Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Rallied for Tax Fairness

by Helen Bushnell, 9to5 member and volunteer

It was cold but sunny as I hurried to the State Capital. I was worried about being on time for the rally. I did not have to worry. I arrived just as the organizers were gathering people on the Capital steps. The level of organization was impressive. Someone told us where to stand. Someone made sure that everyone had a sign that wanted one. And, of course, someone organized a group of expressive speakers.

We were gathering to support a fair budget - one that spreads the difficulties of the current economic crisis fairly.

A woman with children at Whittier Elementary in Denver spoke about the challenges facing a school with many low income children, including many who are homeless. Right now Whittier is seeing a lot of success stories - but what happens if their already super-efficient budget is cut even more?

A senior activist spoke about the cuts that have already been made to senior services in his area.

A woman with a mentally disabled son spoke. Right now her son is successful, but what happens if the services that he depends upon are cut?

Finally, a scholarship student spoke. She is currently attending Metro State, and would not be able to afford the tuition on her own.

Some businesses got tax exemptions when the economy was flush. Now, we need them to pay their fair share. People came from all over the state, from our cities, our mountains, and our plains to ask all Coloradans to ask the state legislature to close tax loop holes in addition to the services to our most vulnerable citizens that have already been cut.

I was happy to support efforts to make the budget process more fair and our tax system simpler and more equitable.

(This rally was held on at noon on February 11. It was organized by the Save Our State Coalition.)

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