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Mamaroneck Graduate Rallies for Jobs

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Teal Martz told a raucous crowd outside Congresswoman Nita Lowey's White Plains office Thursday that the government should be doing more to help her and her fellow graduates, some of whom are enrolling in a community college courses so they're eligible for unpaid internships they hope will turn into a job.

After graduating from Mamaroneck High School in 2006, Martz, 23, attended Northeastern University.

"I'm lucky," said Martz, a part-time nanny living with her parents in Larchmont. "I only have $30,000 in debt. What I face and what my peers face is an economy that's terrible and an increasing unemployment boom for youth. I have until Nov. 11 to find a job before I have to default on loans."

Martz, 23, joined other unemployed adults, laid off teachers, recent college graduates grappling with student loans, and nearly 60 others gathered on Mamaroneck Avenue in support of economic reform first espoused by the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The "Jobs Not Cuts" rally, organized by MoveOn.org, urged Lowey (D-NY) to support President Barack Obama's job act when it is presented at the U.S. House of Representatives next week.

Anthony Marella, 46, of Harrison, said he was compelled to attend a political rally for the first time Thursday by what he views as greed from the "1 percent" of Americans fueling the top ranks of large corporations and financial firms.

“The 1 percent want to take away everything he did for this country. They want us to work for five cents an hour seven days a week. That’s the jobs they offer us,” said Marella, referring to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “This organization organized this to remind Nita Lowey who she works for. We need jobs and we’re the 99 percent of America. We’re the majority.”

Marjorie Morales, a New Rochelle organizer with MoveOn.org, said the big push behind the rally was supporting "economic justice" as outlined in the national non-profit's "Contract for the American Dream."

Patricia Keegan, Lowey's district director, said the congresswoman supported "99 percent" of the suggestions in the "Contract for the American Dream," but had a policy against signing such documents.

In a statement released from her office, Lowey said she plans to vote for Obama's job act.

"It is time for the House Republican majority to stop the political games and focus on what matters to the American people -- creating good-paying jobs," Lowey said in a press release. "The growing wage gap is dangerous for our overall economy and threatens the well-being of the middle class."

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