The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Media Outreach Department,Phone: 202-637-5018

Summer of Accountability - Frustrated Working Families Hold Politicians Accountable in August


This August, working families are lifting their voices to hold politicians accountable and call for an economy that strengthens the middle class. Participants will tell members of Congress and state legislators that their extreme political agenda is not in line with working Americans at more than 450 events across the country. And today the AFL-CIO launched a petition titled "America Wants to Work" to our 800,000 online activists, urging politicians to bring the same urgency to the jobs crisis that they brought to the politically manufactured crisis over the deficit.

Shortly after the vote to pass the debt ceiling deal, where working people ended up last on the list of priorities, House Republicans announced they would recess without authorizing funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and putting at risk nearly 100,000 jobs. It's just the latest example that working people are merely incidental in the minds of the House GOP leadership as they recklessly pursue their anti-middle class, anti-worker, lobbyist-driven agenda.

Working families across the country are angry at the partisan attacks pursued by politicians in Washington and in state capitals instead of action to tackle the tough issues most important to working people: creating jobs and restoring balance in our economy.

So between now and Labor Day, thousands of working people will be at town halls, fundraisers, and other community events to ensure their voice is heard through the din of corporate CEOs.

Just in the past week:

o In New York, seniors held a "knit-in" to make blankets (in the style of a Medicare card) to protest potential cuts to the program;
o In Colorado, constituents rallied outside of Rep. Cory Gardner's office in opposition to a debt ceiling deal that risked Medicare cuts;
o In states like Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky, groups gathered to protest House Republicans holding the economy hostage and urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling;
o In Kansas and Utah, parents and teachers came together at rallies to "Save our Schools."

* In the coming weeks, constituents in states like Colorado, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Iowa and Florida will hold actions to hold politicians accountable including:

o Pressing Reps. Tipton and Gardner at their town halls on August 5 and 8 on whether they will cut Medicare and Social Security in order to give tax breaks to corporations and the extremely wealthy;
o Events in opposition to cuts to Medicare and Social Security;
o Jobless workers will call for good jobs, not political agendas;
o Protests of state legislators' gerrymandering antics at redistricting hearings;
o Actions holding state politicians accountable for their votes on anti-worker, anti-middle class legislation.

* Today the AFL-CIO is launching an "America Wants to Work" petition to our 800,000 activists to urge political leaders to bring as much urgency to the task of creating jobs as they brought to the politically manufactured crisis over the debt ceiling.

* We Are One ( is providing resources and linking activists with the over 450 actions scheduled to take place between now and Labor Day.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) works tirelessly to improve the lives of working people. We are the democratic, voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women.