For Immediate Release – August 15, 2012
Welfare recipients to protest recent political ad attacks on welfare
Low income people demand : Stop the welfare bashing, bring our families out of poverty!
Picket and Press Conference
Thursday, August 16, 2012 10am
Hennepin County Welfare Office
12th St and 3rd Ave. Downtown Minneapolis
On August 16th, at 10am, the Welfare Rights Committee will be in front of the Hennepin County Welfare Office with a picket and press conference to demand that presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and all political candidates, end the stereotypes and bashing of welfare. In the past week there has been a flurry of political ads and commentaries surrounding a move by the Obama Administration to grant waivers to states slightly relaxing work requirements within welfare.
“We are sick and tired of poor people being used as cannon fodder in political campaigns. It’s time for politicians, from the federal level on down, to tell the truth about welfare and poverty,” stated Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee. “ We are in a devastating economic crisis with massive unemployment. We need politicians to focus on getting our families out of poverty instead of trying to gain political points by bashing the poor.”
In speeches, Romney has made repeated statements about welfare creating a ‘culture of dependency’. “Politicians should instead be talking about the culture of dependency of the 1%. The amount of public subsidies that go to the richest and their corporations goes far beyond any public assistance that goes to poor or working families,” stated Debra Howze of WRC.
In Minnesota, welfare grants have not gone up at all since 1986. If Minnesota’s welfare grants had kept up with inflation, MFIP (MN’s welfare program for families) grants would be double what they are now. In 1986, a family of 2 got $437 to live on. In 2012, a family of two still gets $437.
“This bashing of welfare is just a smokescreen to take the attention off the fact that the majority of people are getting worse off , while the wealthiest are getting richer and richer,” stated Linden Gawboy of the WRC.
Members of the Welfare Rights Committee will be presenting a “Reality Check” about welfare that disputes the political rhetoric being thrown around. The Welfare Rights Committee is currently leading a campaign to raise the welfare grants and are pressing local politicians, including Governor Dayton, to take action to give the first welfare increase in 26 years.