Newsletter (1501) - January 2015

Location: Red Lobster in Silverdale. We will have a discussion about what Democrats need to focus on for the next two years. NO RSVP required. 

 - by Jackie Williams 
In June 1934, FDR sent the following message to congress concerning Social Security: “Security was attained in the earlier days through the interdependence of members of families upon each other and of the families within a small community upon each other. The complexities of great communities and of organized industry make less real these simple means of security. Therefore, we are compelled to employ the active interest of the Nation as a whole through government in order to encourage a greater security for each individual who composes it…  This seeking for a greater measure of welfare and happiness does not indicate a change in values. It is rather a return to values lost in the course of our economic development and expansion.” 
The convening of the 114th Congress, filled with Republicans in numbers not seen since 1930, presents the return of the threat to Social Security. In each new congress the first bill brought to the floor each session establishes the rules by which legislation is made into law. This session’s first bill also contained the first hit against Social Security, specifically the benefits paid to the disabled. The small amount of money many exist on when the companies they worked for or insurance companies they depended on refused to cover the result of the injuries suffered on the job or in accidents, is now under threat. 

Social Security, arguably the most impactful piece of legislation to come out of the Roosevelt administration, has helped prevent the absolute destitution of millions. Initially the program was designed to provide income for the elderly, most of whom received no benefits from their employers and had lost their savings in the disaster of the Great Depression. The Republicans in congress then hated the idea that the Federal Government would provide for those who weren’t able to provide for themselves. The undercurrent of this destructive sentiment has remained for all these years. Each time a new program is added, benefits are increased or expanded or a funding shortfall looms, as now, the Republicans seize the opportunity to dismantle the entire program. 

George W. Bush made a serious attempt to alter the program by allowing individuals to invest in the stock market a portion of the amount withheld from their income for Social Security. This idea was presented in 2005, imagine what the benefits situation would have been during the 2008 period when the market fell precipitously and through the years of waiting for the market to recover. The people who depend on their small benefits income would have been at the mercy of their investments, without government guarantees and without a fixed amount paid each month on which to live. For those of us who are not far from receiving benefits, and for those who currently receive income from Social Security, this issue is important personally. For the millions who depend on their payments to raise families these benefits are crucial. Social Security is a program designed and implemented by Democrats, we should not stand silent while the Republicans try to dismantle the program.

Serious changes need to take place in how Social Security is funded, which programs should be expanded and how much is paid out in benefits according to cost of living increases. These issues are likely to be under consideration in this congress and in order to protect the viability and expand the impact of such an incredibly important program, awareness and involvement are crucial. 

Calls, letters and emails to ALL our representatives; Derek Kilmer and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, should begin now, not when the legislation is on the floor for a vote! For many of us, our future really does depend on this program!!!! 

I have been involved in politics since 1966 when my father was sent to Vietnam. My mom moved us to Silverdale where I became convinced the U.S. was making a serious mistake. I took every opportunity to become as involved as possible without irritating my parents with my anti-war views. I worked when I could on the 26th amendment and was excited to vote when I turned 18. 

Although I’ve traveled and had to vote while living in foreign countries, I’ve always been a confirmed Democrat and an avid volunteer whenever possible. Military restrictions occasionally forced me to refrain from open campaigning but now I do all I am able to promote the liberal beliefs and policies for the election of Democratic candidates. 

I am always happy to meet with any members who would like to know more about me. Working as a team to move Democratic policies forward will serve to make the Kitsap County Democratic Women a strong influential force in local political success. I look forward to meeting with all of you and hearing any suggestions you may have about where our work will be most effective. 

Thank you and see you on the 28th! -Jackie Williams 

Kitsap County Democratic Women
Date: Jan 28th (Wednesday) 
Time: 11:30 a.m. lunch; 12:30 meeting. 
Place: Red Lobster 
Purpose: Discussion about Directions 

Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee 
Date: Jan 20th (Tuesday) 
Time: 6:30 p.m. Desserts; 7:00 p.m. mtg. 
Place: Eagles Nest 

23rd Legislative District Democrats 
Date: Jan 26th (Monday) 
Time: 6:30 p.m. social; 7:00 p.m. mtg. 
Place: Poulsbo Library 
Purpose: E-board Selection 

26th Legislative District Democrats 
Date: Feb 5th (Thursday) 
Time: 7-9 p.m. 
Place: Kitsap Rm, Givens Center 1026 Sidney Rd, Pt. Orch. 
Purpose: Reorganization 

35th Legislative District Democrats 
The next meeting is not yet set. Any questions can be directed to the new Chair, Irene Bowling (360-990-5302;

“This law… represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete. It is a structure intended to lessen the force of possible future depressions. It will act as a protection to future Administrations against the necessity of going deeply into debt to furnish relief to the needy. The law will flatten out the peaks and valleys of deflation and of inflation. It is, in short, a law that will take care of human needs and at the same time provide for the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.” – Franklin Roosevelt on signing The Social Security Act