by Jon Melegrito | July 28, 2011
Ralph Randall, a member of AFSCME Local 1653 (Council 26), said that “radical politicians are waging a war on working families and public services. We will not let these politicians destroy the American dream!” (Photo by Jon Melegrito)
Today, AFSCME members and more than 300 activists representing labor, civil rights, community and interfaith organizations rallied in front of the U.S. Capitol to keep pressure on Congress to stand strong against cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
They joined thousands of others across the country who are demanding that millionaires and corporations pay their fair share and not place the entire burden of deficit reduction on working families, seniors, children, those living with disabilities and even veterans.
Speakers included members of Congress, civil rights leaders and union members who took turns in declaring that giving more tax breaks to the wealthy is forcing the American government to the brink of default. They called on politicians to stop playing games while millions still suffer without jobs.
Ralph Randall, a member of Local 1653 (AFSCME Council 26), spoke about the cost of using workers as “pawns in a high-stake game of politics.” A program and management analyst with the Federal Aviation Administration for 30 years, Randall is one of 4,000 federal employees who were furloughed during the weekend after Congress failed to approve a stopgap funding measure that expired at midnight Friday.
“This furlough hurts workers and hardworking people who are struggling to make sense of a situation that makes absolutely no sense at all,” Randall said. “But it’s clear to us what these radical politicians are doing. They’d rather force this country into default, put more workers on unemployment lines and shred the safety net rather than pull together and make shared sacrifices. They are looking out for the super rich instead of you and me.”
The American Dream Movement, which organized simultaneous rallies across the country, has vowed to continue pressuring Congress and standing up for middle class and working families against those who are holding the American dream itself hostage.