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Workers rally to ‘Awake the State’

By Staff | Mar 8, 2011

Amid a chorus demanding a recall of Gov. Rick Scott, hundreds of public employees took to the streets Tuesday to decry Scott’s intentions to slash public funding on multiple levels.
Teachers, firefighters and general city employees joined the thousands of like-minded people in similar rallies across Florida, as they attempted to “Awake the State” about the future of the public employee. There were 30 or more rallies taking place around the state.
“It sends a strong message,” said Mark Muerth, Cape Coral Professional Firefighters Union President. “It lets the governor know enough is enough with corporations and the wealthy getting all the breaks. We want them to take the burden off the backs of the working-class families.”
But it wasn’t just the average working class citizen supporting the cause on Tuesday.
Kay Nichols, a retired Cape resident who moved to the city last May, said her children and grandchildren were going to suffer if Scott were allowed to cut public funding.
Hoisting a sign that read “END CORPORATE WELFARE!”, Nichols said the problem extends beyond the state borders and is an issue the entire nation will have to contend with.
“It’s not just Rick Scott, it’s the entire country,” Nichols said. “What’s right is right and this isn’t right. My grandchildren are going to be in trouble if we don’t get this turned around.”
Nichols said she was thrilled to see the hundreds of people out on Tuesday, especially the parents who brought their kids, showing them the importance of getting involved.
“It’s not just the large corporations getting the breaks,” Nichols said. “It’s the smaller corporations, too.”
Cape Coral General Employees Union President Wally Ilczszyn said it was important for everyone to stay involved long after the rallies were over.
Writing letters, making phone calls, staying in the ears of the legislators, is important for moving forward, Ilczszyn said.
“We need to let our voice be heard,” he said. “We’re here to help eliminate some of the bad legislation is Tallahassee