Columbia Basin Herald
The Grant County Democrats sponsored the "We are One - Jobs and Justice for the American Dream" march Saturday morning. The group walked along Broadway Avenue and Pioneer Way, carrying signs with a variety of messages on them.
"It's part of a general wider anger ... In Washington, there are 25 cities that are having these rallies today," said Carolyn DuVall, the county Democrat's publicity chair. "There is one in Ellensburg and Yakima and Tri-Cities and all over on the coast."
DuVall and Kathy Sturm said the march was inspired by three different movements. The Rebuild the Dream movement, aimed at better pay and conditions for workers. The Occupy Wall Street and Get the Money Out, an organization aimed at removing corporate influence in politics, influenced the event as well.
"It's not one little thing. There's a whole basket of sins that need to be righted," DuVall said.
Sturm pointed to government cutbacks affecting education, saying it hurts her grandchildren. She placed the blame on poor budgeting and the lack of a sound tax base.
"Our kids are losing their teachers, and I'm really worried about that," she said.
Ken Sturm marched along with the group. He believes strongly in the country and the democratic way of life, he said.
"I'm a veteran and I love my country ... so I came out to show my support to a better way of life. Certainly, we don't have it now," he said. "We just want to show the community that there are people here that, like many of them, are sad about what's going on with the government."
Barbara Carvo, the oldest person marching, had a flier for Get the Money Out taped to the front of her walker. She was tired of the federal government's lack of action to create jobs, she said.
"I think it's bad for the country, for the people and that people need to be heard," she said. "It's like it's a big joke. I'd like to see a new Congress. I'd like them to listen to the people and do what the people want them to."
For Louis Logan, he wanted to see people receive a wage they can survive on. Carrying a sign calling for "economic justice," he said he wasn't upset at how much corporate leaders receive, but the level of disparity between chief executive officers and the lower-level employees.
"It's not just a Democrat versus Republican viewpoint," she said. "Of course some people make more than others ... No matter where you're at on this you ought to be able to make a living wage. There is a point where it ceases to be just when the discrepancy between the worker and say the CEO is 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 times different."
Kathy Sturm wanted more people, but she pointed out the people who honked driving by.
"They're with us in spirit," she said.