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Occupy Movement Presses for NY Jobs

December 16, 2011

NEW YORK - Protestors marked the two-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement on Thursday with actions to show that, despite numerous evictions, their protest is still very much alive.

Liz Richardson, a great-grandmother with Occupy Poughkeepsie, says the tents may be gone, but you can't evict an idea. Richardson says she and other members of the '99 Percent' are still pressing for change in New York.

"People want to go back to work, they want to feed their children, they want to pay their rent, they want to stop the foreclosures, they want to stop their utilities being cut off - people just want a job so that they can live and take care of their families."

Richardson has worked at a local medical center for 38 years. She believes it is wrong for politicians and corporations to be pushing for massive cuts to healthcare when corporate profits are up. Richardson was among those attending a Thursday afternoon rally in Hulme Park in support of the Occupy movement.

Beth Soto, director of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves credit for reforming the state's tax code. However, she's convinced that the Occupy movement will keep the pressure on Albany, because she says millionaires still aren't paying their fair share in New York.

"When he put through the legislation, it was like three men in backroom coming up with something; and it falls very, very short on what the true millionaire's tax would be. They're actually paying less."

According to Soto, other concerns ripe for reform in Albany are the huge tax breaks given to companies that locate in New York on the theory that they will bring jobs.

"There's no true tracking of what they do, and most of the time, they do not produce any jobs - but, they get huge tax abatements."

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY