Rep. Dave Reichert will not listen to us

by Sandra VanderVen

Mercer Island--Want to know what inspires me?  People standing up for what’s right.Tuesday, 60 or 70 of 8th Congressional District Rep. Dave Reichert’s constituents gathered in front of his Mercer Island office to make a statement.

Worried womanEven without a formal speaker, we said a lot. We passed around the microphone and over and over, in many different ways, we said, "We're not buying it."

We see that the debt ceiling issue is a ruse meant to confuse and distract the middle class while more of our economic security is taken away.  It is like waving a bright object at a baby to get candy out of his hand without too much fuss.

Our purpose for going to the office was to point out to Reichert and the world that we are unhappy with the direction our government is headed. We think politicians like Reichert have forgotten that he is supposed to be representing us and devotes himself instead to helping the rich while failing to create jobs for the middle class.

While most of the country is concerned about finding a way to make a living, the politicians who side with Wall Street and greedy CEOs are suggesting that we need to cut the very services that are meant to keep us healthy and strong in times like this.

We told Reichert all of this.

In the crowd’s words:One woman mentioned that she would hate to be trying to fend for herself only on Social Security, but she knows many do. “People depend on Social Security. We pay for it all our lives, so it is, in fact, an entitlement. This should not be touched.”

Others were also concerned about Congress representing the rich and not the middle class.

One man said, “I’m frightened that we’ll have 12 members of Congress deciding what the country’s budget will be, and they won’t be accountable to anyone.”

In the words of one of another Reichert constituent: “There are rich people who are paying less in taxes than you and me, and they are not being asked to sacrifice anything. Why not?”And another...“We need a constitutional amendment stating that corporations aren’t people, so our elected representatives will start doing what is right for Americans, instead of jockeying for campaign donations at our expense.”

One man had a very reasonable suggestion about how we could balance our budget.  “How about we stop paying for senseless wars?”

What a great thing it is to spend the day around people who care enough to make a difference.  They did, too.

To top off the day, a very kind police officer came by to let us know that we would not be allowed into Rep. Reichert’s office without an appointment.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  I asked, “You mean he doesn’t want to hear what his constituents have to say?”

No.  No he doesn’t.