For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Contact: Jesse Kudler
As Automatic “Sequester” Cuts Loom on March 1:
Protesters to Call on Sen. Toomey to Prevent Cuts to Education and Healthcare
Call for Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes, Job Creation Instead as part of National Day of Action
Joining protesters in over 100 other cities, a group of concerned constituents will protest against potential cuts to education and healthcare at Sen. Pat Toomey’s Philadelphia office on Wednesday, February 20 as a March 1 deadline approaches for more than one trillion dollars in automatic budget cuts. The 2012 “fiscal cliff” deal delayed automatic, across-the-board cuts on vital services until March 1, which is only 10 days away.
Federal funding is the single largest source of general revenue in Pennsylvania. 34.3% of state general revenue comes from federal sources. Federal funds currently pay for 55.1% of Pennsylvania’s Medicaid spending (which would go up next year if Gov. Corbett accepted the Medicaid expansion). With state budgets already overextended, the loss of federal funding will result in a shortfall in the state’s budget, making a slow economic recovery even worse. If the sequester happens, Pennsylvania will see cuts in jobs and vital services. Education jobs will be lost, Head Start will serve thousands fewer children, and veterans’ services will be cut. But proposals to replace the sequester with significant cuts to other core programs—like Medicaid and Medicare—will also cost jobs and threaten vital services.
Protesters will hold colorful signs opposing cuts to vital programs. Speakers will testify to the importance of crucial government programs, including Head Start and student aid. Seniors will talk about the support they receive from Social Security, and others will talk about Medicaid’s help in supporting their health. The protesters are calling on Sen. Toomey to prevent cuts and instead end tax breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street, and companies that ship jobs overseas and invest in job creation to get the economy moving again.
Speeches will conclude with a candlelight vigil before protesters march to the Comcast Building. Comcast is a rich corporation that avoids contributing its fair share in state and federal taxes, and its executives are part of groups like Business Roundtable that lobby for cuts to vital services. Additionally, its Executive VP, David L. Cohen, has recently endorsed Gov. Corbett and his painful agenda of cuts to health and education.
WHAT: Protest against cuts to vital services
WHEN: Wed., February 20, 2013, 4:30pm
WHERE: Sen. Toomey’s office, 17th and JFK; Comcast Center, 1701 JFK
WHO: Activists, students, parents, seniors, and other concerned citizens from Fight for Philly, Media Mobilizing Project, Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Alliance for Retired Americans, Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Democratic Socialists, Coalition of Labor Union Women, AFSCME District Council 33, Take Back Vacant Land Coalition, Moveon.org Philadelphia Council.
Fight for Philly is building a grassroots coalition of residents, community groups, neighborhood associations, faith organizations and labor groups united in the fight for good jobs, corporate accountability and strong communities.
email@example.com * (215) 232-3792 * http://fightforphilly.org
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