DENVER (CBS4) – Hundreds of furloughed employees are expected to protest the government shutdown in Denver on Thursday. The American Federation of Government Employees is organizing a rally to highlight the affect the shutdown that began last month is having on workers, their families, and the nation.
“It’s a terrible situation, and it’s very frustrating,” Dave Christenson, a furloughed EPA worker, said. “I need to figure out how to pay the bills.”
Christenson has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency for 30 years and has been through a couple government shutdowns before. However, he said this time is scarier.
“I’m more worried this time by a lot because this administration is so unpredictable,” he told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “I’m very frustrated with the president. He’s created a crisis. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
With no definite timeline when this shutdown will end, Christenson said this week he plans to reach out to credit unions offering special loans to furloughed employees like him.
“I’m hopeful that will keep the groceries in the fridge and the lights on,” he said, “and hopefully the mortgage paid.”
Like he’s done during shutdowns past, Christenson will take his frustration to the streets. He will protest with other furloughed workers from various government agencies – such as TSA, Border Patrol and the IRS – sharing a simple yet anger-fueled message.
“End the shutdown. End the lockout. Reopen the government,” Christenson said. “We want Cory Gardner to step up. He’s done some, and we appreciate that. We want him to feel some political heat to speak up and get this fixed.”
The federal employee protest is set to happen from noon to 1:00 p.m. outside the U.S. Custom House at 721 19th Street in downtown Denver.