As potential for another shutdown looms, local federal workers head to DC

By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — With the potential for another government shutdown looming, federal workers nationwide plan to flock to Washington, D.C.

The American Federation of Government Employees will host the "Keep the Government Open" rally on Tuesday. Federal employees will meet at the Hyatt on New Jersey Avenue and march to the Capitol starting at 11:15. The AFGE is the largest federal employee union and represents 700,000 people.

Federal workers from Tallahassee plan to make the trip north.

"No one thinks I'm going to work every day and not getting a paycheck. Anxiety and the stress levels definitely increase,” said Kristan Morgan, Vice President of AFGE local 1570, which represents Tallahassee prison workers.

Morgan, who will attend the rally, said their presence in D.C. will put a face with the plight.

"When they see actual working people come to their office and tell them exactly what’s going on and exactly how things are affecting them, I think that makes a difference,” she said.

AFGE Local 1570 President Ray Coleman will also attend. He said he hopes the rally shows lawmakers the magnitude of their decisions.

"The theory behind going up there is to show a unified presence” he said. "It's not just D.C. workers. It is federal workers in your everyday backyard, in your constituency bases,” said Coleman.

Following the rally, federal workers will meet one on one with lawmakers before the week is up.

"We're hoping by the end of the week, all of our 435 congressman have heard from a federal worker of some sort,” said Coleman.

Congress has until February 15 to make a new deal, keeping the government open.

Coleman and Morgan will leave for D.C. on Monday. Representatives for the local TSA union have already arrived at the Capitol.

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