Protesters Say Rep. Katko Wrongly Credits Tax Bill for Worker Raises; Vow to Organize Young Voters

Apr 6, 2018

Bill Spreter addresses the crowd gathered in front of Katko's office building in the Galleries.
Credit Lileana Pearson / WAER News

About two dozen Syracuse-area residents criticized Congressmember John Katko Friday for his social media posts suggesting that Target employees received raises because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  President of Unite Local 150, Ann Marie Taliercio  was among those from the CNY Solidarity coalition who gathered for a demonstration in front of Katko’s office building.  She says the post wasn’t true, and that the state's rising minimum wage is to credit.

"I know why employers give raises.  Because the fight for 15 bill was passed and signed by Governor Cuomo.  As many employers did, they start easing it in.  It wasn't because of the tax cut that the one percent got.  Those are the facts that we need to get out.”                                      

Taliercio says a big part of getting facts out to the public is by engaging the youth who will be able to vote in the November election. 

"I see young people coming out and fighting for what they believe in.  I will do all I can to reach out to  community groups and work together to get as many young people registered as possible, and get the truth out."

Credit Lileana Pearson / WAER News

Others see more empathy in younger voters.  Bill Spreter is President of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans.

"I talk to my son, who's a millennial, and find out they're extremely progressive. They're far different from where I was, even though I'd characterize myself as a neo-progressive.  They are definitely supporters of policies such as health insurance for all, maybe even a guaranteed income."

Spreter says voters of all ages are concerned politicians’ choices might affect seniors. 

"We are very concerned that the Trump tax cuts will blow a hole in the budget, and will  be used to justify cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.  At first, we project those cuts to be cuts of a thousand cuts.  They'll be done a little bit at a time so people don't even notice."

Spreter also expressed concern about how rollbacks at the EPA might affect air and water quality. 

Credit Lileana Pearson / WAER News