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Organizing for Action Solicits Stories On Impact of Sequestration

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 27 2013

Organizing for Action on Wednesday asked the members of its e-mail list to share personal stories on how the looming automatic budget cuts, known as the sequestration, would affect them. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer did the same through Twitter.

It's not immediately clear how many of those on the list will respond, but the Obama administration is sounding the alarm through all of its channels to warn the public about the potentially devastating effects of the cuts. It's obviously soliciting faces to put to the statistics that it's pumping out to force Republicans to come to the negotiating table.

Obama's former Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter laid out a brief parade of horribles in a message to the list. She said that the sequestration would result in 10,000 teachers being laid off, $400 million being slashed from the pre-school program Head Start, and in 70,00 kids being booted out of the program. The cuts would also affect public safety and food programs for seniors and indigent families. She then asked the list members to share their stories on how they expect the cuts to affect them.

The administration has also been detailing the impact of the looming cuts on the White House Web site, and holding press conferences with reporters to explain the impact on education with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. On Sunday it published an analysis of how the cuts would impact each state. The Washington Post has the breakdown in a series of tables here. Other than programs benefitting the elderly and children, the cuts would also affect the military, the FBI, and a host of other federal agencies.

Despite all these, as well as previous publicity efforts, the public doesn't seem to be concerned about the cuts, and what it means to them, according to a recent Washington Post-Pew poll. Just 18 percent of those surveyed said that they understand "very well" what would happen if the cuts kick in.

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