On Tuesday night, August 2, people all over the United States participated in the 27th annual National Night Out. The nationwide event focuses on community awareness in crime prevention. I took to the streets in the Ocean View neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia to celebrate this cause as well as talk to people about Social Security and the potential cuts that may soon occur.
Although a very different issue than crime prevention, Social Security is an issue that has a direct effect on communities, especially low income communities. On this night, the people of Ocean View were very happy to listen. In between the food, parade, and flashlight walk, I answered all the questions I could about Social Security and the cuts to other safety net programs.
The question I was asked the most last night is the same question that my fellow interns and I hear every day when we give our presentations: “what is my mother or father, grandmother or grandfather supposed to do if his Social Security is cut? It is his only form of income.” I couldn’t tell you how many times I have heard this question and the worst part about this question is that there is no good answer. So many citizens who are already below the poverty line rely on Social Security and would have no other options if the program was cut.
Seth Weston is an intern with the Virginia Organizing Social Security summer program. This summer in the S. Hampton Roads area, you can find Seth giving daily presentations on the future of Social Security.