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Groups Rally to End Sequester in Hopes of Protecting Services

StateHouse News Service, May 16, 2013

Dozens of protesters rallied outside a Boston federal office building Thursday, urging lawmakers in Washington to restore funding to programs cut under the federal sequestration plan.

Addressing the protesters, Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) singled out early education and local jobs programs as critical to the state and said people need to let their U.S. representatives know they want to end the partisan gridlock in the capital. When asked if Massachusetts' delegation has been responsive to their call for them to do something about the gridlock, Forry said she thinks the state's congressmen have. "I've spoken to some of them and I think a lot of them are reaching out and speaking up. But then again, I think that the tone and the tenor in Washington, it's a little bit toxic," Forry said. State programs might need to fill the gaps created by cut services, Forry added. "Obviously we are going to have to pick up some of the slack that's happening," Forry told the News Service after addressing the crowd of protesters.

Around 50 protesters gathered outside the O'Neill federal building on Causeway Street in Boston Thursday afternoon to urge Congress and the White House to stop the sequestration cuts as well as close corporate tax loopholes and reduce defense spending. A coalition including the groups Budget for All, Massachusetts Peace Action and the Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants sponsored the rally. Forry said she hopes to work with House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray "to make Massachusetts whole," in the face of federal cuts. The Dorchester Democrat won her party's nomination last month in the special election to succeed former Sen. John Hart in the Senate. Forry faces opposition from Republican opponent Joe Ureneck in the heavily-Democratic district.