My first Congressional hearing.
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi greets Baltimore Local 24 member Stan Osnowitz before his testimony to Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
So exciting, right? In actuality, it was – and enlightening, too. The dais in the room was huge. I didn’t think I would actually see more than half the chairs full for this particular hearing. But lo! Congresspeople came from all entrances to fill just about every seat and listen to these everyday people give their testimony.
Some may see unemployment benefits as extending the poor and out-of-work’s dependency on the government in a negative way. Not so on that day. For those precious moments in front of the microphone, stories of severe hardship were aired in the public, in front of lawmakers who could possibly (and hopefully) help. Without an extension of benefits, these people will be left in the cold with no way to pay their bills or put food on the table. Homes would be lost. Lives shortened by the lack of appropriate medications. And without assistance, these people won’t even be able to afford to look for work. And while only three workers sat at that table (the other two were from support organizations), they represent hundreds and thousands more who are just trying to make ends meet.
So let’s get on this, Congress.
A note about the photos above: It seems as though Flickr has changed the way they embed photos into a page. I bet it’s for security, for which I am grateful. However; it now turns every image into a slideshow of ALL my public photos. That is not cool, and creates a poor user interface. I will be researching a better image hosting option for posts in the future.