This past week something amazing happened. President Obama took a giant step forward for Social Security when he called for expanding the program rather than cutting it. This monumental shift in his stance towards Social Security never would have happened without the work of activists like you. But the fight for expansion is far from over.
This is what some of our grassroots partners said about what Obama’s statement actually means:
“President Obama’s new position to strengthen and expand Social Security will help a lot of people achieve financial stability. It’s high time the wealthy paid their fair share into Social Security. Social Security Disability Benefits were there for me when I was disabled, unable to work, and homeless. Without SSDI, I would still be homeless today,” said Carlos Cardenas, a community leader from ONE Northside in Chicago.
“As someone who would benefit greatly from increased Social Security benefits I applaud President Obama’s shift to expand Social Security. Six years ago, I quit my job to become a full-time unpaid caregiver,” said grassroots leader Jeannie Brown of Bozeman, Montana. “Social Security will be my lifeline in 15 years when it is my time to retire and it needs to be expanded. I also know that this shift is a direct result of all the work that grassroots leaders, like myself, have done to educate elected officials to the need for this expansion because of our stories. Thank you President Obama in seeing the wisdom to make this happen.”
Building towards this shift to expanding Social Security did not happen overnight – it took a sustained campaign, in coordination with many national and local organizations across the country. From the beginning we helped bring together grassroots leaders like Carlos and Jeannie to ensure that the voices of real people were heard.