MoveOn group rallies for job creation in Stamford
The group of demonstrators from the MoveOn political action group stood at Washington and Tresser boulevards, waving signs that said "Jobs Not Cuts."
Passing drivers honked in support and waved from the windows of their cars and trucks.
"We are just horrified with what's going on with our so-called government," said Kate Tepper, a Norwalk resident and chairwoman of Democracy for America's Fairfield County chapter. "This debt crisis was totally manufactured. The real crisis is jobs."
The group staged Wednesday's rally outside the Government Center, where Himes maintains an office. A whiteboard on the street corner read "Congressman Himes we are counting on you. Rebuild the dream. You are part of it."
"We just want to let him know we're still here," Mellers said. "He's our elected official. We want to make sure we're standing behind him when he comes up with good ideas. We support him and want him to support us too."
Himes was not in his Stamford office Wednesday, but said he spent the day visiting businesses in Bridgeport and Norwalk. He said he understands his constituents' concerns about the high unemployment rate.
"As it happens today, I was talking with a lot of people who are either growing jobs or wanting to grow jobs in the district," Himes said. "Job growth is job number one. Unfortunately, given the politics in Congress right now, it's going to be very hard to get things done. But I voted for the Recovery Act, which kept tens of thousands of firemen and teachers employed."
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $288 billion in tax cuts and benefits to working families and businesses and increased federal funding for education and health care, according to a government website.
Stamford resident Tyrie Collins, 21, rode past Wednesday's rally on his bicycle and initially thought the signs were advertising a job fair. Collins said he has been unemployed for about eight months.
"It's a positive movement," Collins said of the rally. "It's something everyone should come out for. I support it all the way."
Connecticut's joblessness rate stood at 9.1 percent at the end of June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In July, Mayor Michael Pavia said unemployment in Stamford is at about 7.3 percent, which is high for the city but lower than the state and national average.
Staff Writer Kate King can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 203-964-2263.