Approximately 25 people came to Congressman Raul Grijalva's office to celebrate Medicare's birthday and to thank Grijalva for his progressive votes in the US House of Representatives.
Joined by Grijalva's staff, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Medicare (in honor of its 48th birthday) and ate cupcakes. It was also a productive rally, since we collected signatures to stop voter suppression in Arizona.
Progressives in Congress and across the country are fighting the tide of right wing extremism on multiple fronts-- from food stamps to cuts in Social Security to stalled immigration reform to anti-woman legislation to austerity for the middle class, while the wealthy live high on the hog.
Congressman Raul Grijalva has been at the forefront of the progressive movement in Congress. As another budget battle heats up in the House of Representatives, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) want to thank our stalwarts like Grijalva, and at the same time want to celebrate Medicare's 48th birthday.
This rally at Grijalva's office is part of a nationwide action at multiple Congressional offices by PDA and National Nurses United (NNU). The event is 10:30 a.m.-12 noon at the old YWCA (738 N. 5th Ave.)
At some locations-- like Congressman Ron Barber's-- PDA members will do letter drops urging Congressional representatives to support certain bills or issues. This month the focus is on prosperity vs austerity, Medicare expansion, jobs, and progressive financial legislation like the Robin Hood Tax. (More details below.) At Grijalva's office and others, there will be street heat rallies, as there were last month when PDA members were protesting cuts to food stamps nationwide and helped stop the Farm Bill. Read the July letter to Congress after the jump.
Recent weeks have been a wild ride in politics, and progressives nationwide have been in the thick of the political battles-- particularly the fight to preserve food stamps and other social safety net programs.
In June, progressives personally delivered 225 letters to Congressional representatives and staged street heat rallies in from of high profile offices to pressure Democrats to vote against the Farm Bill that includes cuts to food stamps and school lunches (while raising subsidies to agribusiness). In Arizona, PDA members delivered letters urging members to vote against any Farm Bill that would include food stamp cuts.
Here are some blog posts that tell how this unfolded in the streets and in the halls of Congress.
Although we won this skirmish, Republicans are seeking to separate food assistance from the Farm Bill-- which would make it easier to cut or kill them. Hunger is real in America. We must work to save food stamps, school lunches, and other War on Poverty programs