In This Together Campaign - Save Social Security

Democracy for NYC has endorsed In This Together, a campaign to defend Social Security by pressuring New York's Republican congressmembers " and any wavering Democrats " to vote against privatization. There are nine Republicans representing New York, and five more in New Jersey and Connecticut. With a Republican majority of only 17 total in the House and with the Democrats holding firm, the battle to save Social Security can be won in the Northeast.

In This Together is led by the Working Families Party and Citizen Action of New York and includes many of New York's leading advocacy, labor and community groups including Democracy for NYC. Their strategy is to use intensive field work " doorknocking, phone banks, public meetings, letter-writing campaigns " in targeted districts to pressure Republican congressmembers to reject the President's plan. The campaign is modeled on last year's successful effort to raise the state minimum wage, which used similar tactics to win over a majority of the state's Republican state legislators.

This is an exciting campaign. New York may be a backwater in presidential races, but in the most important policy fight of Bush's second term it will be a key battleground state. By organizing in Republican districts around an issue where the Republican position " ending Social Security as we know it " is deeply unpopular, more can be done than protecting the country's most important safety net. In This Together can begin building a new constituency for a progressive economic program, and lay the groundwork for retaking Congress in 2006.

In the "fun" department, Senator Chuck Schumer's office has come up with a nifty Social Security calculator. Check it out here. Some of us had the pleasure of meeting Senator Schumer in Albany - he said this was "giving the Republicans fits." Pass it on!