by Mary Savage
“No Cuts!” and “Hands Off!” were the theme at what could have been called the “You Got Lucky Sign-Wave and Sidewalk Stroll Supporting Social Security and Medicare”at the Social Security Administration building on St. Patrick’s Day. The weather was sunny and warm at the tribute to these two great American programs that benefit so many.
But who would have thought that the combination of musician Tom Petty, U.S. President Joe Biden, former President and First Lady Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the great Democratic Party achievements of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would be part of an hour-long protest against cuts?
Long-time North Floridians may remember Dub’s Lounge where Tom Petty and Mudcrutch performed six nights a week in the 1970s. Mudcrutch included several members of what later became Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Dub’s Lounge was torn down in 2014 to make way for the Social Security building on that old 441. The dozen retired social workers and others showed that we “won’t back down” when it comes to advocating for our earned benefits—Social Security and Medicare. March 17 also is the wedding anniversary of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, who signed Social Security into law in 1935. Tom Petty even has a song called “The Poorhouse” that features the name of the dreaded place where the elderly poor went to die in their retirement years, if they were lucky—the poorhouse.
Of course, the waiting is the hardest part, but Social Security and Medicare is something to look forward to and we have to fight to keep them preserved, protected and expanded. Today, we’re all lucky to have Social Security and Medicare. They are Americans’ pot of gold reward for a life’s work. As for detractors and the GOP, they need to be told “don’t come around here no more!” And thanks to President Biden for defending our earned benefits during his State of the Union speech on Feb. 7.
Participants were generous and brought a carload of non-perishable food donations for the Alachua County Elder Care’s food pantry.
Thanks to all who participated.