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Southern Tier

Protesters: Don't drop ball on middle class

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Protesters: Don't drop ball on middle class
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Times Square is often the focus as we flip from one year to the next, but this year, Washington, D.C. has taken some of the limelight as we turn the page on another calendar year. With all the fiscal cliff talk, most just want to make sure they're in good financial standing in 2013. YNN's Katie Husband was with one group of protesters Monday who wanted to make sure their Congressman heard their message loud and clear.

CORNING, N.Y. — Don't drop the ball on the middle class. That was the New Year's Eve message on Market Street.

"There are a lot of middle class people, working class people, who benefit from extending the Bush tax cuts for the 98 percent of us who make under the $250,000 mark," Brian Dugan, Citizen Action of New York, organizer.

If Congress votes to give tax breaks to the wealthy, for these folks, that means leisure activities like movie and dinner dates will be nonexistent.

"It's not saving that money because we don't have it anymore but that's what will have to be cut from my budget, from our budget, household budget to make ends meet," said Dugan.

Which is why these protesters were in front of Congressman Tom Reed's office, standing up for what they believe in: making sure the wealthy pay what they believe is their fair share and avoid cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.

"But, I think the public has to express itself in greater numbers and more forcefully and that's one reason I'm here. I think unless we let the representatives know where we are and put some pressure of some sort by emails, by coming in person, by calling, we're probably not going to get the democracy we want," said Frank Anastasio, protester.

These protesters say it wasn't surprising that a representative from Congressman Tom Reed's office was out to answer their questions, because it's happened before.

"There's always something accomplished. We've been here a number of times and every time we have... it makes us feel that we're part of the process. We're taking action, we're part of the process of what's going on in Washington," said Dugan.

Which is the way to do business according to Reed's Corning team, especially when there is a stalemate in Washington.

"Hears the concerns from the frontline and again on both sides of the argument and that gives him a better perspective in Washington," said Tim Kolpien, Congressman Tom Reed's communications director.

Kolpien then reports back to Reed on what the constituents are concerned about.

There was a similar protest in Binghamton Monday afternoon outside of Congressman Richard Hanna's office. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP