August 2010 was filled with successful celebrations and rallies around Social Security. All-told, state Alliances hosted over 80 events with well-over 5,000 people to formally celebrate. Over 50 Members of Congress or their staff joined in the festivities.

Social Security was a dominant news story in August. Alliance events generated an abundance of earned media including television, local radio and newspaper coverage.

Alliance events ranged from cutting cake with Congresswoman DeLauro in Connecticut and Photo credit: Jordan Rinehart/USActionCongressman Steve Kagen in Wisconsin to a multi-city truth tour in Illinois. Over 400 people attended the Social Security celebration in Harlem, New York, while 200 packed a senior center in Tucson, Arizona; 250 in Delray Beach, Florida; 300 in Seattle, Washington. Over 500 Wisconsin State Fair-goers signed a petition encouraging elected officials to preserve and strengthen Social Security.

Alliance members and leaders nationwide will continue to educate and mobilize communities and the public around the ongoing threats to Social Security and encourage the preservation of this wonderful program - not for themselves, but for future generations.

Highlights  

State by state

Arizona

200 people gathered in Tucson for a birthday party & luncheon with Congressman Raul Grijalva. Grijalva promised to vote no on any report from the fiscal commission which calls for cuts to Social Security or Medicare. He has also co-authored a letter to the Fiscal Commission co-chairs expressing “strong opposition to any potential proposal” from the commission undermining or reducing Social Security benefits, privatizing the program or raising the retirement age.

Video: Celebration – Singing "Happy Birthday" in Spanish & English with Rep. Grijalva

Grijalva at celebration on Social Security

Photos


California

The California Alliance sponsored Social Security celebrations and rallies in Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.

In Fresno, for example, celebrations included a delivery of 2000 postcards calling for the protection of Social Security to Senator Dianne Feinstein. Lunch was provided by firefighters with birthday cake for desert. Attendees included Congressman Jim Costa (CD 20), Eligio Nave, Pres. Hispanic Chamber & current chair of PAC, and staff from Sen. Dean Flores’ office. In spite of the heat, the crowd was enthusiastic and lively and sang Social Security Song to the tune of God Bless America.  

In Los Angeles, 100 members of the community turned out. The audience was enthusiastic and emphasized the importance of Social Security for everyone—not only seniors.

(Pictured at right: Social Security 75th birthday party with Congressman Xavier Becerra)

Press & Mentions:     


Connecticut
Celebrations in Connecticut included Hartford, New Haven, New London and West Hartford.

Three hundred people attending the AFL-CIO Convention passed a resolution to strengthen Social Security and prevent cuts to the program.

One hundred twenty people attended a birthday party and forum with Congressman John Larson. A Social Security Works for Connecticut study was presented to Congressman Larson at this event.

Press & mentions:

75 years of Social Security celebrated - New Haven Register (New Haven, 8/12/2010)   

Should She Worry About Social Security - New Haven Independent (New Haven 8/12/2010)

At Social Security birthday party, Rosa DeLauro cuts the cake - People's World (8/16/2010)


Florida

The Florida Alliance hosted Social Security events in Cocoa Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Meyers and Pompano.

The celebration in Delray Beach hosted 250 local citizens for a seniors forum with Congressman Tom Deutch.

Congressmen Ron Klein and Ted Deutch spoke to a crowd of 100 to a meeting and celebration of Social Security in Pompano.

Press:

Florida senior Jo Price on Social Security:

More stories here


Georgia

Nearly 200 local residents turned out in Doraville for a celebration of Social Security’s 75th birthday. 13th District Rep. David Scott & UAW Regional representative Tom Savage spoke to the crowd.


U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, and Joyce Hermanstorfer, a regional board member for the Alliance for Retired Americans. Photo: Dave DeWitte, ReporterIowa

The Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans hosted several Social Security celebrations in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fort Dodge and Waterloo.

Rep. Loebsack attended celebrations in Cedar Rapids and shared his personal Social Security story.

Press:


Illinois

The Illinois Alliance launched a “Truth Tour” in honor of Social Security’s 75th birthday.  Illinois Alliance President, Barbara Franklin, and other leaders within IARA traveled to Alton, Bloomington-Normal and Aurora to speak about Social Security and issued a call-to-action for attendees to sign letters to their elected Representatives to protect Social Security.  

Following the Truth Tour, the Illinois Alliance organized a protest against Rep. Paul Ryan, in Chicago for an endorsement event. Video:

Press:

Indiana

The Indiana Alliance held Social Security events in Indianapolis, Kokomo and Evansville.


Maryland/DC

The Maryland/DC Alliance held Social Security events in Greenbelt, Baltimore and Suitland.

AFSCME retirees and Baltimore area seniors celebrated Social Security’s 75th birthday and discussed present threats to the future of the program.

Maryland’s Secretary on Aging, Gloria Gary Lawlah, and Sue Ward from the National Commission to Preserve Social Security and Medicare joined Alliance leaders and area seniors for a celebration in Suitland, Maryland.


Missouri

Congressman Russ Carnahan and staff from Sen. McCaskill's office joined Alliance leaders and seniors in St. Louis for a forum and birthday celebration.
 
Press:

North Carolina

Cary, Lewisburg, Raleigh and Smithfield seniors and Social Security supporters held birthday parties and roundtables in honor of the 75th anniversary.

In Cary, NC, Senator Kay Hagan joined seniors and Alliance members for an in-depth discussion on Social Security.

In Lewisburg, U.S. Congressman Etheridge and State Rep. John May, as well as the local Mayor& Sheriff turned out for a 75th birthday bash.

40 seniors joined Congressman Bob Etheridge and State Rep. Leo Daughtry for a Social Security Senior Roundtable & Anniversary party in Smithfield.


Nebraska

Two Social Security birthday parties were held in Omaha in honor of Social Security’s 75th birthday this year. Rep. Lee Terry, Terry's challenger State Senator Tom White, and 2 other state Senators turned out to a celebration with NEA retirees and others.


New Hampshire

Hundreds of seniors in  New Hampshire took part in Social Security celebrations in Dover, North Conway and Merrimack. U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter was on hand at all three meetings.

Shea-Porter re-enforced previous statements opposing Social Security cuts, privatization, and raising the retirement age. The New Hampshire Alliance's Terry Lochhead said, "Attendees stated they were glad to get the facts."

Margaret Mace wrote to the
Concord Monitor: "Raising the retirement age for Social Security is a bad idea. My first husband died at 51. He didn't get anything back. Raising it to age 70 would deny even more people. Instead, we should raise the payroll tax cap on Social Security for the wealthiest Americans."

Press:


New Mexico

The New Mexico Alliance held 2 celebrations in Albuquerque and 2 celebrations in Las Cruces.


Photo: Dennis TraceyNew York

Over 400 union and community members attended the bi-lingual (Spanish/English) event in Harlem.  Many younger participants from surrounding public housing developments and the Taino Towers attended the inter-generational celebration.

Special speakers included Congressman Charles Rangel, State Senator Ruben Diaz, State Assembly’s Cathleen McCadden, Keith Wright, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, and City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. Also represented: NYS Office for the Aging, the Social Security Administration (DC), Social Security Works, the national Alliance for Retired Americans, and AARP. FDR’s grandson David Roosevelt joined the Photo: Dennis Traceyfestivities as well.

Special performances by: Tato Laviera, popular Hispanic poet (author of 5 books, more than 15 plays performed in NYC, performed in White House for President Jimmy Carter in 1981). Social security beneficiaries and local residents including Marjorie Eliot (jazz pianist) and Ismael Granda, a "one man latino band," also performed.

Press:

Harlem Celebrates 75 Years of Social Security - The Epoch Times         (8/19/2010)


Nevada

The Nevada Alliance celebrated Social Security's birthday in Gardnerville and Las Vegas.


OhioRep. Fudge in Cleveland

The Ohio Alliance held celebratory events in Canton, Cleveland, Warren-Youngstown and 2 events in
both Columbus and Toledo.

One hundred locals enjoyed a birthday party in Canton. They were joind by Congressman John Boccieri as well as the Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, who both pledged to keep Social Security secure and not to send it to Wall Street via privatization. Boccieri and Fisher also expressed concern over recent Alan Simpson remarks.

The celebration in Cleveland with Congresswoman Marcia Fudge was coordinated with allies Progress Ohio, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and Senior Voice.

Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy attended 2 well-attended events in Columbus. Kilroy answered questions about the absence of Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) this year, explaining the House passed a COLA but it was filibustered in the Senate. Kilroy suggested that Congress could potentially pass an alternative Rep. Fudge at multigenerational SS party - ClevelandCOLA that measurers the cost-of-living for seniors. Congressman Sander M. Levin joined Rep. Kilroy in Cleveland for one of the events.

Congresswoman Kaptur was on hand and supportive of two major celebrations in Toledo. She proudly displayed the “Social Security: Preserve, Protect, Pass it on” sign during television interviews at the event.

Warren-Youngstown rang in Social Security’s 75th with over 75 locals in addition to Congressman Tim Ryan, the Mayor of Warren – Michael O’Brien and several other leaders from the labor and aging communities.

Press:


Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Alliance hosted events in Aliquippa, Bethlehem, Erie and Sharon.

Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, present at the Sharon celebration, proved again to be a strong supporter of strengthening Social Security.

PARA members and local citizens in Aliquippa presented Congressman Jason Altmire with a petition and numerous postcards from his constituents in support of strengthening Social Security, not cutting it. Altmire said that he is against raising the retirement age, against cutting benefits for current Social Security recipients and against proposals that would “hurt the program.” He could not, however, commit support to raising the cap on taxable wages and said he might vote for Deficit Commission recommendations that contained one or two provisions he does not favor.


South Carolina

Over 100 people turned out in Rock Hill for a Social Security Birthday celebration. Congressman John Spratt was one of the attendees.


TexasPhoto: Gene Lantz (Dallas)

The Texas Alliance held events in Austin, Dallas and Grand Prairie. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson was represented in Grand Prairie and Dallas.

Blogging from Tyler, Texas - the ARA’s Shane Fox:

- Social Security Birthday Parties & Rallies - A Great Success! (8/16/2010)

- Do These Things Today & Save Social Security (8/20/2010)

- Texas: Social Security Works for You! (8/23/2010)


Vermont

The Vermont Alliance celebrated Social Security in Burlington by preparing cupcakes for the local Social Security office and staff.

Burlington Free Press reported:
“Workers in the [Social Security] office filed in for cupcakes and exchanged greetings with the visitors. The Alliance wanted to thank the 24 workers in the Burlington Social Security office for the work they do, said board member Janet Patterson -- and to remind the general public that the system, as has been true since its inception, is under attack.”

Read more here: Social Security turns 75 Saturday - Burlington Free Press (8/13/2010)


Washington

Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Jim McDermott joined over 300 Alliance and community members in Seattle for a festive Social Security birthday celebration at Greenwood Senior Center.

Great video coverage:

 


Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Alliance held Social Security celebrations in Eau Claire, Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison and Milwaukee.

Over 500 Wisconsin State Fair-goers signed a petition encouraging elected officials to preserve and strengthen Social Security in Milwaukee. Congressman Steve Kagen attended the Green Bay celebration.

Press and mentions:

 


West Virginia

The West Virginia Alliance held an event in Charleston.