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Release: Grassroots Groups Praise President Obama for Social Security Expansion Shift

Release: Grassroots Groups Praise President Obama for Social Security Expansion Shift

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For Immediate Release: Friday, June 3, 2016
Contact: Donna De La Cruz, ddelacruz@communitychange.org (202) 339-9331

Grassroots Groups Praise President Obama for Social Security Expansion Shift

President Obama’s declaration that Social Security should be expanded, and not cut, has been applauded with great enthusiasm by groups nationwide which work to protect Social Security for everyone.

Among the groups praising Obama’s stance were the Center for Community Change (CCC), ONE Northside, Virginia Organizing, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, The Contact Center, and Grassroots Ambassadors affiliated with CCC.

“The wealthy should have been paying their fair share from the get go but I’m glad to see President Obama take a stand on this urgent issue,” said Grassroots Ambassador Edward Williams with the Contact Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.  “Getting an increase in Social Security would help make it easier to pay the monthly bills. I’m a Vietnam veteran and turning 69 this August. I’m proud to be part of this movement to expand Social Security!”

“As someone who would benefit greatly from increased Social Security benefits I applaud President Obama’s shift to expand Social Security.  Six years ago, I quit my job to become a full-time unpaid caregiver,” said Grassroots Ambassador Jeannie Brown of Bozeman, Montana.  “Social Security will be my lifeline in 15 years when it is my time to retire and it needs to be expanded.  I also know that this shift is a direct result of all the work that grassroots leaders, like myself, have done to educate elected officials to the need for this expansion because of our stories.  Thank you President Obama in seeing the wisdom to make this happen.”

“When a person like me spends the day on his feet, working with his hands or back in a classroom or hospital, on a roof or knee-deep in cement, raising the age of retirement and/or cutting benefits is simply untenable,” said Grassroots Ambassador Kenn Bowen, a member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement in Iowa City, Iowa. “If everyone pays their fair share, Social Security not only becomes solvent, it becomes stronger and can pay for more and better benefits for those who have given their lives in working service to their families and their country. President Obama is right when he says ‘we should strengthen Social Security by asking the wealthy to pay more.’ We should do this now, sooner not later for the benefit of all Americans. “

“President Obama’s new position to strengthen and expand Social Security will help a lot of people achieve financial stability. It’s high time the wealthy paid their fair share into Social Security. Social Security Disability Benefits were there for me when I was disabled, unable to work, and homeless. Without SSDI, I would still be homeless today,” said Carlos Cardenas, Vice President of the board of ONE Northside in Chicago.

“Virginia Organizing strongly supports ending the cap for Social Security deductions,” said Virginia Organizing leader Eunice Haigler. “As an organization, many of our members rely on Social Security to provide basic living expenses and we are encouraged by the President’s change in position. For me personally, an increase in Social Security means that I can feel my many years of work means something and will give me dignity. Virginia Organizing calls on U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine to support this proposal and move forward to protect and strengthen Social Security for all people, especially those of us who rely on this program for our survival.”

“We are encouraged that President Obama is joining with other lawmakers to expand Social Security and we will continue our efforts to protect this essential program so that everyone will benefit,” said Mary Lassen, CCC”s Managing Director.

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The Center for Community Change builds the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to lead movements to improve the policies that affect their lives. For more information go to www.communitychange.org and follow us on Twitter @communitychange