Here is one member’s account of what we did in this time. Others may have more to add!
While the state was headed towards a government shutdown, WRC participated in different activities such as press conferences and bannerings to further draw attention to the fact that the Governor shouldn’t be taking any republican deal that has cuts in social program but doesn’t raise taxes on the rich. At two labor sponsored rallies, WRC brought out our (now famous) 12 king sized sheet banner reading: “No Cuts to Poor and Working People — Tax the Rich.”
June 8th 2011, members organized a picket at Governor’s Mansion to urge Governor Dayton to hold the line and not give in to any cuts to poor and working Minnesotans either tax the rich or shut the government down!
June 22nd 2011, WRC members and others picketed at Governor’s office to delivering letters to the Republican Leadership. We demand the Republicans to Stop holding the State of MN and its people hostage. Tax the Rich!
Welfare Rights Committee and Low income families still want Governor Dayton to hold the line:
June 30th, noon rally, St. Paul Capitol. Welfare Rights Committee and others held a protest and rally on government shut down eve. We brought the big 12-King Sized sheets that says: Tax the rich! no cuts to poor and working Minnesotans!
Thursday, June 30, at 9:00 pm to 12 midnight, St. Paul Capitol, Welfare Rights Committee joined the AFSCME Council 5’s action to protest and rally on government shut down eve.
July 13th to end of the shut down, WRC still participating in the government shutdown. Bannering with the 12 king sized sheet banner reading: “No Cuts to Poor and Working People – Tax the Rich” on the capitol steps. WRC also had signs stating:
WRC will still hold Governor Dayton’s promise to Tax The Rich! WRC will demand the Republicans to stop holding the State of MN hostage. We can’t afford their All-Cuts Bill!
WRC initiated a call-in campaign to tell the Governor to keep strong and not to take any bad deals during the government shut down.
July 14th, Governor Dayton takes a deal to end the shutdown. WRC stated it’s a bad deal and initiated a call-in campaign to tell Governor Dayton: Tell him to say NO to the Republican cuts to the poor! Dayton and the Republicans reached a very bad budget deal. They let the rich off the hook again – no tax increase on the rich, even though it was years of tax breaks to the rich that created the deficit.
WRC discusses on how to respond to the Federal Budget that will include lots of cuts to the poor, families, elderly, students and working people’s programs. Continues outreach to the communities with leaflets at the welfare offices.
Sept 17th, WRC rallied at the Saint Paul Welfare Office. WRC had flyers of information about the potential cuts. Did a call-in (on the spot) to Obama and Dayton to tell them to Tax the Rich and stop the war on poor and working people.
Oct 7th, WRC and MN Coalition for a Peoples’ Bailout participated in OccupyMN.
October 22nd, WRC held its celebration. All members took on roles to make the celebration a success
November 29th, WRC testified at Senate against the use of any public monies going towards a new Vikings Stadium.
WRC was a part of OccupyMN in organizing and participating in the action calling for the 99 tents for 99% action.
December 1st; WRC protest at Budget Forecast “Not one dime in cuts!” Tax the Rich
WRC have meetings with 4 politicians, one set of Senator and Representative to sponsor a moratorium on foreclosures, while another set to sponsor a “tax the rich” bill.
December 13th, WRC members and legislators meet about a moratorium on foreclosure and press conference
WRC continues to participate in OccupyMN
January 24th, WRC and MN Coalition for a People’s Bailout held the annual Opening Day Rally at the State Capitol. Many organizations endorse and spoke at the rally.
January 30th, members went to an EBT Task Force meeting at capitol where politicians discussed ways to make EBT cards harder to get for low-income people and families.
WRC continues to participate in OccupyMN
February 14th, Members gave testimony in the Senate regarding EBT, food stamps, and Minnesota family investment program (MFIP) and general assistance (GA) residency requirements modifications.
February 22nd, in the morning, again testified against the punitive senate bill. (Minnesota family investment program (MFIP) and general assistance (GA) residency requirements modifications and electronic benefit transaction (EBT) card limitations.
February 22nd in the afternoon went to the Human Services Committee to testify and lead a Mic check style demonstration. WRC wanted to shut down the House Health Committee hearing before the politicians past the most damaging welfare bill that have been proposed in years. (Frustrated activists responded to yet another punitive welfare bill with a “Mic Check.” This another in the parade of bills in the legislative agenda that goes against decency and reason.)
WRC continues to participate in OccupyMN
March 8th, WRC organized a protest at Rep Franson’s committee to protest her comments on comparing people receiving food stamps to wild animals. Over 20 people made it to the early protest then marched into the hearing room where she saw us.
March 9th, WRC member spoke on a Woman’s Day Panel for International Women’s Day.
March 12th, members of the WRC joined with over 5,000 people, union members, retired union members to concerned non-union workers, and other social justice groups, to protest the proposed “Right to Work” constitutional amendment that was being debated in a Senate committee.
March 13th, from 3 to 6pm WRC speaker against ALEC rally.
March 14th, in the morning, WRC and MN Coalition for a Peoples’ Bailout along with Senator Dibble and Represent Clark and other democrats held a symbolic “Peoples’ hearing” regarding the foreclosure issue. Over 50 people attended the press conference and hearing where Democrats heard the testimonies of the people dealing with their foreclosures. It was a success. It was a symbolic hearing because the Republican controlled Senate and House refused to give the Anti-foreclosure bill a hearing.
March 14th, in the afternoon WRC had 5 testifiers, to denounce the welfare attacks in the House Health and Human Service bill.
March 15th, WRC organized a follow up protest called: Mothers in poverty respond to Franson’s claims of “abuse” at her committee to protest her comments on comparing people receiving food stamps to wild animals. She was painting herself as a victim regarding all the negative press and protest that she claims put herself in a bad light
March 21st, in the morning, WRC members testified against the proposed Welfare fraud prevention provisions, drivers license photos access authorization, drivers licenses authenticity verification requirement, drug conviction search requirement and drug offenders welfare eligibility exclusion.
March 21st, in the afternoon, WRC had 5 testifiers, to denounce the welfare attacks in the House Health and Human Service bill.
March 28th, in the evening, WRC members testified against the proposed general assistance program(GA) modification.
March 29th, WRC played a key organizing role in the Occupy Woman’s Day Rally.
April 5th, WRC responds by fliering outside the house chambers: Republican Committee Chair Threatens Welfare Rights Protestors with “Fully Armed” Troopers in Public Hearing from the week before. Say NO to politician’s attempts at intimidation. Defend everyone’s right to speak out
April 16th, WRC and MN Coalition for a Peoples’ Bailout held annual “Tax the Rich” Rally. Hung the 12 king sized sheet banner of “Tax the Rich – No cuts to Poor and Working People” over the 2nd floor balcony. Onlookers were amazed by size and happy about the message.
April 19th, WRC member speak on “Food Justice: Women, Oppression, and Access” for Women’s Consortium.
April 26th, WRC initiated a call-in campaign to Governor Dayton: To tell him to Stop the Criminalization of poor families.
April 28th, WRC member spoke on a May Day Panel for International Worker’s Day.
April 30th, WRC on a panel of radio show Truth To Tell- to speak about poverty and legislation that is going through the capitol.
April 30th, WRC expresses concern at Governor Dayton’s “signing ceremony” for the Health and Human Service and talks with his staff about it.
April 30th, WRC protests at House Chambers while the Stadium Bill is being debated on the floor.
In May, 2012, WRC Members were quite involved in opposition of the tax payer “bail out” monies give to billion Ziggi Wit for a new stadium. WRC along with other protested the new Vikings’ Stadium. WRC was quoted in many media outlets to shine the light on poor and working people got sold out.
WRC protests at House and Senate Chambers against the Vikings’ Stadium Bill
May 11th, members of the Welfare Rights Committee and others held a protest outside the office of MN Governor Mark Dayton, to protest the passage of the Vikings’ stadium bill and urge him not to sign it.
May 14th, WRC and others protest Governor Dayton’s “signing ceremony” of the passage of the new Vikings’ Stadium. They chanted “Wilts got bailout out, we got sold out!” throughout the press conference.
May 15th, WRC members helped Anti-War Committee (AWC) with Bannering and handing out information Minneapolis in regarding to Carlos Montes’ (from LA) anti-repression trial.
May 20th: Powderhorn May Day Parade, WRC members helped Anti-War Committee pass out inform regarding their anti-FBI repression work.
May 23rd, WRC co-hosts anti-stadium rally outside Mpls City Hall.
During May, WRC participated in OccupyMN’s continuing protests against the DRE program.
June 5th, Members of WRC wrote a response to the Start Tribune’s article: “MN targets food stamp fraud.”
Through out June, WRC members did continues outreach to get people to come to WRC’s Celebration, we past out fliers at welfare offices, sent 100 postcards, and made 100s of phone calls to get people excited for the celebration.
June 24th, Pride Parade, WRC members helped Anti-War Committee pass out inform regarding their anti-FBI repression work.
June 30th, WRC held a successful Celebration for Justice Program, with the theme of “26 years and still going strong.” It was a well attended meeting with new people.
June 30th, WRC member and friend played benefit show for the Welfare Rights Committee. WRC needs to fundraise in order to start over since the office was burned to the ground in the fire at Walker Church, where they located.