NASW and No Bad Grand Bargain
Roschel Holland Stearns, LMSW
PACE Steering Committee Member
This past fall, a coalition formed called the No Bad Grand Bargain campaign (NBGB), “a joint effort of individuals from over 50 labor, business, community, and advocacy organizations in New York City fighting for social justice.” The goals of the campaign are to:
• cancel the sequester
• protect vital social programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SNAP/food stamps
• promote public investment and job creation
• restore tax fairness by closing tax loopholes
• end wasteful military spending
Professor Terry Mizrahi, of Hunter College School of Social Work and former national NASW president, invited NASW-NYC Chapter Leadership to join a group that was scheduled to meet with Congress Member Jerrold Nadler, 8th Congressional District, Manhattan and Brooklyn on November 25, 2013.
On December 9th, a meeting was held with Rep. Joseph Crowley, 7th Congressional District, Queens and the Bronx. Congressman Crowley is one of the more significant members of the NYC congressional delegation in that he is vice-chair of the Democratic conference (#5 in leadership), is chair of the centrist “New Democrats” caucus, and serves on the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
The group’s unusual name refers to the current national federal budget situation. Its name means that any agreement between the Democrats and the Republicans must not include shredding the existing national safety net, with “bad” compromises on Social Security and Medicare. The group’s interests extend to a whole range of issues, including the national minimum wage and unemployment insurance. The unemployment insurance issue is still unresolved, with many thousands losing their benefits at the end of the last year. On January 7th, NBGB participated in a press conference on this where Representatives Nadler and Carolyn Maloney also spoke.
NASW-NYC has had some previous contact with this group and the connection has now been re-established. NASW-NYC and PACE were represented at both meetings with the Congress members. Our own interests and those of our clients and our communities are directly impacted by what goes on in Washington, and this coalition of academics, community organizations, unions, etc., is an excellent way for our voices to be heard. For more information, please go to www.rekindlingreform.org. Most of the group’s events take place during the work day; if you might occasionally be available to represent NASW-NYC and PACE, please email the author: firstname.lastname@example.org