August 2012

Philadelphians Put Romney/Ryan Economy To Rest

Today, hundreds of Philadelphians gathered in solidarity to bury the Romney/Ryan economic agenda. As Mitt Romney officially accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, protestors held a Mardi Gras style funeral procession through the streets of Philly to bury his economic agenda. Activists waved signs and held up make-shift tombstones that read “RIP Romney’s Attack On The 99%” and “We don’t want a Romney Economy!” Activists also handed out “Romney Bucks”, which had the Republican nominee’s face printed on the front and his key economic points – like offshoring jobs, tax cuts for the rich, and privatizing services – printed on the back.

The rally kicked off at 5th and Market with a few words from Mike Stuart, a local minimum wage worker who traveled to Tampa to speak out for the 99% outside the RNC. “I can’t tell you how great it is to see so many people together in our fight for a better economy. “ Mike said. “We need to let America know that Romney’s economic plans are no good for us!”  A crowd close to 300 cheered and danced from 5th and Market to Romney’s headquarters on 4th and South. Once the rally reached Romney’s office, the sea of the protestors were re-energized after seeing a banner dropped from the side of Romney’s office building.  The banner read “The Romney/Romney Economy – Bad For Philly.” Community activists then spoke about the negative outcomes the Romney Economy would have on their lives.

“The 99% work hard enough already, why should our money go to give the 1% a $250,000 tax break?  We are the ones that need a big tax break.” Said Verell Rhyne, a security officer and 32 BJ Member.

Mitt Romney’s economic plan would add more burdens to middle class Americans, while providing advantages for the 1% .. His plan would also call for slashes to public services, which our most vulnerable families rely on, and he would offshore thousands of American jobs.

“Romney and Ryan want to tell me because I’m under 55, I have to go into a medical voucher program? And raise taxes on my meager pension and Social Security benefits? That I’m a drain on the economy? Well I say,’ I think Not!,’ said Peppi Davidson, a retired city worker. “You take that deal overseas, where your current fortune is and the drain you helped create resides. I deserve what I paid into and what was promised to me.”

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Media Advisory for Thursday, August 30 at 4:30pm

Media Advisory for Thursday, August 30 at 4:30pm

Contact: Umang Patel, 267-254-7968 or umang@fightforphilly.org

Follow along @fightforphilly, #RomneyEconomy

Philadelphia’s 99% to Put the Romney Economic Plan to Rest

Activists to hold festive funeral march, demand an economy that works for everyone

Philadelphia – On Thursday, as Mitt Romney accepts the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, low-wage workers, seniors, community activists, students and faith leaders will reject the Romney Economy.  Protestors will lead a festive funeral march from 5th and Market to Romney’s local campaign headquarters at 4th and South, where they will bury the Romney economy.

Workers will speak out against the elements of the Romney Economy that are dangerous to the working and middle class: outsourcing good jobs, tax breaks for the rich coupled with tax hikes for the middle class, and cuts to education and healthcare funding.  Speakers will also include area workers who have just returned from protesting the Romney Economy at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

WHO: Low-wage workers, retirees, faith leaders, union members and activists from community groups including Fight for Philly, Neighborhood Networks, Occupy Philly, Philadelphia Unemployment Project and Philly Jobs with Justice

WHAT: Funeral march to bury the Romney Economy

WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, August 30th at 4:30pm. 5th and Market, from there march to 4th and South

VISUALS: Activists dancing, playing music and carrying signs, banners, coffins and tombstones; a group of mourning 1%’ers

The demonstration is part of a nationwide movement rejecting the Romney Economy and demanding instead an economy that works for everyone: an increase to the federal minimum wage, an end to tax breaks for the rich and corporations, a renewed focus on creating good American jobs instead of layoffs and outsourcing for profit, and a Congress committed to representing all Americans, not just the 1%.

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MEDIA ADVISORY FOR Friday, August 24, 2012 4:00pm at 4th and South (Romney Headquarters)

CONTACT

Contact: Umang Patel, 267-254-7968 or umang@fightforphilly.org

Follow along @fightforphilly, #RomneyEconomy

Fight for Philly to Host Send-off for Minimum Wage Workers Headed to the Republican National Convention

Philadelphians traveling to Tampa to speak out for the 99% about the harm caused by plans to raise taxes, cut services for middle class to fund tax breaks for richest Americans

Philadelphia –  Philadelphia community members will have gather outside Mitt Romney’s local headquarters to rally and send off minimum wage workers headed to Tampa for the Republican National Convention.

Voters from across the country are traveling to Tampa to take a stand against policies that would mean more tax breaks for the rich, more American jobs outsourced, and more budget cuts on the backs of working families and their communities.  While in Tampa, they will participate in protests to draw attention to the harmful effects these  economic policies will have on the vast majority of Americans.

On Friday, Philadelphia activists will deliver messages to Romney’s office to be brought to the Convention, explaining why his economic agenda does not work for the 99%.  Minimum wage earners Sheena Ellison and Brittany Nichols and their supporters will share their personal stories and perspectives on why the Romney Economy won’t work for themselves or their families.

 

Who:  Local residents and members of Fight for Philly and other community organizations

What: Send-off for workers traveling to Tampa for the Republican National Convention

When:  4:00pm

Where: Romney Headquarters – 4th and South

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Media Advisory for Tuesday, August 21, 2012 5:00pm

Media Advisory for Tuesday, August 21, 2012 5:00pm

Contact: Umang Patel, 267-254-7968 or umang@fightforphilly.org

Follow along @fightforphilly, #RomneyEconomy

Philadelphians Answer Call to Fight For A Better Economy

Activists protest Paul Ryan fundraiser, calling for an economy that works for everyone

Philadelphia – Presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan will be in Philadelphia today for a 5:30pm dinner at the Union League. The dinner is reported to be a $50,000-a-plate event.

Ryan was recently announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate and the pair has already hit a nerve with the 99%. The Romney/Ryan economic agenda clearly favors the 1%, while adding more burden to middle class Americans.

The Romney/Ryan plan includes slashing public spending, tax-cuts for the rich, and cuts to education.  The plan to cut public spending would mean almost 4 million fewer jobs over the next three years.  The Romney/Ryan plan would raise taxes on families earning between 30 and 40 thousand dollars by almost $500 a year, while millionaires receive tax cuts of over $500,000 a year. The cuts to education spending will leave our children’s future in peril.

Americans don’t want a Romney/Ryan Economy. We want an economy that works for the 99%.

WHAT: Fight for Philly protests Paul Ryan’s Ritzy Dinner

WHO: Fight for Philly and Allies

WHEN: 5:00 pm, Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WHERE: Union League – 140 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19102

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Philadelphia’s 99% Puts the Romney-nomics Agenda to Rest

August 30, 2012, will be a national day of action against Mitt Romney’s economic policies. As the Republican Party prepares to formally nominate Romney that evening in Tampa, thousands of Americans will stand up and say no to a Romney Economy that puts the richest 1% ahead of the rest of us.

Here in Philly, we will put the Romney economy to rest with a funeral procession that ends at his headquarters. Romney’s key economic points like offshoring jobs, tax cuts for the rich and privatizing services will be buried – and the 99 will celebrate an economy that works for everyone. The ceremony will include caskets, tombstones, weeping 1%’ers, a jazz band and drumline – and a joyous crowd of 99’ers. After the Romney economic agenda has been declared dead, a few Philadelphians will speak about why they are saying no to a Romney economy.

Here are reasons why Romney-Nomics are no good:

  • Tax cuts for the rich, while leaving the 99% in the dust.
  • Making millions by shipping our jobs overseas and leaving hard working Americans jobless.
  • Corporate executives raking in millions off the backs of  low paid workers.
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Young Activists Take A Stand Against Low Wage Pay

Just a day ago, two young Fight for Philly minimum wage activists, Brittany and Sheena took a stand for themselves. We met to talk to Senator Toomey’s regional Chief of Staff James Fitzpatrick about the minimum wage. The night before, we dreamt about the minimum wage being raised to $10/hour. Sadly, we did not get any guarantee from Senator Toomey’s staff about raising the wage. But, it was not for lack of clear, compelling examples of why it SHOULD be raised to keep up with the rising prices of everything.

Sheena spoke of her significant opening and closing duties at her job- more responsibility for hardly any money. She works hard with a full-time schedule, yet cannot afford the basics on her own because her paycheck is so small. After she passionately explained this, Sen. Toomey’s staff took a trip to pretend land. They asked Sheena to imagine losing her job because her large, national employer could not afford the increase in pay to workers. Setting aside the fact that her corporate employer is likely sitting on piles of cash, Sheena & Brittney said they would not worry about job loss because the economy as a whole would likely be better for all of us after a raise in the minimum wage.

We then tried to focus on areas of common ground – like the benefits of pursuing college. Every day Brittney sees Temple students in her neighborhood, but knows being stuck in the minimum wage puts college tuition out of reach. The staffers just nodded and changed the subject. They asked Sheena if she felt she had the right to earn as much as she could, even become a millionaire. Sheena said she had nothing against rich people. But the massive wealth of a few should not be more important than the millions of minimum wage workers who can never make ends meet, or save for their family’s future. We agreed to disagree with the staffers, smiled and parted ways.

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Living on Minimum Wage: Mike Stuart

The Republican National Convention is quickly approaching and Guitar Center worker, Mike Stuart, is gearing up for his trip to Tampa Bay, FL at the end of the month. As Mitt Romney prepares to officially accept the nomination as the Republican Presidential Candidate, Stuart and other low-wage workers will speak out against his vision for the economy.

Mike Stuart is one of thousands of workers struggling to make ends meet and a raise in the current minimum wage would allow him and thousands of others earn a decent living. Here’s what Mike has to say about how a Romney economy:

“My Name is Mike and I’m an assistant manager at Guitar Center, getting paid $7.25 an Hr. I‘ve been at Guitar Center for 5 years now and I have not gotten one raise.  I once asked for a raise, and they told me “We don’t do that kind of thing here.”  So, here I am, an assistant manager getting paid 7.25.

A year after I began working at Guitar Center, Bain Capital took over and since the takeover I have seen drastic changes, especially to the commission structure, which is now set up for complete failure.

With the Bain takeover Guitar Center  has turned into a revolving door and has pushed out knowledgeable, quality employees who just want a decent wage so they can take care of their families while doing something they love. I’m one of those employees who loves everything about music and it is a joy to pass my knowledge to other people and help them make music. However, the excitement and enthusiasm I once had for this job quickly faded once I realized that I could barely keep my head above water with what they are still paying me, which again is 7.25.

I’m a college graduate struggling to find a new job. I’m 29 and still can’t afford to live without a roommate.  The only employment I could find was this job that is in NJ. Which makes me rely on my car everyday to get back and forth to work. Living paycheck to paycheck does not give enough room to deal with unexpected costs – like, if something were to happen to my car leaving me unable to get to my job.

As I said earlier, at Guitar Center we rely on commission, which fluctuates every month especially during these summer months when folks go away on vacation. For example last month after paying rent, utilities, and phone bills I was left with just under $100, which has to last for 2 weeks until the next payday.  If I’m struggling I have no idea how my co-workers are making ends meet, some being single dads and others with loved ones in the hospital.

I know my story is one of thousands and this is why I’m here, urging congress to support all of us, not just the rich corporations, by putting everyday working Americans first and raising our minimum wage.”

Mike’s experiences working at Guitar Center are echoed by many others who work for Bain-owned companies.  Bain Capital, which Romney co-founded and led for fifteen years, clearly illustrates what’s wrong with Romney’s vision for the economy: Their model is to enrich the 1% by taking over companies, siphoning profits, avoiding paying taxes, laying off workers and leaving crummy low-wage jobs for everyone else.


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