are the promise we make to people who worked hard all their lives, and we need to keep that promise for today’s workers." –Tony Fransetta, President, Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
"Today's seniors want to lower the budget deficit. We do not want a large debt to be the legacy we leave to future generations, but we should not punish people who have paid Social Security taxes all their lives." –Jim Moore, President, North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans
"Social Security should remain what it has been for 77 years – a solid, reliable way that generations of workers have been able to retire with dignity, economic security, and peace of mind." –Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The fight for Social Security and Medicare is part of a larger fight for justice and fairness"—Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
"The health insurance reform helps not just seniors, but also middle-class families and young Americans, who are just starting to see the benefits. Don’t let Republicans take all that away." –Don Rowen, President Emeritus, Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans
"Honoring the promise of Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. Honoring the contributions that we make throughout our working years so that we may feed and clothe ourselves, keep a roof over our heads and those of our family, there is no reason for that to be a hotly contested partisan issue." –Edward Coyle, Executive Director, Alliance for Retired Americans
"We need to make sure that people who need Social Security to make ends meet will have it, and not fall victim to ill-informed and unnecessary cuts to these vital programs."
–Barbara J. Easterling, President, Alliance for Retired Americans
Texas Gov. Rick Perry Runs into the New Hampshire Alliance on the Campaign Trail
August 19, 2011
On Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race to win the Republican nomination for President in 2012. Five days later, his Thursday morning stop on the campaign trail was met with dozens of angry seniors and protesters from the New Hampshire Alliance. They sent a strong message: “Hands off Social Security and Medicare,” with chanting and signs leading up to Perry’s arrival at the Popovers on the Square diner. Once inside, Perry fumbled a question from the crowd about why he deemed Social Security “unconstitutional.” CNN, The New York Times, the Associated Press, and ABC covered the spectacle. To see all the coverage, go to http://bit.ly/qTD1V8. “The Alliance will continue to spread the word about the extreme positions of Governor Perry and his allies who support the GOP budget plan to end Medicare and falsely claim that Social Security is unconstitutional or a ‘Ponzi Scheme,’” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance.
Last Saturday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) won an Iowa straw poll showing who has early support from Republicans in that state. Bachmann has called Social Security “a tremendous fraud.”
Alliance Celebrates Social Security’s 76th Anniversary
This past Sunday marked 76 years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Social Security into law. To commemorate the occasion and draw attention to the importance of Social Security for today’s retirees - as well as for future generations - Alliance members in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Washington State held birthday events this week. The Missouri and the Pennsylvania Alliance also have future events listed at http://bit.ly/ovlyE1. Here’s a selection of photos from the Los Angeles and San Francisco deliveries to Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) offices, courtesy of the CARA crew: http://bit.ly/q6TGI1. Another great album is at http://bit.ly/o7WfzD.
In addition, other Alliance chapters held Social Security birthday events recently: The West Virginia Alliance worked with other groups to sell hot dogs last Sunday in south Parkersburg, West Virginia, reminding people why Social Security should not be cut. It was one of several events in that state. On Thursday, August 11, the New York chapter (NYSARA), along with New York State United Teachers and StateWide Senior Action Council, held a birthday celebration in Albany. One hundred fourteen people attended, including about 15 who were high school- and college-aged. Luke Anapolis, a sophomore at Vanderbilt University, led the group in singing the Star Spangled Banner and Happy Birthday. Anna Boughtwood who is entering Brown University, spoke to the group about why Social Security and Medicare are important to people her age. This past Monday, NYSARA joined the Hudson-Catskill Area Labor Federation and many other groups for a Social Security event outside Rep. Nan Hayworth's (R-NY) office in Goshen, NY.
Super Committee Information Available from Social Security Works
Social Security Works, an umbrella group encompassing over 300 organizations – including the Alliance – all working to protect Social Security, has created a web page that provides information about the 12 members of the powerful Joint Select Committee on Budget Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee. The webpage, at http://bit.ly/q3y2Oo, highlights the votes Super Committee members have taken on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and raising new revenues in 2011. Some of their personal statements about these issues are also provided.
California Alliance Boycotts Amazon
The California Alliance was among dozens of groups gathering in Sacramento on Monday morning to launch a consumer boycott of the retailer Amazon. The boycott is backed by many Democratic members of the California Legislature. Billions of dollars in state budget cuts have already eliminated adult day care and in-home support services for seniors and the disabled, and have forced both the University of California and California State University systems to raise tuition. “More cuts would be required if the on-line sales tax is over-turned,” California Alliance President Nan Brasmer said. She summarized, “If I'm buying from Amazon to avoid paying sales tax, and I can’t go to the free kitchen for seniors anymore, what have I done but cut off my nose to spite my face?”
Washington State Alliance Holds Its Convention
Edward Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, traveled to Seattle for the Washington Alliance’s convention on Wednesday. Mr. Coyle gave an update on the upcoming Super Committee debate; Sen. Patty Murray of Washington is co-chair of the committee. Attendees celebrated Social Security's birthday with Rep. Jay Inslee. Mike Warren was re-elected as State President; Marie Cook was elected Treasurer, and Steve Kelly, Secretary. For photos of the event, see photographer Garet Munger’s pictures at http://pipilio.smugmug.com.
National Convention: Scholarship Winners Announced; Awards will be Bestowed
Be sure to join us at the Alliance’s 10th anniversary Legislative Conference, Celebrating Our Past, Fighting for Your Future, on September 6-9, 2011 in Washington, D.C.! House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Gerald McEntee, President of AFSCME, will receive the Leadership Award from the Alliance. Hawaii Alliance President Al Hamai and Florida Alliance President Tony Fransetta will receive the President’s Award. Questions? Please call Event Coordinator Joni Jones at 202-637-5377 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. On the web, visit http://bit.ly/pjVbXy or http://bit.ly/hQro1V.
The Alliance has created a Community-Based Scholarship Program to increase access to national conventions for our community-based members. Recipients must be individual members in good standing with the national Alliance; community-based members (not a member of a union that has affiliated nationally with the Alliance); and live more than 100 miles away from the conference site (Washington, DC). “Congratulations to this year’s scholarship winners: A. Wayne Burton of West Chester, PA; Penelope Foran of Albuquerque, NM; Eva Goodwin-Noriega of Costa Mesa, CA; Melissa Long of Kent, OH; Barbara Matteson of Tucson, AZ; Danielle Robinson Rouseau of Atlanta, GA; Maria Pia Scarfo of New York, NY; and Martin Walsh of Glendale, MO,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance.
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