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Buerkle fields complaints and questions at mobile office hours

Ellen Abbott

Opponents of the Romney/Ryan budget plan took their complaints to the congressional mobile office hours of Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-Onondaga Hill) on Syracuse's south side yesterday.

They're worried about potential cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Protesters were outspoken as Buerkle arrived at the Southwest Community Center yesterday.

At one point, Syracuse University Professor Eric Kingson engaged her in a debate over the future of Social Security. He said that she favored privatization to which Buerkle replied that he was "lying to these people."

Lanika Mabrey of Citizen Action of New York organized the protest. Mabrey says residents from the south and southwest sides of Syracuse are concerned there might be cuts in programs like Medicare and Social Security. Many of them signed up to speak one-on-one with the congresswoman.

They hope that Buerkle recognizes their hard work.

"I hope that she learns that we are a hard working community, that go to work every day, care for our children as well, do everything that we can do to make our community better," Mabrey said.

Buerkle, a Republican, is in a competitive race for re-election, facing Democrat Dan Maffei and Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum in the November election.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.