I spent Tuesday being an honorary Connecticutian–yes, that’s the correct term. I joined a band of native Connecticutians as part of the “Take Back the Capitol” week in Washington, DC. Our group’s mission: convince Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to pass jobs legislation to put Americans back to work.
I was lucky enough to be one of many bloggers invited to Washington, DC to write about the 99inDC events happening all week. I decided to hang out with the Connecticut contingent, because I figured it might be a culture shock for a girl from the Midwest.
So why should Nebraska pipeline fighters care about Connecticut 99ers (that’s slang for members of the 99%)? I believe it’s primarily because the battles we’re fighting culminate around the same theme: we’re individuals asking politicians, who are far more pliable to the concerns of corporations, to do right by their constituents.
I believe fighting the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska has been a disturbing gut check for me and many other Nebraskans. We thought our elected officials represented us, but as the months dragged on, many of us began to feel that our politicians cared more about sparing TransCanada’s feelings than protecting our land and water.
My fellow Connecticutians seemed to understand that sentiment all too well. Many felt that DC politicians were more concerned about keeping the 1% happy instead of putting the 99% back to work. Why protect the very individuals who profited off the economic collapse of 2008? Why protect the companies who were still raking in obscene profits and dodging taxes while the rest of us struggle to keep or find work?
There is something deeply flawed about our system when our so-called “representatives” care more about padding the pockets of big business than looking out for the general welfare. Earning a living–whether it’s ranching in the Sandhills or trucking across Connecticut–to feed our families shouldn’t be this hard. Doesn’t our right to the pursuit of happiness mean anything?
Today, we’re taking our message from Capitol Hill to K Street, which is where all the major lobbying operations are set up in DC. We’re going to make sure they know they can’t bully Nebraskans, Connecticutians, or any other Americans in their relentless quest for profits and power.