A Party with Purpose

By Kelly McCarthy
By Natalie Rubino

January 30, 2013 Updated Jan 30, 2013 at 6:28 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Citizen Action volunteers celebrate the birthday of a past president and some of the landmark programs his administration established.

Members are using President Franklin Roosevelt's birthday to make a statement about the Social Security benefits they rely on.

Volunteers met at the First Ward Senior Center in Binghamton with cake, posters and a cause.

They called on Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for future generations.

One volunteer, Amy Fleming, said they came together for a call of action on this day because FDR created Social Security during his presidency.

"It's just a matter of raising awareness and educating people. You know, because people are pretty complacent until something just affects them personally," Fleming said. "A lot of times they're misinformed, dis-informed. And our main purpose is education and information."

The "ghost of FDR," played by Mickey Ray, made an appearance at the birthday celebration.

Ray asked Schumer to help carry on FDR's legacy and take care of the children, elderly and people who are disabled by working with Congress to continue Social Security.

Citizen Action gave three alternatives they're offering to Schumer.

Fleming said closing tax loop holes, negotiating drug prices and lifting the cap on Social Security are among the suggestions.

Fleming said the resources are available, but are not being used properly.

"We just want to raise awareness of the things that are going on in Washington today and about how the solutions are available and how the money is available," Flemming said. "Unfortunately, it's all in the wrong pockets."

Volunteers shared stories at the meeting about how these programs helped them personally.

They gave statistics on how many local residents use the programs.

"The interesting thing is that in our congressional district, in Broome County we have a (median) house income for $43,920," Fleming said. "The percentage of people receiving social security is 23 percent. So, that's a pretty high number."

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