The Bush Tax Cuts: Ten Years of Disaster
On June 7, Virginia Organizing marked the ten-year anniversary of the Bush Tax Cuts with events calling for an end to the tax cuts that primarily benefitted the wealthiest Americans, raised the deficit and did nothing to create jobs.
Virginia Organizing supporters gathered in front of Rep. Robert Hurt’s office in Danville and the Fredericksburg Public Library and shared their experiences over the past ten years and what they think the money could have been used for instead. Residents also expressed their concerns for Rep. Hurt, Rep. Rob Wittman and other Virginia members of Congress’s recent vote in support of Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial budget proposal to end Medicare, as we know it.
An Exchange That Works for Us, Not Just Big Insurance
Currently the Governor McDonnell appointed Virginia Health Reform Initiative (VHRI) is working on a blueprint for setting up Virginia’s health benefits exchange. The exchange would be set up as part of the new health care law and would allow residents without employer provided insurance to pool their money together and bargain for better rates and coverage. Creating a health benefit exchange that allows for competition is an important priority. The exchange should seek to have a selection of plans that all provide quality, affordable and accessible health insurance options for Virginia’s consumers.
The exchange should be set up to serve health care consumers, not only the insurance companies.
The Virginia Organizing Health Care committee is fighting for an exchange that benefits consumers by encouraging competitiveness and opposing the conflict of interest of having insurers on the board. The Virginia Main Street Alliance, a small business project of Virginia Organizing, has also been surveying hundreds of local business on how they think the exchange should be set up and how it should be governed.
Setting the Record Straight on Social Security
As politicians in Washington debate cutting Social Security as part of a deficit reduction plan, a group of young Virginians will be speaking to thousands of seniors about Social Security’s future and what can be done to protect the program for future generations.
This summer Virginia Organizing is sending teams of interns statewide to make hundreds of community presentations on the current state of Social Security and how we can take action to protect it for future generations.
“As a senior, I know for a fact that there is a lot of misinformation out there about Social Security. It feels like every time I turn on the television some politician is fear mongering about Social Security. So, one day, Virginia Organizing said enough is enough,” said Janice “Jay” Johnson, board member of Virginia Organizing. “We need to set the record straight for seniors and young people alike.”
The teams of interns will make presentations in Tidewater, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Prince William County, and Southwest Virginia. The interns, many recent college graduates, will be presenting at senior centers, churches, synagogues, nursing homes and community centers.
The interns will be debunking myths about Social Security and will share ways to take action to protect the program for future generations.
“While the politicians spread false information via television ads, we are taking the real information directly to folks in the community,” added Johnson.
Democracy Across Borders
This summer Virginia Organizing proudly hosted two women from Afghanistan as part of the UVA Center for Politics participation in the Global Perspectives on Democracy program. The 11 delegates of this year’s program are female public service and legal professionals from locations throughout Afghanistan and are volunteering at Charlottesville area non-profits and community organizations. Wazhma Abdul Rahimzay and Marinia Sarwary shadowed Charlottesville organizer Harold Folley to learn about American democracy and civic engagement. Wazhma and Marinia canvassed, registered voters, attended community and legislative meetings and spoke to dozens of local residents about their impressions of their own community and Afghanistan.