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Government Shutdown: Share Your Story

Oct 07, 2013 | By Shantha Ready Alonso

Last weekend, Catholics celebrated the Feast of St. Francis, who prayed, "grant that I may not so much seek to be understood as to understand." We need to help Congress and the public listen to the stories of people who are suffering, and understand their plight. Here's one man's story.

Tomorrow, NETWORK will receive a volunteer who has been a government mailroom clerk since 1997. He has received awards for his dedication, never missing a day of work even in the midst of the 9/11 attack and anthrax scares. Having been furloughed since the government shutdown began last Tuesday, he said he is relieved to have work tomorrow, even though it is unpaid. He will use his mailroom skills to help us sort thousands of immigration advocacy postcards by zip code and Congressional district. 

While the impasse in Congress seems baffling to most Americans, this NETWORK volunteer is actually incapable of understanding reasons for the government shutdown or that the dispute involves dismantling the Affordable Care Act. Yet, his livelihood and his life depend on both. Like many of his colleagues in the mailroom, he has a disability (autism) and other health issues that would cause him to be denied health insurance because of "preexisting conditions." 

Congress needs to hear more stories like the one above.Please share your story with us. We will collect and share them with Congress. You can also email us your story or picture(s) at networkupdate@networklobby.org

The story above was shared with the authorization of this man's family. They asked that we not use his name.