People’s Walk expands and continues towards Olympia. Day 3: focus on education

People's Walk expands on day 3. Participant Kurt Ofsthus (Navos Mental Health): 'I joined the People's Walk on Saturday to advocate for a fair budget that begins to close tax loopholes that favor corporations' profits over the people of Washington. My clients, striving to recover from mental illness, need access to housing, education and health care resources to meet their treatment goals.'

On Saturday, the 50-mile People’s Walk for Our Future doubled in size as more Washingtonians affected by devastating budget cuts joined the walk to demand that lawmaker pass a moral and just budget.

The faith leaders, working people and community allies taking part in the People’s Walk have taken to the streets to protest billions of dollars the State Legislature intends to cut from health care, disability lifeline, housing, public safety, education, and environmental protection programs—while leaving intact and unexamined frivolous tax loopholes benefiting wealthy interests.

Saturday’s route took the walkers from Pierce College in Lakewood south into Thurston County, gaining ground on the walk’s final destination, the State Capitol. At Pierce College, the People’s Walk called particular attention to the impact of proposed education cuts.

Caleb Hollatz, a student at South Puget Sound Community College, joined the marchers. “I am walking with the People’s Walk for Our Future because of the way budget cuts are affecting my life. I am a student and budget cuts have made it nearly impossible for me to finish my studies. Rising tuition costs, dwindling financial aid. I can’t even get into the classes I need to continue my studies because classes have been cut. I am paying more and getting less for my education and it needs to stop. I want my lawmakers to close tax loopholes and protect students instead of private jets and Botox.”

Madge Rojas also joined the People’s Walk on Day 3. “I am a Spanish and Portuguese medical interpreter and I am walking today for all my patients and for other interpreters. Medical interpreters are an integral part of our health care system because they can make the difference between a life and death situation. It’s incredible for me to think that lawmakers are having a hard time choosing between tax breaks for Wall Street banks and keeping health care services for low-income families. It’s immoral to deny people the right to communicate with their doctor, and in the end it hurts the patient and increases medical costs for all.”

On Sunday, walk participants expect to tackle 10 more miles, getting closer and closer to the state capitol. Day 4 of the walk will begin at 10am Sunday at the Wal-Mart Super Center in Lacey (1401 Galaxy Dr. NE) to call attention to Wal-Mart’s immoral work policies. On Monday, the walkers will arrive at 12pm at the Capitol for Inter-Denominational Church Service on the budget and fast.


Posted April 17, 2011 by wearewashington in Uncategorized

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