NJ: Advocacy Groups Band Together Ahead of Budget Address
Joe Karcz, a Grassroots Ambassador from the New Jersey Organizing Project, spoke at a press conference on February 15 representing those who are still struggling with the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy, the colossal 2012 storm that wreaked havoc on much of the Jersey Shore and the surrounding area. Karcz talked about how his retirement savings and pension had been depleted and called on Governor Christie to do more to ensure that hard-working families and seniors are able to have retirement security. “I am not a politician, I am not a speaker, I am a union construction worker. I am a single dad trying to support two teenage boys,” he said. “These are all decisions by Mr. Christie that effect the people who pay his salary and put him in those chambers.”
Building a Caring Economy event in New Hampshire
On January 23, the Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP), CCC and other partners including Rights and Democracy, the Maine People’s Alliance, the Vermont Workers’ Center, and the New Jersey Organizing Project held an important day-long event in Concord called “Building a Caring Economy that Works for New Hampshire Families.” Roughly 150 people came together in workshops throughout the morning and in a series of panels and salon style conversations between grassroots leaders, academics, and elected officials.
The assembled community members dug deep into what it would really take to build a caring economy. GSOP youth leader Adol Mashut spoke to the struggles of low wage workers, sharing her powerful story of working in terrible conditions at a factory under a temp agency as a teen, to help her family make ends meet. Other leaders dug into the complex realities of rural poverty, the devastating impacts of climate change on frontline communities, energy-driven “economic development,” environmentalist concerns, and the struggles of organized labor to move toward a clean energy economy while defending the survival of their members.
NJ Grassroots leader speaks out against Gov. Christie’s pension cuts
Union Members Rally for Full Pension Payments at State House
Eliminate the income cap on Social Security deductions
My wife and I are retired, and never anticipated a tragedy like superstorm Sandy. Despite years of saving, and financial planning, if I hadn’t had Social Security after Sandy hit, I have no idea what we would have done. We had to spend a huge portion of our retirement savings and take out a loan to rebuild.
Social Security, one of the most successful programs ever put forth by our government, is in trouble. I am very concerned about recent attacks against Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries — particularly a new rule in Congress that would make it more difficult to extend the solvency of the Disability Insurance program.
While some of our elected officials are referring to Social Security as an entitlement, that is not the truth. Our citizens contribute to this program for most, if not all, of their working lives. We can stabilize Social Security if we scrap the cap of $118,500 and have the wealthy contribute as the rest of our citizens do.
Deductions from payroll into Social Security began in 1937, and until 2009 the amount collected by beneficiaries exceeded the amount paid out. In fact, this excess has allowed the federal government to borrow trillions of dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund, which the government has been repaying with interest.
Over 59 million Americans, 40 percent of whom are veterans, depend on the income only Social Security provides. While meaning no disrespect, our elected officials give enormous amounts of our citizens’ treasure (in lives and wars) all over the world. Do not surrender our Social Security.