Posted on October 14, 2016
New video: Going on offense for Social Security with Social Security Works
No group has ever received more votes in a CREDO monthly donations election than Social Security Works (SSW). This is a result of the outstanding organizing work of SSW members and their dedicated staff.
SSW’s Executive Director Alex Lawson visited CREDO’s office on Sept. 27 to tell us about the work they do to not only save Social Security, but also to expand it. “There is a dominant narrative that existed in DC that Social Security was in crisis, that it was going bankrupt. We had to change that narrative,” Lawson said.
Social Security has been under sustained attack for decades. In his second term as president, George W. Bush tried to destroy the program through a privatization effort. The biggest advocate for this in Congress was Donald Trump’s vice presidential nominee, Gov. Mike Pence.
“DC knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that cutting Social Security is incredibly unpopular,” Lawson explained. “They always come up with very wonky-sounding things so that they don’t say ‘we’re coming to steal your money’. That would immediately get them voted out of office.”
To help Americans understand this message, SSW went around the country and trained over 1700 “story warriors” to tell the real story of Social Security and convey Washington’s intentions.
“Our job was to say, ‘this word here means they’re coming to steal your money,’ and then translate back into DC what was being said around the country,” Lawson said.
In July’s CREDO Donations election, SSW earned over 75,000 votes and an $83,734 check from the CREDO Donations program.
The fight over Social Security will continue. It is vital that progressives not only play defense to fight against benefit cuts, but also work to expand the most successful social program in our country’s history.
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