May 10, 2018
Virginians Rally to Keep Local Social Security Field Office Open
Alliance members joined American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) President J. David Cox and other allies at a rally in northern Virginia on Thursday to protest the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) plan to shut down the Rosslyn, Virginia local SSA field office. Alliance Executive Director Rich Fiesta and Alliance member Cecile Heatley both spoke at the event.
Ms. Heatley explained why she opposes the closure saying “I don’t drive anymore. It would be very difficult” to get to a Social Security office if the Rosslyn office closes. In addition to being near a subway stop, Heatley said the Rosslyn office has shorter lines and seats for people who are waiting. After hearing her story President Cox said, “she is the reason we are here!”
The SSA says it is closing the office because it can’t find new office space in the community. The decision will make in-person Social Security services much harder to get for many residents. The next closest field office is in South Alexandria — and is not easily accessible by public transportation.
Mr. Fiesta put the closure in a broader context and urged more support for the SSA workforce, which has not grown as the number of beneficiaries continues to increase. “Social Security is the people’s program, and we need people to run the program,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Closing a Social Security field office hurts beneficiaries by creating barriers for those with questions about their earned benefits.”
Members of the American Federation of Government Employees, the Northern Virginia Labor Council and Social Security Works also joined the action.