We only had 25 at our rally for Texas schools Tuesday, March 15, in Spring Branch, but it was one of 277 similar events held at exactly the same time across the nation.
More than 18,000 people participated in MoveOn's 'Defend the Dream' rallies in all 50 states. The purpose of this initiative is described on the MoveOn website: "Republicans in Congress are holding the middle class hostage - proposing a federal budget that would would cut 700,000 to 1 million jobs from our communities and slash funding to support preschool and college students, pregnant women, unemployed workers, and much more. This isn't a budget, it's a slap in the face to the public workers, services, and institutions making the American Dream possible."
MoveOn is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, with more than five million members, that supports progressive public policy.
Our greater San Antonio MoveOn Council characterized its rally with the theme, "If teachers cut, your child pays," reflecting concerns about the bills proposed in our state legislature that would make large cuts to funding of public schools and social services.
The Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin projects that, if the current budget bill in the House is passed, 121,000 public school jobs and an additional 169,000 private sector jobs will be lost statewide.
According to Texas Forward, a coalition of 37 organizations within the state, Texas ranks dead last among all states in high school graduation. Texas Forward's recommendation is that we take "a balanced approach to a balanced budget," using all of the $9.4 billion Rainy Day fund together with closing tax loopholes and finding new sources of revenue to avoid major disruptions to programs that prepare our state for a prosperous future.
A member of the Austin MoveOn Council, Janis Machado, wrote a song specifically for their rally, titled "Democracy's Lament.''