February 28, 2013
Chris Fleming, AFSCME, (202) 327-8420 or (202) 631-0929
Miguel A. Gonzalez, NEA, (202) 822-7823
Tyler Prell, SEIU, (202) 701-5796
AFSCME, AFT, SEIU and NEA Launch New Ad Campaign
Television and online ads ask Congress if they want to be remembered honorably or by inflicting pain on millions of Americans
Washington, DC –The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Education Association (NEA) today launched a new television ad aimed at the legacies of members of Congress.
The spot, "Remembered," is a six figure television buy with a heavy online accompaniment that will air in the Washington, DC and other markets on March 4. The ads single out Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Congressmen Gary Miller and Jeff Denham of California, Congressman Bob Gibbs of Ohio, Congressman Daniel Webster of Florida, Congressman Tom Latham of Iowa and Congressman Dan Benishek of Michigan.
"Extremist tea-party Republicans have decided that 'slash and burn' will be their congressional legacy – they'll apparently eviscerate any government services they can get their hands on, no matter how many jobs they burn along the way. Allowing sequestration to go into effect is a complete abdication of their responsibility as lawmakers, and it is how history will remember them," said Chuck Loveless, AFSCME Federal Government Affairs Director.
"These ads will let the public know that Republican leaders are responsible for failing to stop reckless automatic cuts that will hurt families and our economy. Approximately 1 million Americans could lose their jobs because congressional leaders refuse to close corporate tax loopholes – is that the legacy that these members of Congress want?" added Peter Colavito, SEIU Director of Government Relations.
"Students will pay the price for congressional inaction," said Mary Kusler, NEA Director of Government Relations. "The consequences of the budget cuts – fewer educators, ballooning class sizes, no after-school tutoring – are keeping educators and students up at night. By pushing for deep cuts, the unmistakable legacy of lawmakers is that they chose corporations over students, cuts over jobs, and politics over compromise. Congress needs to find a responsible, balanced and permanent approach to avoid inflicting further pain on students, families and communities while demanding the rich and corporations to pay their fair share."
"These cuts are not just numbers—every cut and every dollar has a real-life consequence for our children, our families and for the people who teach, heal and nurture them," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "We are talking about the difference between helping a child succeed and letting that child fall further behind in the classroom; making sure parents have affordable and accessible childcare and early childhood education options; making sure children and families have a roof over their head and food on the table; keeping frontline health providers on the job and providing lifesaving immunizations to families; and keeping good jobs in our communities. Congress must not turn its back on the American people. We owe it to our children and families to do everything we can to stop these irresponsible and dangerous cuts from kicking in."
"Remembered" is the fourth TV spot by AFSCME, SEIU and NEA, and the first since the proverbial "fiscal cliff" was avoided. The ad will run in Washington, DC, Cleveland, Los Angles, Sacramento, Orlando, Des Moines, and Traverse City media markets. Copies of the ad can be viewed at:
How will you be remembered Senator McConnell?
For serving honorably?
Or for inflicting pain on millions,
just to protect tax loopholes for corporations and the richest few?
By refusing to budge, you and Republican leaders
have guaranteed reckless, automatic cuts
that will devastate our troops, first responders, students, educators, families, seniors,
and could destroy a million American jobs.
Is this how you want to be remembered, Senator McConnell?
AFSCME's 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. With members in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.
With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers — not just corporations and CEOs — benefit from today's global economy. www.seiu.org
The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: http://twitter.com/rweingarten
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The AFT represents 1.5 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.