SOMERS, N.Y. - Despite the inflated temperatures and soaking humidity, more than 100 demonstrators gathered outside the Somers office of Congresswoman Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19) Thursday to ask, "What happened to the American Promise?"
The group represented Westchester for Change, an activist organization that seeks social and political change and engages in political action. Demonstrators were greeted by County Legislators Peter Harckham (D-Katonah) and Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers).
"She hasn't been in Washington very long but she looks like a Washington insider already. She's not representing us and she's not representing mainstream America, Kaplowitz said. She's failed to create jobs and she's failed to protect seniors."
Rudy Cypser, 88, of Somers, agreed.
"What's happening in Washington is a disaster. They're always going in the wrong direction, he said. The people are not being heard."
His wife, Betty, 85, said she would like to see less partisan bickering and more action.
"I would like to see the Democrats and Republicans cooperate rather than just shouting at one another, she said.
Mel Tanzman, representing Westchester Disabled on the Move, said he was concerned about the future of health coverage.
"Medicare, Medicaid and social security must not be destroyed by radical plans under the cover of reducing the nation's deficit, Tanzman said. We want our dignity. We want to restore FDR's promise. This is the first generation of American kids who are not expected to surpass their parents."
Nineteen-year-old Alex Kallner from Chappaqua agreed that he and his peers are going to have a more difficult future than previous generations.
"We're concerned about the political landscape of the next generation, Kallner said. We're inheriting it. Corporations are taking over this country. We want a better future."
Nathaniel Sillin, communications director for Hayworth (NY-19) defended his boss, saying his boss is working hard to protect Medicare and other benefits.
"The proposal put forward by House Republicans, and supported by Rep. Hayworth, is the only proposed plan that protects Medicare and preserves the program for future generations. In fact, under this plan seniors will be provided with more choices and options that allow them to better meet their unique and individual healthcare needs, he said. Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach taken by the Affordable Care Act, the Path to Prosperity seeks to provide our nation's senior citizens with greater control over their healthcare. Furthermore, our plan has no impact on beneficiaries currently over the age of 55."
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