Community, Politics

Protest Forms Before Budget Voting

By Cole Zimmerman SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Chants rang out Wednesday on South Warren street in Syracuse at noon.  Several citizens gathered in front of Congressman John Katko’s office and passed out signs with different messages boldly displayed on their surfaces.  Their purpose – simple.  To let Katko’s administration know their opinion on the budget.

“We’re here today to protest the GOP tax give-aways, and specifically the budget that is going to be voted on tomorrow that would cut trillions in essential services to our community,” said protest organizer Jonah Minkoff-Zern.

President Trump’s fiscal budget plan is set to be voted on in the House of Representatives on Thursday.  One of the major highlights of the proposed budget is tax reform.  Though President Trump and his administration hope that this budget will improve the lives of citizens across America, the proposed budget just isn’t cutting it for some. One protester, Marthe Reed, thinks the budget helps the upper class and big businesses more than your average American.

“This is wrong.  The GOP budget plan is targeting people who don’t need the help.   The people who need the help are right here in our neighborhoods.  We all need healthcare.  Healthcare prices right now are exorbitant.”

Representative Katko has not released an official stance on the budget but did claim that he was “encouraged” by the steps that were being taken to put this budget together and move forward.  That claim is enough for some New York citizens to believe he will vote in support of the budget on Thursday.  That’s why they felt the need to come together.

“We’re here today to say to Congressman Katko, vote “no” on the GOP’s budget plan, that cuts trillions of dollars in essential services to us, and to stand up for central New York,” said Minkoff-Zern.

The protest was called last minute, but Minkoff-Zern was happy to the amount of Syracuse residents that came to the event.

“We’re very excited that so many people are passionate about this and are willing to come out last minute in the middle of a work day to make their voices heard,” he said.

One protester believes the central New York already requires more attention, and the budget will hit it harder.

“Central New York isn’t doing that well as it is,” said Russ Black. “When you start hurting families, that hurts us all here.”

We reached out to Representative Katko’s office for comment regarding concerns of the protesters, and for a statement on the budget, but did not receive a response.