by Connie Entrekin,
President, Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)
Recent events have demonstrated that an informed electorate can make a difference. Retirees all across the country attended town hall meetings held by their legislators to let them know exactly what they thought of the Ryan budget plan. Educated and armed with the facts, activists showed up to demonstrate their displeasure with the Republican - led budget that recently passed in the House of Representatives and changed the course of the debate.
This grassroots activism once again established that working class Americans will not stand pat and allow the corporate elite and their elected lackey’s to run roughshod over what is good for all Americans. You made your voices heard! The leaders of the far right and minions of the rich backed-out from their draconian approach to destroy Medicare in a half-baked scheme to balance the budget.
SOAR members joined with the Alliance for Retired Americans in over 20 “Don’t Make Us Work until We Die” events. These grassroot actions stressed that cutting entitlement benefits would require people to keep working far past when they should be able to retiree with dignity. These events also demonstrated to our elected officials that we are paying very close attention to their activities.
We must keep the pressure on! We must continue to express our concerns about the budget process. We must get a commitment from our legislators to oppose any attempt to weaken or dismantle Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The question we all must ask ourselves is one that many activists have asked themselves throughout the ages - "If not us, who; If not now, when?"