Social Security turns 75, Tampa recipients celebrate

Nestled off Sheldon Road in Tampa you can find a neighborhood decorated with dozens of American flags, odd speed limit signs and many Social Security recipients.

Today the residents of Fountainview Estates, a 55-year and older community, came out to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Social Security.

The elderly audience of about 30 residents met with Congresswoman Kathy Castor, and NAACP President, Ray Tampa to show their support of strengthening Social Security, which they said needs to be kept out of Wall Street.

The community also enjoyed a birthday cake in honor of the day Franklin R. Roosevelt signed Social Security into action. Matilda Martinez Garcia, 91, spoke about her first days working for Social Security, and how she turned it into a 40 year long career.

“In Florida 3.5 million residents rely on Social Security, or are recipients,” Congresswoman Castor said.

It is especially important in these tough economic times to have a “safety net” for our older citizens, she added.

Recently, some members of the Republican Party have been pushing to privatize Social Security, with some people calling it the old nickname “Socialist Security.”

“If it’s good for us, they call it Socialism,” said Florida Alliance for Retired Americans spokesman Bobby Meeks.

Ray Tampa represented the NAACP as a group that is dedicated to upholding the current Social Security system, or strengthening it. Over 60 organizations (including the NAACP) have come together to tell both political parties “Don’t mess with Social Security,” Tampa said. These organizations, he says, have over 30 million members who will stand behind Social Security.

Bob Streger, 84, has been on Social Security for 14 years, and it his sole source of income.

“Without Social Security, I’m a dead duck,” Streger said.

Nearly every resident at the Fountainview clubhouse who was present benefited from Social Security. When asked by Castor if anyone wanted to see the current Social Security system privatized only one person raised their hand. Though, the older resident quickly pulled her arm down, she misheard the question, she said.

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