Faced with billions in cuts to our kids education, care for our seniors, and services for other vulnerable populations, thousands of workers took to the steps of the state Capitol to demand a responsible budget on May 3rd. It was by far one of the largest rallies in recent years, and no doubt sent a clear message to Governor Corbett and the General Assembly Leadership that the proposed budget hurts working families while giving generous tax breaks to the big corporations that back their campaigns.
“We’re talking about huge wealthy corporations such as Wal-Mart, G.E., Home Depot, and Toys ‘R Us, who do not pay state income tax in PA,” said Dawn Esterley, a home care worker from Meadville. “Services we all depend on like education, health care, and environmental protection are proposed to be slashed. We don’t have all the answers, but know injustice when we see it, and this is an injustice of epic proportions to those of us who do pay taxes.”
Before the main rally, SEIU led a march of 500 people to the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry – the main lobbyists for big business in the state. There, taxpayers held an intervention to get the Chamber to realize they are addicted to tax evasion. Gene Barr, VP of Government and Public Affairs, met us outside be refused to take a copy of our 12 Step program for corporate tax evaders.
As amazing as the day was, one day of rallying in Harrisburg isn’t going to stop the cuts or win us a responsible budget. We have to keep demanding that corporations pay their fair share and get the economy back on track for middle class families – with good jos, good schools, affordable health care, a clean environmen and a better future for our state.