March 19, 2013

First Lesbian Oregon House Speaker Attacks PERS Recipients: SEIU 503 Lavender Caucus Responds

Tina can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard 503-986-1200 and at her District Office 503-286-0558

Open Letter to Rep.Tina Kotek, House Speaker
From SEIU 503 Lavender Caucus

The Lavender Caucus of SEIU 503 and the SEIU National Lavender Caucus have been advocating for LGBTQ members for three decades.  Many of us have worked to elect candidates that we thought understood the effect of this discrimination in all areas of our lives.  And some of us are now retirees.

Discrimination against the LGBTQ community has had an economic effect  throughout our lifetime.  Tax inequities, health insurance inequality, discrimination in the Social Security System and the tax system compound themselves. When we are trying to live on a fixed income the effect is multiplied without the safety net that is there for our heterosexual members.

We are shocked to find that the Democratic Leadership is moving forward and attacking PERS recipients by taking the unconstitutional position that they will break contractual guarantees made to retirees who are struggling to live on fixed incomes. 

As workers we have been used by many people as scapegoats.  But we will fight back against the Democratic leadership which continues to expand tax breaks for the wealthy and ignore revenue proposals that can bring in millions of dollars. You have chosen the path of attacking PERS recipients as if our meager income is your cash cow.

At the same time there are a number of freshman legislators who ran for election based on their pledge that the people who caused this financial crisis should be the ones to pay.  They are now being pressured  to violate the trust of their constituents for some “Democratic Unity”.  This is indeed outrageous! While the Democratic leadership in the State Legislature is pressuring members to attack the livelihood of PERS recipients, the President and Democrats in Washington, D.C. are pushing the “chained CPI” which is an attack on Social Security. The combined possible state and federal actions present an unacceptable hardship to all members but particularly for LGBTQ retirees.


Michel said...

Great letter. Very interested in Kotek's response to this!!

Ann Montague said...

Yes and if those new freshman will band together to oppose the speaker.