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February 23 Forum on Expanding Social Security

By Robby Stern

Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson are co-directors of Social Security Works, an influential and effective advocacy coalition in Washington D.C. Nancy and Eric have authored a book that was recently released, Social Security WORKS!: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All. They will be two of the featured speakers in a forum on Monday, February 23, at 7 p.m. at United Food & Commercial Workers Local 21, Joe Crump Hall, 5030 First Avenue South in Seattle.

The forum, entitled “Social Security: Why It’s Not Broke and How We Can Expand It” will provide critical information on what we need to know and how we can best organize to win the fight to preserve and strengthen Social Security.

Joining Ms. Altman and Prof. Kingson on the program are two well-respected local leaders. Seattle City Councilmember, Kshama Sawant, and Washington State Labor Council President, Jeff Johnson, strong supporters of expanding Social Security, who will provide us with their views on how we win the battle to expand Social Security and how we organize to stop those who want to cut benefits and/or privatize the system.

The newly published book reflects the growth of prominent voices in Congress and across the country who are calling for the expansion of our Social Security system. While the Republican congress mounted their newest attack on Social Security on the first day of the 2015 session, a growing number of people across the country know that Social Security is not “going broke” and does not add a penny to the national debt. The book provides a wealth of information that will be helpful to advocates. It will be available for purchase at the forum.

Adults, young and old, have a stake in understanding the real story. Social Security is critical to addressing the looming retirement crisis that will affect two-thirds of today’s workers. All of us deserve to have a chance at experiencing dignified retirement years, which includes financial security.

The Social Security Disability program that helps to protect individuals and their families in the event of disability or premature death must also be preserved and enriched. The Republican Congress is trying to pit beneficiaries on the Social Security Retirement program against those on the Social Security Disability program. The forum will address how we can thwart their wedge strategy.

With the decline in defined benefit pensions and the total inadequacy of 401Ks, there is a looming retirement crisis that will affect more than two-thirds of today’s workers. Social Security can help stop the collapse of the middle class, lessen the pressure squeezing families from all directions, and serve as a partial antidote to the upward redistribution of wealth. Scrapping the Cap will require the top tier on the income level to contribute their fair share to retirement security for all and provide the revenue to improve Social Security benefits. We have to continue organizing ourselves to win the battle!

Please plan to attend this exciting, movement-building forum on Monday, Feb. 23, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Joe Crump Hall, UFCW 21, 5030 First Avenue S., Seattle.

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