Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Street Heat: Progressives Protest Against Food Stamp Cuts Nationwide

PDA members, including Advisory Board Chair Mimi Kennedy, protested food stamp cuts in front of Congressman Henry Waxman's office.

PDA members, including Advisory Board Chair Mimi Kennedy (center rear), protested food stamp cuts in front of Congressman Henry Waxman’s office.

For weeks, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been turning up the heat on Congressional Democrats in an effort to stop the proposed $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, AKA food stamps).

On Monday, June 17, PDA members nationwide protested at high-profile Congressional offices from California to Florida to Illinois to Massachusetts.  (See photos at right and below.) PDA activists demonstrated at the offices of influential members of Congress, like Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Here is the list:

  • Rep Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, CA-12: (415) 556-4862
  • Rep Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC Chair, FL-23 954-437-3936
  • Rep Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip, MD-05 (301) 474-0119
  • Rep Henry Waxman CA-33 310-652-3095
  • Rep Richard Neal, MA-05 (413) 785-0325

On Wednesday, June 19, PDA members visited the offices of more than 200 members of Congress and urged them to vote against the food stamp cuts. In Arizona,PDA activists delivered letters to the offices of Ron Barber, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Kyrsten Sinema.

Here is the text of PDA’s letter to Congress about the proposed food stamp cuts:

Re: Public Policy Should Eliminate Hunger, Not Increase It
June 19, 2013

Dear Congressman Barber,

We are voters in your Congressional District writing to urge you to oppose cuts to Food Stamps—also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP). The House Farm Bill would cut $20.5 billion from SNAP, and any cuts to would increase hunger for millions of vulnerable Americans. We strongly urge you to Oppose any Farm Bill that contains cuts to Food Stamps / SNAP.

Average benefits provided under SNAP are only $133.41 per person per month. Not even $1.50 per meal. After the amendment Rep. Jim McGovern (MA) offered to prevent the cuts failed on a party-line vote, the House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill. We strongly oppose the $20.5 billion cuts that would devastate millions of Americans and inflict costs upon taxpayers far in excess of any supposed “savings.”

Spending for nutrition delivers a huge return on investment. SNAP spending is among the most powerful economic stimuli, with benefits that flow directly and immediately into the economy, enriching domestic farmers and retailers, and creating jobs. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack confirmed, “Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy.” Conversely, decreasing SNAP would cause increased health care costs and incite crime, diminish productivity, stunt childhood development, and impose other collateral damage on innocent American families.

Please oppose any Farm Bill that contains cuts to Food Stamps / SNAP.

We invite continued engagement with you. Please provide us with the name and contact information for your staffer(s) responsible for this issue.

Thank you for your time and attention,

PDA Tucson Steering Comittee

Related articles:

House debates $20.5 billion cuts to food stamps

Activists protest possible cuts to food stamps

Organizations in LA protest possible food stamp cuts

Mayor Bloomberg outlines importance of maintaining funding for SNAP program

Obama opposes food stamp cuts, threatens veto of farm bill

PDA members protested outside of the office of Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

PDA members protested outside of the office of Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

PDA members protest outside of Senator Dick Durbin's office in Illinois.

PDA members protested outside of Senator Dick Durbin’s office in Illinois.

PDA protesters in Greenbelt.

PDA members protested outside of Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer’s office in Greenbelt, MD.

PDA members protested food stamp cuts outside of Congressman Richard Neal's office in Springfield, Nass.

PDA members protested food stamp cuts outside of Congressman Richard Neal’s office in Springfield, Mass.

PDA members protested food stamp cuts outside of Senator Diane Feinstein's office.

PDA members protested food stamp cuts outside of Senator Diane Feinstein’s office.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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