Tag Archives: working poor

Today! Congressman Jim McGovern Puts Spotlight on Hunger as  Health Issue!

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ICT editor Rosalie wishes there was a REAL, PHYSICAL FOOD HUB in Worcester – like they have in Greenfield. Fresh, locally grown produce sold at low cost to working families – or anyone. Surplus, slightly bruised produce sold in a no-nonsense warehouse open regular biz hours. That’s the ticket for so many folks in Worcester! pic: R.T.

McGovern Joins New York Hunger Summit with National and Regional Health & Hunger Leaders
 
National Hunger-Related Healthcare Costs Estimated at $160 Billion Annually
 

NEW YORK, NY – Today Congressman Jim McGovern will join national health and hunger leaders at the New York Hunger Summit to highlight the staggering costs of hunger as a health issue.

Joining today’s summit will be leaders from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), AARP, Feeding America, Hunger Free America, Harvard Law School, Yale University, Columbia University, United Way, as well as elected and anti-hunger leaders from across New York and the region. The summit is hosted by The Root Cause Coalition and the Alliance to End Hunger.
 
· WHO: Congressman Jim McGovern, National and Regional Health and Hunger Leaders
 
· WHAT: New York Hunger Summit: Hunger as a Health Issue
 
· WHERE: Westin New York at Times Square, 270 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
 
·  WHEN: Today, April 4, from 9 AM to 3 PM
 
Congressman McGovern has long been a national leader on hunger, keeping the issue in the spotlight in Congress and calling for strong investments to help the 48 million Americans who struggle with hunger every year.

A recent report estimates that hunger-related healthcare costs the U.S. economy $160 billion annually.

Today Congressman McGovern will speak about the need to focus more on hunger as a health issue.
 
Excerpt from Congressman McGovern’s New York Hunger Summit Speech:
 
“Thanks to our federal anti-hunger programs like SNAP, or food stamps, WIC, and the school lunch and breakfast programs, we’ve been able to eliminate the severest cases of hunger and malnutrition that used to exist in this country.
 
 “But that doesn’t mean that hunger doesn’t still exist in this country. The face of hunger in the United States can be more subtle and less obvious. But here is the hard reality: There’s not a single congressional district in the U.S. that isn’t impacted by hunger.
 
“We’re the richest country in the history of the world and it’s shameful that even one person goes to bed hungry. And it’s even more shameful that many are children.
 
“For the 48 million Americans who struggle with hunger – access to nutritious foods – and enough – healthy food — is a real challenge. And we know from a growing body of research that hunger can have serious negative health consequences far beyond simply a growling stomach.
 
“There ought to be a greater focus on nutrition and all of the benefits good nutrition can have on prevent and overall health. And healthcare providers ought to know what hunger looks like.”
 

This is the way Massachusetts makes “welfare queens”!

By Rosalie Tirella

Mary Rondeau lives at 48 Ward St., Worcester. She has her section 8 housing voucher which means free rent for the rest of her life. She has the rest of the Massachusetts package: food stamps, fuel assistance, free health insurance, free electricity. Mary goes to food pantries to supplement her free food stamp food. You would think with all the heavy lifting done for Mary by the state and federal governments, by society, that Mary Rondeau would be grateful, humble even – or at least have more than enough time on her hands to have been able to raise an outstanding son. Or at least a non-criminal one. Nope. The elderly landlord has told me Mary’s son has been in prison. So Mary’s progeny, courtesy of the American taxpayer, has been taken care of, too: fed, clothed, sheltered, healed when sick. For Free, on the taxpayers’ dime.

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Here is Mary Rondeau’s car, underwritten by the American taxpayer! Mary usually parks over the yellow line into the other parking space because she feels the tenant on the other side “can’t drive” and she doesn’t want her car nicked, even though the other tenant can barely get into his/her car with Mary’s car parked two inches away from the driver’s car door. It is Mary’s societal FREE RIDE that has enabled her to feel entitled to break this rule and flout dozens of other rules society has set up so we can all live under the same sky without slitting each other’s gizzards.

Having her entire life underwritten by the American taxpayer has ENABLED Mary to develop ZERO SOCIAL SKILLS FOR LIVING IN A CIVILIZED SOCIETY. Mary cheating the government big time gives her the feeling that she is ENTITLED TO CHEAT IN OTHER WAYS, BREAK OTHER RULES. It’s the mental health version of THE BROKEN WINDOW THEORY. All niceties thrown out the window – the broken window!

But I’m getting ahead of myself!

Mary Rondeau gets a Free Ride through life, while the rest of us bust our humps to pay our bills, our mortgages, etc, because she has asthma…is disabled. This enables her to get her package plus a monthly disability check from the government.

But if Mary Rondeau has asthma, then why does Mary Rondeau, $$ courtesy of the Worcester/Massachusetts/American taxpayer, buy and smoke weed incessantly? LIKE ALL THE TIME. I mean the entire three decker front hall and other apartments reek of marijuana. How can some one with debilitating asthma, asthma which she lists as the reason for her inability to work/pay her bills, the reason she gets her life paid for by the government, smoke so much freaking pot? Even during my hippy UMass undergrad days the proud Mary didn’t keep rolling the way it rolls at Mary Rondeau’s! Mary’s pot bought and paid for by the American taxpayer!!

Mary vacations three weeks each winter in warm, sunny Florida, courtesy of the taxpayer. I guess it’s possible to skip Worcester’s brutal winters if you’re not tied to a job, have all your bills paid by someone else (us!!) AND if you have a boarder who pays you rent under the table, which Mary does. The boarder furnishes Mary with fun money! The boarder does this by working her 2 or 3 low-paying jobs ALL THE TIME TO PAY MARY RENT. The boarder works hard to also pay for her cute little car, clothing and her little cat, which she adores and is proud to say she has paid $159 in veterinarian bills to get healthy (the kitten was a rescue). This is what my late mom and all working poor folks do: WORK THEIR TAILS OFF JUST TO HAVE THE BASICS and a teeny bit extra. I give props to this lady because, outside of being a hallway smoker, which Mary demands, she does everything that every able-bodied welfare cheat should do but refuses to do: WORK HER ASS OFF, BUY CLOTHING, BUY GROCERIES, OWN A CAR, PAY RENT, contribute to society … keep it all going and best of all, BE PROUD TO BE ABLE TO KEEP IT ALL GOING. Just like my late mom was … to FEEL ENGAGED because to feel engaged IN LIFE is to feel FREE.

Back to Mary: This exemplary boarder enables Mary to be a bigger welfare cheat: Run and profit from a side business, the boarding house biz, courtesy of the American taxpayer.

Just so you all don’t scream racism: MARY IS WHITE, THE COLOR OF MOST FOLKS receiving government assistance. Not all of these folks are blatant cheaters, robbers really, like Mary Rondeau. Lots are tiny, frail, malnourished kids … and the kids break my heart because they are usually saddled with loser parents like Mary!

Then what?

The cycle perpetuates itself, America’s under class grows bigger by the minute! Ignorance supplants education, fear trumps hope, a life lived fully becomes mere existence – sitting in front of the TV set smoking weed .., AND THINKING THAT IS OK, NORMAL, ACCEPTED BY SOCIETY.

Because it is.

Mary “lets” – and I put the word “lets” in quotation marks because Mary feels she is entitled to entitle someone else – her boyfriend park his car on the sidewalk by 48 Ward Street – two wheels on the sidewalk EVERY DAY!!! Two wheels on the sidewalk, practically up against the bushes when everyone else in the neighborhood parks in parking lots or on the street – all four wheels of their vehicles touching Ward Street. Here’s a picture of his car:

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Now why do all of us here on Ward Street, old and young, black and white, handicapped and able bodied, sober and buzzed, smart and befuddled, cocky and meek, follow the parking laws and rules of Worcester? Why do all of us park in designated parking lots/spots or on the street, all 4 wheels on Ward Street?

Because we don’t feel we have the privilege, are entitled, to park whichever damn way pleases us.

This would mean chaos in a Worcester inner-city neighborhood that has experienced guns, shootings and more this summer. Maybe Mary feels THE HOOD IS GOING TO HELL IN A BREADBASKET anyways so WHO gives a shit ABOUT THE PARKING?!

WE DO,Mary!

Parking in designated parking zones/spaces is part of living in a city, in a city governed by laws and rules created to ensure that every citizen can lead his/her daily life. If people see you flout the laws, they’ll jump in, too. It’s human nature. Cops call it the BROKEN WINDOW THEORY, that, theoretically, if a broken window in the ‘hood is allowed to go un-repaired, then people think its ok to break another window. After that happens, it feels normal to dump garbage on the street under the broken window, or speed down the street with the garbage and busted panes because … look at the god forsaken street! …who really cares about this dumpy Worcester neighborhood, anyways?!

BUT IF YOU ARE LIKE MARY RONDEAU – NOT A FUNCTIONING ADULT, NOT A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF SOCIETY – your values are skewed. You do whatever the fuck you want to do – and your friends do, too! Then others follow your twisted lead and our urban core grows meaner.

Questions: Why does someone who snoops into the hood’s business – we’re talking Mary Rondeau here – SHUT HER MOUTH AND NOT DIAL 911 WHEN SHE SEES SEVERAL KIDS NEXT DOOR WITH GUNS?

Because Mary is a coward.

How does her boarder, a smoker who smokes in the community hallway because Mary is ok with her place smelling like marijuana but not ok with her place reeking of cigarette smoke, see a gun lying on the front stair to the building and not dial 911? Just walk over it and go to Mary’s apartment to … smoke OUTSIDE the apartment?

Because she has given up on the neighborhood.

Which is a tragedy because she is doing everything (except for the hallway smoking) right! Society should feel safe for a woman who has fulfilled her side of the social compact!

But the rules don’t apply to Mary and she’s made money, her living!, by flouting the rules! And she’s proud of the fact, proud that her tiny – actually pretty pathetic – life, can purr on – that she, unlike the rest of us, is immune to job loss, higher rents, the rising cost of food or natural gas, inflation, deflation … the everyday worries and bumps and bruises of every day life.

Mary Rondeau is a queen.

An American welfare queen.

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At the check-out line at the Dollar Store

Writing the above reminds me of the below!!:

I was at the check-out line of a local Dollar Store waiting to pay for a bunch of doggy toys for Lilac (my new 6 month old hound mix). The salesman at PetCo said: Why buy our pricier plush doggy toys for your Lilac when she rips them up in 20 minutes? Go to the Dollar Store and buy them there! Just remove plastic eyes and other small parts before letting your dog play with them.

So there I was, in the Dollar Store buying toys for Lilac, while Jett, my husky mix, and she waited in my car.

It was a warm day and the air conditioning was not on in my car now that I was out of it, in a store.

I found myself, at the check out line, behind two people, a middle-aged man and a middle-aged woman. They had about a billion autumn doo-dads, knick knacks, paper plates, wall hangings, you name it. They had just paid for, with their EBT/welfare card, some Dollar Store food. Now, with cash, they were paying for all that crap.

I thought: Here I am buying five $1 dog toys with cash I earned cuz that’s all I can afford. Here are these two, with their welfare card, buying crap food and with cash, $32 worth of paper frou frou goods! 32 dollars worth of plastic gourds and orange napkins and paper maple leaves … while I – and other blue collar working folks – would NOT – could not! – SQUANDER 32 bucks on crap.

Before they were about to be rung out I hinted that I had two dogs in the car, it was warm and I just wanted to get a few things. I’d be out of their way in two seconds.

Not happening. The lady, heavy, the fat falling over her pants waist band said: Dogs? Well, I got my dog waiting! She said this while winking at the guy, her husband. He smiled back stupidly. She was saying: WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR DOGS? I’LL JUST TAKE MY SWEET TIME … And she proceeded to give every teeny doodad, every paper good to the cashier who looked closely at each paper product, as if inspecting it, and smiled before she rang up each one …

Angry at myself and them, fretting about my dogs in the car, I blurted out: Well, at least one of my dogs is smarter than your dog!!!! (I meant Lilac, of course)

The woman dropped her jaw.

Her husband looked at me and said ONLY IN AMERICA.

Then I said, to the woman, who was white: ONLY IN AMERICA WOULD I SEE TWO ABLE BODIED ADULTS in the middle of the day not working, ON FOOD STAMPS but buying, and I bit my tongue, but still said: ALL THIS crap!

That’s right! she said. On welfare for 38 years!!!

We were mixin’ it up at the Dollar Store!

She had said 38 years so defiantly that it felt like being hit in the head with a hammer.

She looked to be in her early 50s.

I said: My late mom worked her whole life for minimum wage. For decades!! Something is wrong in America! The system is broken!!!!

Then the woman behind me in the check outline chimed in! She said: I worked my whole life, too! I’m 54. I worked 20 years in one job. Then five years in another. I was always glad to have a job. Now I’m retired. I’m glad I’m retired.

She had about four items she was checking out at the Dollar Store.

I looked at her: she was wearing the tiredest clothes. Her face was all red and mottled and rough, half her teeth were gone, one of her eyes was red and swollen shut,the other eye half open. She was smiling, like some Dollar Store Quasimodo.

Here was my ally! Here was a fellow worker bee! Another American who believed in the good old American work ethic! We were a team!

YES! I said, looking at her, smiling as warmly as I could. Yes! I wanted to grab her hand and squeeze it tightly.

The woman looked so beat up…the way my late mom did (without the eye problems) at the end of her working life!

It is wrong that a person who worked hard in America should look this way, courtesy of the American economy … end up so broken down for contributing to society, working a job.

It is wrong that Dollar Store patron #1 has sucked off the Massachusetts welfare state for years, just like Mary Rondeau, and has no desire to achieve self-sufficiency. EVER.

Why should she?

She was able to buy way more stuff at the Dollar Store than me and D.S. patron #2!!

Cockeyed American economy!!!!

Worcester group joins the fight to make the minimum wage a living wage!

Do we agree with all their talking points? Abso-fuckin’-lutely!!! – R. Tirella

Hearing & Rally to Raise the Minimum Wage

Tuesday, June 11, at 10 a.m. at the State House in Gardiner Auditorium

Free buses leave Worcester City Hall at 8:30 a.m.
We’ll get back to Worcester by 5 p.m. (or earlier).

Join EPOCA in a solidarity action with Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN), Mass. AFL-CIO, SEIU State Council, Coalition for Social Justice/Coalition Against Poverty, Chelsea Collaborative, Brockton Interfaith Community, UIA of New Bedford and Fall River, Essex County Community Organization, MASSUniting, Jobs with Justice & NE United for Justice in demanding that the minimum wage be raised from $8 to $11 in our state.
Good Jobs that Pay a Living Wage: Raising Massachusetts

Legislation to raise the minimum wage: An Act to Promote the Commonwealth’s Economic Recovery with a Strong Minimum Wage

Our friends at MCAN are working on legislation, House 1701 and Senate 878 to:

1. Raise the minimum wage from $8 and hour to $11 an hour over 2+ years

2. Index it to inflation so it’s value is kept up

3. Raise the wages of tipped employees from 30% of the minimum wage up to 70%

580,000 low wage earners in Massachusetts will benefit [those earning $12 an hour or less now]. The minimum wage was last raised on January 1, 2008 and everyone knows just how much gas, oil, and food prices have increased since then. More than 2/3 of low wage earners are adults.

Most low wage earners work for large, profitable companies like Walmart, TJX/Marshalls/Home Goods, McDonalds, Burger King and supermarket chains. The CEO of TJX/Marshalls earned $21 million last year while three quarters of their workforce only had part time work and most earned at or near the minimum wage.

Economic Impact: The additional money that low wage earners will receive through minimum wage increases will be spent in the economy and therefore, boost it.