We, as a nation, are several years into a job crisis. Reports of highly disappointing May and June employment gains accompanied by slow economic growth for the first two quarters of 2011 highlight the urgent need for a national plan to grow the economy. The unemployment numbers throughout the country mandate legislative, tangible action to address the crisis. In response to the dismal unemployment figures, an open letter with almost two thousand (2,000) signatures was sent by the National Urban League to the President and Congress urging their support in the “War on Unemployment”.
For the past several weeks, this blog has focused primarily on recently introduced pieces of legislation and other activities undertaken to address the current economic crisis with a focus on addressing unemployment and the resulting record bankruptcies, foreclosures, growth in homelessness and food insecurity. Below are several pieces of recent legislation which were introduced to address the unemployment crisis:
Promoting Partnerships to Transform Opportunities Act (H.R. 2611)
The Promoting Partnerships to Transform Opportunities Act (H.R. 2611) is one such
piece of legislation. In response to record employment, the Promoting Partnerships to Transform Opportunities Act (H.R. 2611) was introduced on July 21, 2011, by US Representative Raul Grijalva (S-AZ7). This piece of legislation would “…amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to prepare people with multiple barriers to employment to enter the workforce by providing such people with support services, job training, and education, and for other purposes. This new piece of legislation, H.R. 2611, has four (4) cosponsors. It is in the first step of the legislative process.
Earlier this year, another piece of legislation was introduced to amend the Workforce
Investment Act of 1998 to permit the establishment of Job Corps centers in the territories of the United States. On June 24, 2011, H.R. 2935 was introduced by Delegate Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) to amend the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. H.R. 2935 has 26 cosponsors. It is also in the first step of the legislative process.
Like most Americans, some members of congress assert that, “It is time for action on
the most important issue of our time—economic opportunity through jobs! Every American deserves the right to be gainfully employed or own a successful business”—said U.S. Representative Cleaver. I agree. As a result, I just signed a petition that says “America wants to work. It’s time to move on from manufactured crises and focus on jobs.” If you agree with me, will you add your name to the petition? If so, go here to sign the petition: http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2640
Lamont Cranston reminds us that, ” History will judge us either for our activism or apathy. The choice is ours, but the impact of our decision is ultimately on our children.” If the pressing social issues covered in these posts are important to you, please contact your elected officials in Washington, DC. For further information on these pieces of legislation, please visit www.govtrack.us. www.opencongress.org.
Source(s): National Urban League. US Rep. Cleaver’s FaceBook page. www.govtrack.us. www.opencongress.org Lamont Cranston. www.grio.com. www.thecincinnatiherald.com. www.theblackamerica.com. AFL-CIO. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Earlier this month, people from all walks of life came together with the singular purpose of reclaiming the American Dream for all. In every congressional district, “Rebuild the American Dream” meetings were held in response to the challenges faced with the federal budget. It has been reported that the American Dream Movement is growing stronger by the day. As a participant at a Rebuild the American Dream meeting, I understand that the meetings held across the country were only the first of many steps on the way to regaining the dream for all. Participants are committed to ensuring that once again Americans are: employed, can afford to go to college, retire with dignity, and secure a future for their children and their communities.
This summer, important action is being taken to bring more people into the political process. In addition to the “Rebuild the American Dream” meetings, there were voter empowerment campaigns held this month across the country. There are three (3) stages in the voter empowerment process: registration, education, and mobilization. It has been reported that volunteers in all fifty (50) states were knocking on doors and registering new voters. The overarching goal of the voter empowerment campaigns lead by the Democratic Party is three-fold: to bring more people into the political process; to make certain that every voter who wants to exercise their right is registered; to ensure the reelection of President Barack Obama and that Democrats take back the United States House of Representatives.
Get involved. Take action that can and will change the future. If you are not already registered, get registered to vote. Seize the opportunity to cast your vote. As was aptly stated by President Johnson when discussing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” Your vote can be decisive, stand up, speak out, be heard— participate in the “Rebuild the American Dream” movement and vote!
For further information on the “Rebuild the American Dream Movement”, visit www.moveon.org. Sources: Moveon.org. Wikipedia. Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
On July 13, 2011, US House of Representative Member, Emanuel Clever, III, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) introduced the “Congressional Black Caucus `For the People’ Jobs Initiative Resolution: H. RES. 348 in the US House–in response to record unemployment and the fact that there has been little or no action on the House floor taken to address this pressing matter. His rationale basis for the resolution is as follows:
“Over six months into the 112th Congress, no jobs creation legislation has been considered on the House floor despite the introduction of over forty bills by members of the CBC. It is clear that the unemployment numbers throughout the country require effective legislation and tangible action to address the crisis. The reported unemployment numbers in the African American community are hovering over sixteen percent.
The CBC is not standing idly by, but rather with the For the People Jobs Initiative, we are providing all of our constituents with what you need—aggressive action that remedies the stymied economy instead of protecting special interests and embarking on ideological crusades. To address the unemployment crisis and the need for job creation solutions in underserved communities, the CBC has called upon the private and public sectors to immediately remedy the crisis by going into communities with legitimate,
immediate employment opportunities for the underserved.”
Like most Americans, US Representative Clever asserts that, “It is time for action on the most important issue of our time—economic opportunity through jobs! Every American deserves the right to be gainfully employed or own a successful business.” Clever goes on to state that “…the Congressional Black Caucus is committed to that right and will not rest until there is parity in access to economic opportunity.”
The text of the resolution he introduced is below.
“Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that critical jobs legislation should
be considered and passed to address the growing jobs crisis throughout America,
and for other purposes.
Whereasthis resolution may be cited as the `Congressional Black Caucus `For the
People’ Jobs Initiative Resolution’;
Whereas over six months into the 112th Congress and no jobs creation legislation has
been considered on the House floor despite the introduction of over 40 bills by
members of the Congressional Black Caucus (`CBC’);
Whereas the unemployment numbers throughout the country mandate legislative, tangible action to address the crisis;
Whereas the reported unemployment numbers in the African-American community are
hovering over sixteen percent and in the double digits in other communities of
color in these United States;
Whereas for 40 years the CBC has introduced legislation for the people and has served
as the unwavering `Conscience of the Congress’;
Whereas the CBC recently launched the `For the People’ Jobs Initiative to directly
address the lack of jobs for people of color by holding job fairs and town hall
meetings throughout the country in areas hardest hit by the recession; and
Whereas, to address the unemployment crisis and the need for job creation solutions in
underserved communities, the CBC has called upon the private and public sectors
to immediately remedy the crisis by going into communities with legitimate,
immediate employment opportunities for the underserved: Now, therefore be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should– (1) consider and pass critical jobs legislation to address the crisis facing communities of color disproportionately; and (2) consider and pass critical jobs legislation to address the nationwide economic crisis.”
This resolution was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. For further information visit the websites listed below under sources.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
For almost two decades, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has afforded employment protected leave for workers to care for their new-born baby, sick family members, or to recover from their own serious illnesses. It has been reported
that since the enactment of FMLA millions of Americans have been able to take
up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave from work. Some assert that FMLA has proven essential to achieving greater employee retention and reducing employee turnover. The Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act (H.R. 2364, S. 1283) would not change the terms of the FMLA, but rather expand its coverage to more family members.
H.R. 2364 amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and title 5, United States Code, to permit leave to care for a domestic partner, parent-in-law, adult child, sibling, grandchild, or grandparent who has a serious health condition, and for other purposes. While protections afforded workers under FMLA have helped millions of families, they
do not show the many care-taking roles that workers may have, forcing many to choose between employment and responsibility to care for an ill family member. Many assert that all of America’s workers should be afforded the opportunity to fulfill their critically important family and caregiver roles while continuing to contribute to our nation’s economy. This belief led US Congresswoman Maloney to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives and Senator Durbin to introduce a similar piece of legislation in the Senate.
If this is an important issue to you, let your elected officials know about your support of this legislation. Let your voice be heard in Washington, DC. Get involved.
Sources: www.govtrack.us. www.opencongress.com. http://www.ifebp.org. Action Alert 9 to 5. www.lawheadlinesandnews.com/hd/index.php? =Family+Act+Leave. consultarehr.com/tag/work-family-balance/. “Bill Would Extend FMLA Benefits and Protections to Additional Family Members”, Washington DC Employment Law Update, Ilyse Schuman,
July 1, 2011.
Photocredit: Microsoft Clip Art