Gretchen Wilkes, of Mullica Township protests outside of Congressman Frank LoBiondo's office in Mays Landing, Wednesday Aug. 10, 2011, in opposition to his vote on the debt bill. They want the government to do more things to create jobs


HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Armed with a sign that said “Stop Corporate Welfare” and wearing a “Save the American Dream” sticker, Mildred Kish sought to make a difference on a sunny afternoon in downtown Mays Landing.

“I don’t know how far we will get with this, but we’ll give it a shot,” said Kish, of Newfield, Gloucester County.

Kish was one of about 20 residents from across South Jersey who rallied outside the Main Street office of Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd. The group waved signs and delivered a message to the congressman for the need to create more jobs.

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Millville resident Michael Golla, a member of Moveon.org, organized the rally in conjunction with similar events being held across the country. He presented the congressman’s office with a 10-point plan from the national organization to reinstate economic fairness that focused mostly on creating jobs.

The protesters held signs that read “Stop Assault on Middle Class,” “Jobs Now. Stop The Wars,” and “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.”

“We’d like to support (LoBiondo), but we’re not because of what he’s done,” Gallo told staffer Linda Hinckley, citing the congressman’s vote in favor of the national debt-reduction bill and other votes the group feels fails to create jobs.

Kamau Wilkes, 18, said he is concerned about the future of programs such as Social Security when he gets older.

“They need to change it,” the Mays Landing resident said. “They need to care more about the youth.”

The main priority for the residents was for the federal government to create jobs and take care of people in the middle class.

“The middle class is being annihilated by legislators that favor the privileged in our country,” Ventnor resident Alissa Wolf said. “People need to be proactive and come out in greater numbers and let our legislators know we are unhappy with the state of affairs of this once-great country.”

LoBiondo spokesman Jason Galanes said in a statement that the congressman remains focused on creating jobs and growing South Jersey’s economy.

The congressman plans to meet with the Salem County Chamber of Commerce today, Galanes said, adding that LoBiondo will speak with small-business owners “to hear their opinions on how we can better promote a pro-business agenda, create certainty for employers and spur hiring.”

Vineland resident Brown Thigpen said a true change from the federal government would need involvement by a lot more people than who gathered Wednesday.

“It has to start somewhere,” he said. “To break the good-old-boy network will be hard. Our only hope is to put pressure from the people. They have to realize they have to get up and do something.”

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