Glassboro Unity DayGlassboro UNITY DAY on Saturday, October 5 was a HUGE success!!!  AFT volunteers were on hand meeting and greeting the public and distributing AFT trinkets!
We spoke with 245 men, women and children with our US History Trivia Game and bookmark coloring station. People were having a good time attempting to answer questions that might have been featured on “Are You as Smart as a 5th grader?” television show. Children that didn’t know the answer… learned something new that day. (Maybe even some of the parents learned too!) We got to provide our platform when the question of “Why do we have unions in America?” was pulled from the basket.

I would like to thank the volunteers that came out to assist that day; LuAnn Maslanik (Financial Aid), Saudia Beverly (CGCE), Esther Mummert (College of Communications and Creative Arts), and Joy Xin and Laurie Haines (College of Education). A special thank you to Diane Doorman (College of Education) for assisting as Site Co-Coordinator and braving the heat the whole day to work at the booth with me! Also, without Diane bringing her tent to the event… we would have melted in the heat!

Thank you to Ruth in the AFT Office for assembling “give aways” for the event! Thank you to Esther and Diane for providing the tables that day!

-Lori Block

Rose Glassberg

Rose Glassberg, of Cherry Hill, discusses the proposed chained CPI Social Security benefit cut that would force many senior citizens to reduce their standard of living during a National Day of Action rally at Rowan University, Tuesday, July 2, 2013. (Staff Photo by Lori M. Nichols/South Jersey Times)

GLASSBORO — The rainy Tuesday weather slightly dampened National Action Day for a group of seniors at Rowan University.

The Glassboro chapter of the Alliance for Retired Americans, a national organization advocating for the rights of its namesake, had planned on making a human chain across Route 322 in the borough to protest against potential security cuts.

The group, meeting in a room inside of Rowan University and abandoning the human chain idea in favor of dryer conditions, discussed the potential effects of President Obama’s proposed 2014 budget.

Obama’s budget would change the statistical formula to calculate the rate of inflation for increases in the cost of living adjustments in Social Security benefits to the Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) formula.

The group asserts that changing to this formula could lose seniors up to $1,200 a year in annual benefits if the proposal goes through.

Rose Glassberg, an executive officer of the alliance, said that for a demographic where 1/3 of the people receiving Social Security rely on it for 90 percent of their annual income, this possibility is unacceptable.

“What is wrong with CPI is that it believes that seniors don’t need as much of a cost of living increase,” said Glassberg. “To talk about reducing seniors’ cost of living (increases) is not just wrong, but cruel.”

The group is calling for the proposal to be dropped out of the budget and for payments into the system to be restructured based on updated tax brackets.

“The people that make $110,000 a year pay the same amount into Social Security as those making $1.25 million a year,” said Glassberg.

“Really what we’re asking for is for everyone to contribute their fair share,” added Karen Siefring, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting.

The seniors in attendance talked about the importance of government programs, many pointing to the GI Bill, also known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, as an example of government effectively compensating for those in need. The act paid for many returning World War II soldiers’ college tuition along with offering low-cost mortgages and loans to returning veterans.

Edward Wolfe, a fellow executive director of the alliance, said that the success of the change to Chained CPI is a result of political think tanks’ ability to convince blue collar workers that the change is connected more to “entitlement programs” than it is to benefits.

“They’re manipulating language to support a rather pernicious cause,” said Wolfe.

Chuck Linderman, a Washington Township resident, said that he feels the change focuses too much on the benefits of the seniors rather than trying to adjust the amount high earners pay into Social Security.

“It seems like if you stand back and look at it, it’s a tax on the seniors,” said Linderman.

“And when seniors get money, we spend it,” added Glassberg. “We spend it on our home. We spend it on our kids. We don’t send it to (the Cayman Islands).”

By Phil Davis/South Jersey Times
on July 03, 2013 at 6:00 AM, updated July 03, 2013 at 6:09 PM
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Susan MacLaury

Susan MacLaury

Congratulations to Susan MacLaury for her film Inocente which has won the Academy Award in the category for best short documentary! She shares her Academy Award as co-producer with her husband Albie Hecht. This is the second documentary from her production company to be nominated for an Academy Award. Susan is dually degreed in social work and health education and teaches at Kean University. She is a member of the Kean Federation of Teachers, AFT-AFL/CIO and serves as Member-at-Large as part of the local’s elected leadership.

Inocente tells the story of a homeless, undocumented 15 year-old artist who lives in San Diego with her mother and three younger brothers. At the time of filming, they had been homeless for nine years, moving in and out of more than 25 shelters and other temporary residences. Susan served as Executive Producer of the film, which was screened at the United State Congress on February 5th.

The Academy Award® winning husband and wife team are the co-founders and driving force behind the non-profit production company Shine Global and Emmy winners for its first film, War/Dance. Together they executive produced Shine’s second feature documentary, The Harvest/La Cosecha. Albie is the former president of entertainment for Nickelodeon and Spike TV. He is currently president of Worldwide Biggies, a transmedia company he founded. Susan is the Executive Director of Shine Global. Shine Global is dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children through films that raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change.

Susan stated, “I believe strongly in the power of film to educate, both in and out of the classroom, and to promote genuine social change. We hope the win brings more attention to the millions of kids like Inocente who are homeless, undocumented, and/or affected by cuts in arts education funding” We salute her for the commitment and integrity with which she puts her values into action in her films, in her classroom and in her service to our colleagues as an elected member of the KFT leadership.

For more about Inocente and Shine Global go to: