More than a dozen people stood outside Rep. Jim Costa’s downtown Fresno office Tuesday, praising the congressman for continuing to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security on the anniversaries of the programs being signed into law.
The demonstrators held signs, sang “Happy Birthday Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security” and offered cupcakes to passersby while urging Reps. Costa, D-Fresno, David Valadao, R-Hanford, and Devin Nunes, R-Tulare to protect the programs from cuts or privatization. Aug. 14 will mark 82 years since Social Security was enacted, and Medicare and Medicaid turned 52 on Sunday.
The celebration, organized by the California Alliance for Retired Americans, made its first stop at Costa’s office, and had plans to stop at Nunes’ office in Visalia at 1:30 p.m. and Valadao’s Hanford office at 3:30 p.m.
I’d like it to benefit my family, like my nieces, nephews, great-nephews.
Loretta Kensinger, on Congress supporting Social Security
Gene Roza, of Clovis, said he expected the celebration outside of Nunes’ and Valadao’s offices would be less pleasant than the one at Costa’s because Republicans have recently targeted the programs for potential cuts. “We’ve been there before, where the director just takes off the back door because he doesn’t want to hear from us,” Roza said. “We’re the constituents, and even when you don’t agree with us, you should still listen.”
While most of the crowd stood outside on M Street, several went inside and rode the elevator to the ninth floor armed with cupcakes and a “birthday card” for Costa, signed by constituents thanking him for helping to protect the programs. Costa was not in, but his director of constituent services accepted the card on his behalf, thanking the crowd for coming.
Loretta Kensinger was among those who went up to Costa’s office. She said she’s getting near the age she’ll need Social Security and she’d like to make sure it’s secure. “I’d like it to benefit my family, like my nieces, nephews, great-nephews,” she said. “I hope he (Costa) comes forward to strengthen these programs.”