DMI Blog

Maureen Lane

Heating Coal in their Stockings?

Congress has recessed for the holidays - but Santa Claus won't be the only person visiting our Representatives when they come home. We will not forget that they take up the misguided budget reconciliation bill in January when they return to Washington.

We at Welfare Rights Initiative are making sure that when New York's Congressional delegation comes home for the holidays they will meet with the very students upon whose backs the weight of the new budget will ride and hear a resounding "No!" to their shortsighted cuts to education access.

According to today's Washington Post article, in retribution for the Arctic drilling defeat, the Republican leadership removed money for heating subsidy from a defense bill that passed yesterday. Political manuvering that causes the loss of winter heating help for the poor in the reveals a callous lack of concern from the Conservative leadership for the safety of American families.

This hurts families all over, including Long Island and we are especially disappointed in Long Island Representative Peter King's support of this budget on the backs of struggling Americans. We hope now that after his trip home he will return to work in the New Year with new clarity on what must be done to support and expand the middle class- not leave them out in the cold.

We are not content to sit back and hope for reason. Welfare Rights Initiative and many of our coalition partners, Education Taskforce, Empire State Economic Security Campaign, JPAC Intergenerational Committee and Welfare Reform Network to name a few, are using the Congressional recess as a chance to engage in some face-to-face meetings with our Representatives. Student members of WRI will be talking to their electeds this Holiday Season. We look forward to a discussion that will build new ideas for the federal budget as well as state and city programs for poor, low and middle income families.

This Holiday Season, we are putting the participation back in Participatory Democracy. Like education, it's the gift that keeps giving.

Maureen Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 2:19 PM, Dec 23, 2005 in Democracy | Education | Federal Budget | Fiscal Responsibility | New York | Welfare | activists | public services
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