WASHINGTON (JTA) – Nine young political activists have started out on an eight-state tour to push for the repeal of the Pres. George W. Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.
The “If I Were a Rich Man” tour, which started Wednesday, is organized by Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, a non-profit group which formed this summer and is dedicated to using Jewish political clout, access and money for domestic issues only.
The young people are targeting the districts of Congress members who support tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 annually. They group said in a statement that the activists are "standing up to the wealthiest members of Congress who are voting to line their pockets while demanding more of the nation’s most vulnerable to reduce the deficit, balance the budget and protect funding for critical programs and services."
From now through Sept.7, tour members will make appearances at both the Republican and Democratic conventions and speak with Jewish community leaders, interfaith groups and union organizations along the route.
“Millionaires in Congress trying to force working people to pay more than their fair share in taxes is like a school yard bully stealing lunch money from a kid,” Alan van Capelle, CEO of the Bend the Arc said in a statement. “American Jews have never stood on the sidelines when we have seen injustice and we aren’t going to start now.”
Tour team leader Ellen Axe of Boston told JTA in a statement that “our country is faced with enormous challenges and it is frustrating to see so many of our elected leaders voting against the best interest of their constituents and the long-term economic viability of our country.”
Hip hop artist Sean “Y-Love” Jordan also is on the team.
The tour will target legislators including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Tex.), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.), and Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio).