By Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
I recently read the story of Nancy Pi-Sunyer, a 66-year-old retired teacher who joined the first protest of her life when she attended an Occupy Wall Street rally. She was too young for the civil rights movement, but now wanted to have her voice be heard.
Thankfully, she is doing just that and is not alone.
I applaud the Occupy Wall Street movement and the message it’s sending to the world about this difficult economy and the tragic trend we’ve been seeing against the middle-class and the poor.
U.S. Census data shows the median household income in New Jersey in 2010 dropped 2.7 percent from 2009, and is 2.9 percent less than in 2006.
These disturbing figures will likely be exacerbated by Gov. Chris Christie’s support for tax cuts for millionaires over property tax relief for senior citizens and the working class.
The eclectic group that has become Occupy Wall Street has given a voice to the working class and poor and those who are most vulnerable in society against the right-wing, ultra-conservative policies that helped bring us this crippled economy.
Solutions aren’t easily found to deep-rooted problems, but I urge them to keep making their voices heard.
And to others also feeling frustrated, use Nancy Pi-Sunyer as an example to finally make your voices heard. It will not be easy, but as the Roman poet Horace once wrote, ‘Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.’
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman