Protest

About 80 protesters gathered in front of the James R. Thompson building on Tuesday to urge government officials to raise taxes and make and “affordable budget.”

Protesters, (many of them who were senior citizens) voiced their opinions about how budget cuts are affecting children, disabled, and the elderly. Protesters want improvement in nursing homes and home care for seniors, as well as a stable daycare facilities for single parents.

Wearing a blue Jane Addams Senior Caucus hat and t-shirt, senior Pat Drennan said, “We [Jane Addams Senior Caucus] work to get adequate staffing in nursing homes.” She later added that she would like the Nursing Home Reform Bill to help increase nursing home staff hours, and that the bill will die if we “don’t pass a responsible budget.”

Drennan also said that the JASC wants to see an improvement in home care for seniors and the disabled. “Last year seniors were ending up in nursing homes just because they couldn’t take a bath by themselves or because they couldn’t go to the grocery store by themselves” said Drennan.

Drennan also stressed how important it was to give single parents the opportunity to put their kids in day care. Drennan said, “Single parents who have to work to support their kids have to have daycare…without a responsible budget daycare isn’t funded and day care centers are being closed because they are not getting their state funding.”

Dressed in a fake reporters costume, Jesse Sober chanted with fellow protesters “Show me what democracy looks like…tax increase now.” In the Jane Addams Senior Caucus press release it says that the JASC is apart of the Responsible Budget Coalition that supports comprehensive tax reform in order to address our states budget deficit. The JASC press release also says “Tax reform would help fund vital public services by raising five to six billion dollars.”

-Maranda Gorr-Diaz