VIDEO: Hundreds of Portlanders Gather to Stand Against Austerity

On December 10th, more than 200 Oregonians gathered outside Senator Ron Wyden’s office in Portland to hold a candle light vigil with a clear message: No cuts, and no “Grand Bargains” that threaten basic services.

While Congress debates whether to allow the Bush–era tax cuts for to expire, vital social services like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare have become bargaining chips. Working America members, union workers, and others from the community stood together to hold a candle and testify that important services are the safety net for millions of Americans and are livelihoods that should not be bargained with.

We called on our representatives here in Oregon and around the country to stop tax breaks for the ultra wealthy and support the working and middle class Americans who make this country great.

Two of our members spoke, Michael Bailey and his daughter Eleanor. Eleanor has Downs Syndrome, and with the help of Medicaid she was able to use a job coach to help her get a job at a local grocery store where she pays taxes into these benefits that she continues to rely on. Michael is the chairperson of the National Disability Rights Network, shared his story about the widespread need for vital social services for everyone, especially people with special needs and disabilities.