Reichert to his credit decided to talk to us-- this time. It was unexpected, but appreciated and we wanted to share our stories about how this economy is just not working for the vast majority of us.
Jamel Moxey talked about how this economy was hurting his parents so bad that they were looking into moving back to Honduras, a “third world country” in his words.
Vanessa Godfrey, a public school bus driver, could not believe that we were cutting budgets to education.
“We work our tails off,” she said. “We the non-teaching staff keep our schools running and they just keep cutting. We can’t afford it; our kids can’t afford it. We have to tell these politicians to get their priorities straight.”
He thanked us for coming all the way out to DC and for being a part of this process. But he didn't have much else to offer. In response to our stories from the front lines of the economic crisis, Congressman Reichert started rifling off talking points about how the economy really needs more corporate tax handouts, more spending cuts. At one point he even admitted that “someone” was going to be hurt. The Congressman was a gracious messenger, but his message was more of the same old plan that we know doesn’t work. We’ve tried it and it just makes things worse.
Gina Peterson, an unemployed former Nurse’s Aide for over 18 years, flew all the way from Seattle to DC to speak face to face with her legislators. She was bundled up against a surprisingly warm DC winter afternoon, and asked to talk to Reichert after he finished his remarks.
“I had to stay stuck In a job that wasn’t moving me forward,” she said. “Then when I got laid off I had nothing to fall back on."
Gina had wanted to further her education throughout her career, but bills, sub living wage pay and long hours sapped any chance to pursue her dream.
“We need good jobs that let us have a future,” she said. “If I do find work there’s no way I can stop working until I die.”
Reichert listened to Gina's story…then again put forth his plan for more of the same — specifically, to give more tax breaks to corporations.
Corporations are taking in more profits than ever, and they don't need even more from us. After all, we the workers are the ones who create wealth. We are the ones who pave the roads, build the power grids and supply the resources that corporations then buy and sell, trade and deal. Without us there is no wealth.
It shouldn't be that hard. We need our elected leaders to focus on the real crisis this county faces, a jobs crisis. We have given and given and we are reaching our breaking point. We need to work right now and we need good jobs to take care of our families.
It’s time that our elected officials started giving something back — besides more of the same.