9:29 AM Eastern - Friday, December 21, 2012

Workers can't be silent about the "fiscal showdown" #default

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner meets with SEIU Virginia 512 member Julia Newton and SEIU Virginia 512 President David Broder. Photo by David Sachs, SEIU

Virginia Sen. Mark Warner meets with SEIU Virginia 512 member Julia Newton and SEIU Virginia 512 President David Broder. Photo by David Sachs, SEIU

On Dec. 10, I joined other members of SEIU Virginia 512 and went to Tysons Corner mall and Sen. Mark Warner's office to make sure people heard our message about what we need from our government.

The debate over the "fiscal cliff" is too important for people like me not to get involved. I'm particularly concerned about Congress cutting Medicaid and giving more tax cuts to the wealthy.

A lot of wealthier people have retirement savings and can afford full healthcare benefits. They have their own plans for the future. Medicare and Medicaid help the people who are less fortunate and who really need it.

For the Dec. 10 Day of Action, we sang holiday carols with lyrics changed to be about our "Jobs, Not Cuts" message. It was hard for us to walk and sing at first -- we were like the seven dwarfs at the beginning of "Snow White" when they're falling all over each other. Eventually we got the hang of it and I think people enjoyed watching and listening to us.

After that, we went to Sen. Warner's office, which is near the mall. Some of us met with the Senator's secretary, who was incredibly kind and willing to listen to us.

Julia, a homecare worker and SEIU member, told her story about her son. She talked about how Medicaid has helped her son, and how she's been through that struggle with him. The secretary actually shed a tear and asked Julia for hug.

I hope that Sen. Warner is listening to his constituents like me. If Congress cuts Medicaid, that would hurt a lot of people -- it could kill some people.

In the meantime, we can't be silent. We need to continue making our voices part of this conversation.

Please take a minute to write to your member of Congress and tell them to stand up for working people. Click here.

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