Statehouse rally to give seniors voice

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2005

Don't underestimate the power of one voice. That's the message from the AARP and the hundreds of other local groups that will attempt to make all those voices heard at an April 12 rally at the Statehouse.

The Campaign to Protect Ohio's Future, combines the forces of 370 different organizations, all of which are steamed about Ohio's proposed budget. The main target of their ire is the over $800 million in proposed tax cuts, which they say will create a huge burden on some of the state's most vulnerable citizens.

"We are opposed to a state budget that will eliminate heath care for 25,000 working parents, deny early learning programs to 6,000 three- and four-year-olds, end medical assistance for 15,000 adults with disabilities, refuse dental and vision services for 800,000 Ohioans and create waiting lists for elderly Ohioans who need such long-term care services as home-delivered meals," said campaign co-chair Gayle Channing-Tenenbaum, legislative director for the Public Children Services Association of Ohio in a written statement.

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At 11:30 a.m., an AARP bus from Ironton is scheduled to arrive at the Statehouse for an hour to an hour-and-a-half rally to make their message heard. The date is specifically chosen, as it's one of the days on which a vote may be taken on the state budget, according to Kathy Keller, Associate State Director for Communications for AARP Ohio.

She said that although it may seem that one voice won't make a difference, when all those voices are in one place, they can be very persuasive.

"It takes the combined strength of all of our voices, you have power when you join with other people, and when everybody pitches in together," Keller said. "This is how you can push the rock uphillŠwhen everybody is behind it."

Those interested it taking the journey to Columbus with other concerned citizens can contact AARP Ohio at 1-866-389-5653 for more information. Buses will be leaving at 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 12 from the Ironton Hills parking lot.