Thursday, March 05, 2009

Tens Of Thousands Rally For Fair Share Tax Reform

Governor Paterson, Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and a few too many other State Senators have not come forward as of yet to support the Fair Share Tax Reform Act. What the proposed bill would do is simple. Instead of punishing the working class for the budget deficits caused by Wall Street's unadulterated greed, we should split that burden with the rich by making the state income tax progressive in nature with a tiered system.

However, with multiple bills presented in the Senate, Majority Leader Smith has not shown the leadership necessary to support his middle class constituents. Instead, he and the governor are listening to the lobbyists of big business at the expense of hard working New Yorkers. So what are those New Yorkers to do? Turn out for a huge rally at City Hall Park.

Having the afternoon off, I had to go down and join the action, though I had no idea how many people would actually show. Here's the first sight I saw:

Don't worry, all the cops were on their best behavior at the event with what looked like a good amount of people, perhaps even a couple thousand. Then I was told I had to walk over a block and then up a few to enter the crowd you see behind the sleepy police officer.

While walking, all sorts of signs were on display, including this sweet guy that still refers to his mother as "Mommy."

Once I went around, I got a better view of the stage and not surprisingly it was full of politicians and union organizers. If you can't tell the man at the podium is City Comptroller and Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson.

While the speeches were great, they were mostly the same, so I decided to venture away from the stage and check out the people who showed up for this. As you can tell, the area around the four-block long park was packed. The park however, was only so big, so the crowd overflow was led up Broadway. Jumbo-trons and sound systems were set up so that people could hear who were nearly a mile up the street. At one point the crowd was checked at 40,000 people....40,000, on a Thursday afternoon! Ahem, Governor Paterson, that translates quite a few votes, if you know what I'm saying, cough, primary race next year, cough, cough.

Then just before I reached the back of the crowd, I ran into City Council candidate Josh Skaller, who came out from Brooklyn to demand that Albany listen to the demands of working New Yorkers. He may look happy and serene in the picture, but he's ready to get tough and defend this barricade and many more if he gets the chance to represent the 39th Council District.

Tens of thousands of dedicated working people, all who can vote and want to not only be heard, but recognized and respected by their Governor and the rest of the politicians up in Albany. I certainly hope they got the message to support this legislation. Of course, it doesn't hurt to keep reminding them. You can do that by contacting your legislator and by getting involved locally.