Heavy rain did not detract protestors from coming out
KINGSTON – Another typical Friday afternoon in Kingston would find about
100 protesters assembled outside Congressman John Faso’s office
This week the number approached 200 activists, fired up over Thursday’s
House of Representatives vote to repeal Obamacare.
The crowd was undaunted by chilly weather and rain squalls. Two Kingston
police officers maintained order by directing automobile traffic, steering
people back onto the sidewalk.
Inside the building, staff members from Faso’s office maintained
a pop-up concierge desk in the lobby to quickly process citizen feedback.
The protests have been going on weekly since January, according to Callie
Jayne, an organizer from Citizen Action’s Hudson Valley chapter.
“We have anywhere from 50 to100 people most weeks; it’s been
very consistent, different age groups, lots of different people coming
out, rain or shine” she observed.
“We’re standing here; people driving by are now aware of what’s
going on,” Jayne added. She said that the picket line is punctuated
by phone calls, letters, and office visits to the district office, with
a focus on affordable health care and reproductive rights.
“As you can see, the constituents here today are outraged; they
do not feel that they have been heard,” agreed Frances Fox-Pizzonia,
director of Community Education and Outreach at Planned Parenthood of
“People are not backing down; they are in it for the long haul,”
Faso, in a news release, explained his vote: “The responsible path
forward includes keeping what works and fixing what doesn’t. The
ACA (obamacare), as it stands now will collapse under its own weight if
nothing is done, imperiling millions of Americans through higher premiums
and fewer choices,” he said in a Thursday statement.
He said, “Representatives were faced with a choice: do nothing and
watch millions of our citizens continue to be forced to buy insurance
they cannot afford, or work together to improve a broken system. Unfortunately,
Democrats offered not a single alternative. They simply obstructed any
changes to the ACA,” Faso said.