Young People #StormCongress; Demand Fair Deal on Fiscal Cliff Negotiations [VIDEO]
A diverse coalition of students and young organizers took to the Capitol on Monday, pressuring their representatives to support the middle class and reach a deal focused on the 98 percent in the so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations.
If a deficit-reduction deal is not reached before Jan. 1, automatic across-the-board spending cuts will wreak havoc on the budgets for education, transportation, public safety, medical research, and environmental protection. Furthermore, keeping additional tax breaks for income above $250,000 could cost middle-class families $2,000 a year.
"Congress should know that young people are being educated and mobilized on this issue—in and outside of Washington," said Eduardo Garcia, the advocacy manager at Campus Progress and one of the lead organizers of the lobby day. "We're going to continue to organize our communities until Congress reaches a deal that works for young Americans and their families."
Organizers and participants of the lobby day said any deal that would extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent at the expense of the middle class and those in need would be unacceptable.
The young lobbyists, some seasoned and some there for the first time, recieved an orientation session covering the basics.
The big takeaways:
- Don't worry if you don't know every granular policy detail; you are the expert on how these cuts could affect your community and your family.
- Split up roles—facilitator, note-taker, somebody to provide personal testimony, somebody to deliver the core message and the "ask."
- While talking to a congressperson (or more likely an aide), be professional and personable—but know that they might hedge or be vague, so try to get them to commit to protecting the middle class.
"Too often people see the youth voice as the exception...but the youth vote does care and get out there," Crane said.
Emily Crockett is a reporter with Campus Progress. Follow her on Twitter @emilycrockett. Pratik Panda is an Online Communications Intern for Campus Progress. Follow him on Twitter at @adnap08.
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