Budget for All Delivers Letter to Mass. Congressional Offices

After 45 Massachusetts organizations signed a letter to Congress outlining principles for the current budget fight in Washington, Budget for All organizers delivered the letters to Congressional offices across the state on Dec. 5, 6 and 9.

At Rep. Joe Kennedy III’s Newton office, Peace Action’s Carol Coakley and Newton Dialogues on Peace and War’s Susan Mirsky delivered the letter to staffer Nick Clemons (above)

At Kennedy’s Attleboro office, Occupy Fall River’s Maryellen Kurkulos and Nancy Arthur met with staffer Lisa Nelson. The discussion went into the issue of how Pentagon cuts could affect jobs in the southcoast — Fall River still has double digit unemployment since recession. With Rep. JPK 3 it’s all about investment for the future, lack of adequately trained job force. We need to come back at Kennedy’s team showing that the Progressive budget would do far more for economic development than relying on Pentagon contracts. Maryellen also reminded Nelson of the many towns in the district that voted for the Budget for All (see map, left).

At Rep. Mike Capuano’s office, AFSC’s Paul Shannon pointed out the need for the Progressive Caucus to come up with an alternative budget. Staffer Kate Auspitz responded that the problem of gridlock in DC is awful and said that Rep. Capuano is looking to reach beyond the Progressive Caucus for effective budget legislation.

At Rep. Niki Tsongas’ office, DSA’s Paul Garver summarized the contents and reminded staffers that towns in the district had voted overwhelmingly for the Budget for All last year. They said that Rep. Tsongas was familiar with our concerns, and that they would pass on the letter to her.

Peace Action’s Bonnie Gorman and Dorchester People for Peace’s Betty Case met with Bob Fowkes, Rep. Stephen Lynch’s district director, for nearly half an hour. Fowkes said that Rep. Lynch is onboard with the Budget for All goals. We asked that Rep. Lynch vote for the progressive budget next spring and support peace with Iran. Fowkes said he will get back to us on both issues.

A group from the Worcester Unemployed Action Group including Lori Cairns, Sally Laporte and Chris Horton delivered the letter to Rep. Jim McGovern’s Worcester office.

Betsy Zielinski handed the letter to staff for Rep. Richard Neal in Springfield. They emphasized sequester repeal and the need to protect social security.

Peace Action’s Rachel Williams delivered the letter to Rep. John Tierney’s office.

Peace Action’s Cole Harrison and John Ratliff, Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants’s Michael Kane, and tax advocate Lee Farris delivered the letter to Jon Donenberg, legislative director for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, on Dec. 4. They praised Sen. Warren’s outspoken defense of Social Security and also addressed Iran, Afghanistan, and a HUD tenants rights bill.

Cole delivered the letter to Rocco DeRico, deputy state director for Sen. Ed Markey, on Dec. 9. DeRico confirmed what we already knew: that Sen. Markey is on board with the four points of the Budget for All.  We also asked for his support on Iran.