Sequestration Protesters Rally at South Gwinnett High School
Organizers from Georgia Fair Share and the Gwinnett County Association of Educators stood on the corner of Skyland Drive and Highway 78 to protest government cuts.
Six protesters showed up at South Gwinnett High on March 11 to send a message to Congress, and to Rep. Rob Woodall in particular.
"The consequences of Congress' refusal to compromise are now coming home to roost," Jason Pfeifle, organizer with Georgia Fair Share, said in statement. "By failing to agree on a budget deal to avoid the sequester, Rep. Woodall and his colleagues in Washington have ushered in cuts to vital programs that will have significant impacts on the daily lives of Gwinnettians."
The sequester involves automatic budget cuts that went into effect on March 1. They are the result of a 2011 piece of legislation by the Obama administration called the Budget Control Act, which raised the debt ceiling and "sought to apply pressure on Congress to come up with a longer term plan for deficit reduction," according to the Huffington Post.
According to Pfeifle, the $83 billion in cuts this year alone will impact everything from education to the safety of our streets. An estimated $28.6 million could be cut from K-12 education funding, putting 390 teachers and aide jobs at risk, while the military will see $550 billion in cuts.
Around 70,000 children will lose access to Head Start programs.
Donna Aker, president of the Gwinnett County Association of Educators and a few members of MoveOn.org teamed up with Georgia Fair Share to protest on the corner of Skyland Drive and Highway 78. As they stood on the corner, many cars honked in agreement as they drove by.
South Gwinnett, along with all other Gwinnett County schools, was closed for a furlough day. Donna Aker said the current furlough days are just a sign of things to come if no action is taken to reverse the cuts.
The group, all three with ties to the Democratic party, advocated for what they termed a simple solution -- generate revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes.
"Large tax loopholes for corporations are costing both federal and state governments billions of dollars," said Pfeifle. "It's simply wrong to allow companies like GE and Facebook to cash in their tax rebates on billions of untaxed dollars in profits while simultaneously cutting funding for vital education programs for low-income children."
Most recently, the Department of Defense has cut tuition assistance for enlisted men and women due to budget cuts, and White House tours have been canceled.
For further reading:
- Protest Planned at South Gwinnett to Demand that Congress Stop Sequestration
- Is Canceling White House Tours a Good Example of How to Implement Sequestration?
- Op-Ed: The Sequestration Matters for Georgia -- It's Time to Pay Attention
- Group Asks Rep. Woodall, Congress to Avoid 'Sequester'
- Sequestration Could Cost Gwinnett County Schools to Lose $3.4 Million
- Rep. Woodall: 'I Will Not be Complicit in Kicking the Can Down the Road'