Friday, November 11, 2011

More than 1 in 4 homeowners 'underwater' as U.S. housing market continues to sink | Mail Online

More than 1 in 4 homeowners 'underwater' as U.S. housing market continues to sink | Mail Online:

By MICHAEL ZENNIE, The Daily Mail, 11/8/11

Nearly 30 percent of American homeowners owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, according to a new report from the real estate website Zillow

Defaults and foreclosures are likely to increase as homeowners decide to walk away from their houses, rather than continuing to make mortgage payments on property they can't sell or refinance, analysts said.

Forecloses are already twice what they were this time last year and the number of homeowners who haven't made a mortgage payment in at least two months rose for the first time since 2009.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pending Job Creation Legislation (Nov 3, 2011)

Box 96, Lynbrook, NY 11563

Representative John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced H.R. 870, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act with 19 cosponsors. This is a comprehensive and innovative federal and local government job creation and training bill that would create millions of new jobs for the nation’s unemployed.  The Act’s Full Employment Trust Fund would provide federal funding for local community-based job creation and training initiatives until full employment is reached in the United States. The Act is deficit neutral and fully funded through a modest tax on Wall Street stock and bond transactions.

HR 2914, the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky and 48 cosponsors, would create 2.2 million jobs over two years, to meet critical needs and strengthen communities.  The bill creates a national School Improvement Corps to rehabilitate school buildings; a Park Improvement Corps for youth between the ages of 16 and 25; a Student Job Corps for college students; a Neighborhood Heroes Corps to hire teachers, police officers and firefighters; a Health Corps to expand access to care in underserved neighborhoods; a Child Care Corps; and a Community Corps to rehabilitate and weatherize homes and promote recycling and rural conservation..  The legislation gives the unemployed priority for jobs, particularly those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits (the “99ers”), and veterans.   The $227 billion cost of the Act would be paid for through separate legislation to create higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, and by eliminating  subsidies for Big Oil and tax loopholes for corporations that send American jobs overseas.  

HR 402, the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011, has been introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) with 70 cosponsors.  The legislation establishes a National Infrastructure Development Bank, an independent body designed to evaluate and finance infrastructure projects of substantial regional and national significance.  Eligible infrastructure projects would include transportation (including highways, transit, inland waterways, rail and air travel), the environment (including development of drinking and wastewater facilities); energy (including renewable energy transmission and building efficiency); and telecommunications and broadband development.  The Bank would be capitalized with authorized appropriations of $5 billion a year for 5 years as paid in capital and would sunset 15 years after it is signed into law.   A similar bill, S. 652, the Senate BUILD Act, introduced by Sen. John Kerry with 10 cosponsors, would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA), a type of national infrastructure bank, an independent body designed to evaluate and finance infrastructure projects of substantial regional and national significance.
HR 494, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act, introduced by Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) with 19 cosponsors, would establish a Civilian Conservation Corps to employ unemployed or underemployed U.S. citizens in the construction, maintenance, and improvement projects related to parks and natural resources, including forestation of U.S. and state lands, prevention of forest fires, floods, and soil erosion, and construction and repair of National Park System paths and trails.  The bill would be funded at a level of $16 billion a year from fiscal year 2012 through fiscal year 2015.
HR 724/S 591, The Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act, introduced by Rep. Steven Rothman (D-NJ) with 17 cosponsors and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) with 5 cosponsors, would renew the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program, also known as 48C, which provides investment tax credits of 30% for facilities that manufacture energy equipment. Currently, 70 percent of clean energy components are manufactured outside of the United States.

HR 11, the Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act, introduced by Rep.  Gerry Connolly (D-VA) with 18 cosponsors to spur job creation here at home. These bonds have been an effective tool in job creation, having helped finance $181 billion in critical infrastructure projects, such as schools, hospitals, roads, courthouses, public safety facilities and equipment, water and sewer projects, environmental projects, energy projects, public buildings, government housing projects and public utilities.
HR 1901, the “Saving America's Youth: the Youth Employment Act of 2011” (SAY YEA!),  introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) with 22 cosponsors, would create summer jobs for disconnected youth.  The bill would provide $6.5 billion dollars for youth employment while offering tax incentives for businesses that hire employees ages 16 to 21 years of age.  The bill funds a national public service employment program that focuses on jobs in parks, education and rebuilding infrastructure.   According to Rep. Rush, “…the unemployment rate for Americans between the ages of 16 and 19 had reached a Depression-era level of 25.5 percent.  That percentage, which translated into an estimated 1.5 million unemployed youth, was the highest level it had ever been in the 50-plus years that the U. S. Labor Department has been tracking those records.”
HR 1366/S 751, the National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL) with 41 cosponsors, and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mark Kirk (D-IL) in the Senate, expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the U.S. government should promote policies related to the nation's manufacturing sector intended to promote growth, sustainability, and competitiveness, create well-paying jobs, enable innovation and investment, and support national security; and (2) the President and Congress should act promptly to pursue policies consistent with a National Manufacturing Strategy (Strategy).   The bill directs the President to submit a national manufacturing strategy to the Congress every four years. 


Energy Independence Plan: The Apollo Alliance has proposed a 10-year plan to get the U.S. to energy independence by investing in clean and renewable energy, including energy efficiency and conservation and green vehicles.  The plan would require an annual investment of $50 billion each year for 10 years, but it wouldactually pay for itself through public sector savings and avoiding costs of imported oil and fossil fuel consumption.   

Mass Transit Plan:  “Make it in America: The Apollo Clean Transportation Manufacturing Action Plan” calls for sustained investments to harness transit and clean vehicle building here in the U.S., investments that would result in 3.7 million jobs in the next 6 years. Of those new jobs, 600,000 alone would be in the manufacturing sector. 

Unemployed Workers:  HR 589, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Expansion Act of 2011, introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA), with 89 cosponsors, would add 14 weeks of benefits to the first "tier" of Emergency Unemployment Compensation, one of two programs that together give the unemployed up to 73 weeks of federally-funded benefits for workers who exhaust 26 weeks of state benefits. The full 73 weeks are available in states with unemployment above 8.5%.

Compiled by Chuck Bell, National Jobs for All Coalition, November 3, 2011

The American Dream Movement: It's Time for Solutions!!

Cross-posted from Huffington Post

It's Time for the Solutions: Hundreds of Thousands Support Big Plan to Fix Economy

by , President of and author of NY Times bestseller, "The Green-Collar Economy"

America and the world owe a great debt to Occupy Wall Street for making the problem of economic inequality impossible to ignore. The tiny spark that began in Zuccotti Park just six weeks ago has triggered a major shift in the national dialogue on inequality, our economy and our democracy.

Now it's time to begin a conversation about solutions -- solutions big enough to fit the scale of the problems that Occupy Wall Street has highlighted. Fortunately, the American Dream Movement spent this last summer taking on this very challenge. We are a vast, growing network of progressive organizations and individuals.

We are fighting to renew the American Dream and return our country to the principle of liberty and justice, for ALL (not for some).

We launched in June 2011, with the support of more than 70 national organizations, including, Planned Parenthood, Center for Community Change, Campaign for America's Future, SEIU and AFL-CIO. Since then, more than half a million people have joined our ranks and become members on We now have membership in every congressional district of the country.

In July, the American Dream Movement created an inclusive process to forge a jobs agenda that would put the country back to work without hurting essential programs like Medicare and Medicaid. More than 131,000 people got involved, both online and in person (NOTE: That is nearly three times the number of people who helped craft the Tea Party's famous"Contract from America.") Participants generated more than 20,000 ideas, then rated and ranked them to identify the best ones.

The outcome was our 10-point program: the Contract for the American Dream.

The common sense remedies in the Contract are based on the fundamental idea that a functioning U.S. economy requires opportunity for all and responsibility from all. Here are the ten items:

I. Invest in America's Infrastructure - Rebuild our crumbling bridges, dams, levees, ports, water and sewer lines, railways, roads, and public transit. Invest in high-speed Internet and a modern, energy-saving electric grid. These investments will create good jobs and rebuild America.
II. Create 21st Century Energy Jobs - Invest in American businesses that can power our country with innovative technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal systems, hybrid and electric cars, and next-generation batteries. And put Americans to work making our homes and buildings energy efficient. We can create good, green jobs in America, address the climate crisis, and build the clean energy economy.
III. Invest in Public Education - Provide universal access to early childhood education, make school funding equitable, invest in high-quality teachers, and build safe, well-equipped school buildings for our students. This is critical for our future and can create badly needed jobs now.
IV. Offer Medicare for All - Expand Medicare so it's available to all Americans, and reform it to provide even more cost-effective, quality care. The Affordable Care Act is a start, but it's not enough. We can save trillions of dollars by joining every other industrialized country -- paying much less for health care while getting the same or better results.
V. Make Work Pay - Grant all Americans the right to fair minimum and living wages, to organize and collectively bargain, to enjoy equal opportunity, and to earn equal pay for equal work. Corporate assaults on these rights must be outlawed.
VI. Secure Social Security - Keep Social Security sound, and strengthen the retirement, disability, and survivors' protections Americans earn through their hard work. Pay for it by removing the cap on the Social Security tax, so that upper-income people pay into Social Security on all they make, just like the rest of us.
VII. Return to Fairer Tax Rates - End, once and for all, the Bush-era tax giveaways for the rich, which the rest of us -- or our kids -- must pay eventually. Outlaw corporate tax havens and tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. And with millionaires and billionaires taking a growing share of our country's wealth, let's add new tax brackets for those making more than $1 million annually.
VIII. End the Wars and Invest at Home - Bring home our troops. They've done everything asked of them, and it's time to bring them home to good jobs. We're sending $3 billion each week overseas that we should be investing to rebuild America.
IX. Tax Wall Street Speculation - Make Wall Street pay. A tiny fee of a twentieth of 1% on each Wall Street trade could raise tens of billions of dollars annually with little impact on actual investment. This would reduce speculation, "flash trading," and outrageous bankers' bonuses.
X. Strengthen Democracy - Hold clean, fair elections -- where no one's right to vote can be taken away, and where money doesn't buy you your own member of Congress. We must ban anonymous political influence, slam shut the lobbyists' revolving door in D.C., and publicly finance elections. Immigrants who want to join in our democracy deserve a clear path to citizenship. We must stop giving corporations the rights of people when it comes to our elections. And we must ensure our judiciary's respect for the Constitution.

Many elements of the Contract are already under consideration in various forms in Congress, even as we speak. The idea of taxing Wall Street speculation at this moment in history should be a no-brainer. Let's bring all ten points through the political system.

There's always a danger that even mass protest will not result in concrete policy change or real-life improvements for ordinary Americans. The challenge we face is critical: It is time to turn this unleashed energy into power.

We must go beyond changing the conversation on inequality to also changing the conditions under which millions of Americans are suffering economically. Let's use this pivotal moment in history to make America work for the 99%
Follow Van Jones on Twitter:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday, Sept 10 -- NYC Labor Day Parade Information

A National Jobs for All Coalition contigent has been invited to march with CWA Local 1180 at the New York City Labor Day Parade, which takes place on Saturday September 10.

We will meet at 10:45 AM on Saturday, September 10 on 45th Street between 5th Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue.   

We understand that Rekindling Reform will also be marching with the CWA 1180 group.

PS  If you are unemployed person and you want to get in touch with the Workers' Defense League, here is their contact information:

Workers Defense League 
275 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10001-6708(212) 627-1931 

Welcome WBAI "City Watch" Listeners!

If you're looking to get involved in organizing to end the jobs crisis, you've come to the right place!

Please endorse HR 870 here (either as an individual or an organization!) so we build momentum and keep in touch with you.  See our fact sheet on HR 870.   Please contact members of the House of Representatives that represent you and urge them to cosponsor the bill.

For information on Rep. Jan Schakowsky's Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, click here.  As of right now, there is no bill number for Rep. Schakowsky's bill, so check back on her web site after Labor Day.   Click here to read more about HR 402, Rep. Rosa DeLauro's bill to create a National Infrastructure Bank

Our thanks to Mark Dunlea and Bich Ha Pham of WBAI City Watch for their efforts to inform the public about the jobs crisis and progressive solutions.

Help Organize A National Campaign to Enact HR 870,
The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act

Rep. John Conyers has proposed new legislation that would create a national jobs
program, funded by a financial speculation tax on Wall Street stock, bond and swaps
and derivative trading. The bill, HR 870, will be reintroduced in the next few weeks
with additional provisions emphasizing the right of all workers to a good job, and
calling for the federal government to “create living wage jobs for all at the earliest
practicable date.”


1) Endorse HR 870 at

2) Contact House Members and Urge Them to Cosponsor the Bill.
Urge Senators to Introduce a Companion Bill.

3) Pass a Local Resolution in your city or county or state or Labor Council about
the unemployment crisis and in support of HR 870 -- visit to download sample resolutions.

4) Hold a “First Friday” or “First Saturday” vigil or demonstration in your
community to protest the high unemployment rate, and demand a national
jobs program. (The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics releases new
unemployment statistics on the First Friday of every month, so you can
piggyback on local coverage of the unemployment crisis.) Develop a local
coalition/network in support of a national jobs program. Contact Logan
Martinez of NJFAC for more information. or
(937) 260-2591.

5) Organize a Local Community Forum or “Citizens’ Hearings about the
Unemployment Crisis.” Invite unemployed and underemployed workers to
speak about their experiences. Invite local & national experts to talk about
the human costs of unemployment, and the need for a national jobs program.

More info:

Chuck Bell, Coordinator (914) 830-0639,  cbell [at] 
National Jobs For All Coalition, P.O Box 96, Lynbrook, NY 11563
Phone: 203-856-3877 • Web: • E-mail: njfac [at] 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Congressional Black Caucus "For the People" Jobs Initiative

On Thursday, August 18, the Congressional Black Caucus held a "For the People" Jobs Initiative town hall meeting in Atlanta focusing on job creation efforts and improving the economy. Among the topics they addressed were public and private cooperation to create jobs, federal spending programs, recent debate on the federal debt and deficit reduction, as well as programs designed to benefit African Americans. This event was part of the Congressional Black Caucus' "For the People" jobs initiative that included nationwide jobs fairs, workshops and town hall meetings.

The Congressional Black Caucus Launches “For the People” Jobs Initiative H.Res.348

Job Fairs and Town Halls around the Country
MSNBC Contributor and Correspondent Jeff Johnson will moderate the CBC town halls in Detroit (August 16) and Los Angeles (August 30-31). All the town halls, including Atlanta (August 18) and Miami (August 22-23), will be streamed live on

DETROITAugust 16 
Congressmen John Conyers &
Hansen Clarke, Host
WC3/ Wayne County Community College
(Downtown Campus)
1001 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI, 48211
Job Fair from: 9:00am – 5:30pm
Town Hall: 6:00pm -8:00pm
ATLANTA — August 18 
Congressman John Lewis and Hank Johnson, Hosts
Atlanta Technical College
1560 Metropolitan Pkwy SW
Atlanta, GA 30310
Job Fair:  9:00am – 5:30pm
Town Hall:  6:00pm -8pm

MIAMIAugust 22-23 
Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Host
Mt. Herman A.M.E. Church (town hall)
17800 Northwest 25th Avenue
James L. Knight Center, Downtown Miami (job fair)
400 SE 2nd Avenue # 3, Miami, FL 33131-2116
Town Hall: August 22, 6:00pm -8:00pm
Job Fair: August 23, 9:00am – 5:30pm

LOS ANGELESAugust 30-31 
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Host
Crenshaw Christian Center
West 7901 S. Vermont Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90044
Town Hall: August 30, 6:00pm -8:00pm
Job Fair: August 31, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Washington, DC – Today, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) officially announces its “For the People” Jobs Initiative, which includes nationwide job fairs and town hall meetings. As the reported African American unemployment rate hovers around 16.2%, Members of the CBC are standing together to address the joblessness crisis. Most recently, the CBC Members unanimously introduced the Congressional Black Caucus ‘For the People’ Jobs Initiative Resolution (H. Res. 348) to encourage the House of Representatives to immediately consider and pass critical jobs legislation to address the growing jobs crisis throughout America. Additionally, CBC Members have introduced over 40 job creation bills since the beginning of the 112th Congress. To celebrate our 40-year history, the CBC has gone well beyond their normal course of duty in legislating to go into communities all over the country to provide immediate, tangible results to address the jobs crisis by providing jobs to communities that need them most.

This August, thousands will gather for town hall meetings, job fairs, and job readiness workshops and seminars as a part of the Congressional Black Caucus’s For the People Jobs Initiative.

“As reported African American unemployment remains stagnant at 16.2%, it has become clear that it is time for immediate and real action to provide hard working Americans with real economic opportunity,” said Chairman Emanuel Cleaver.

“Too many Americans are struggling to get back on their feet and as members of the Congressional Black Caucus it is our duty to ensure their voices are heard, and needs are met,” said Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the CBC Jobs Committee.

The needs of our citizens have been ignored for far too long. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are prepared to work in a bipartisan fashion to do what is necessary to bring this nation out of economic turmoil and the For the People Jobs Initiative is the first step to making that happen.  Every American has the right to be gainfully employed and CBC Members will not rest until there is equality in access to jobs.

For more information, visit the CBC web site

Emergency Jobs to Restore The American Dream Act

Jan Schakowsky has introduced an emergency jobs bill to create over 2 million jobs.  You can help!  Please write to your Representative and urge him/her to cosponsor the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act.

Cross-posted from Rep. Jan Schakowsky's web site:

Schakowsky Announces Bill to Create 2.2 Million Jobs
“Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act”
Estimated to Lower Unemployment Rate by 1.3%

CHICAGO, IL (August 10, 2011) – Today Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of President Obama’s 18-member Fiscal Commission, announced she will introduce the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, a cost-effective plan to put over 2 million people to work for two years.

The time has come for Congress to focus like a laser on the most pressing crisis facing our country – the jobs crisis. With extended unemployment benefits scheduled to expire at the end of this year, 13.9 million people remain out of work. The average worker who is unemployed has been searching for a job for more than nine months and recent reports reveal that private sector employers largely refuse to hire those currently jobless. An additional 8.4 million are working part time because they cannot find a full-time job. In June 2007, 63 percent of adults were employed, now the percentage is 58.2 percent. Despite reports of a Congress immobilized and unable to address the jobs crisis– Congress can and must do something today.

“It begins with this simple idea: If we want to create jobs, then create jobs. I’m not talking about “incentivizing” companies in the hopes they’ll hire someone, or cutting taxes for the so-called job creators who have done nothing of the sort. My plan creates actual new jobs,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “The worst deficit this country faces, isn’t the budget deficit. It’s the jobs deficit. We need to get our people and our economy moving again.”

If enacted, the legislation would create 2.2 million jobs that will meet critical needs to improve and strengthen communities:

•The School Improvement Corps would create 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.

•The Park Improvement Corps would create 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service’s Public Lands Corps Act. Young people would work on conservation projects on public lands include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.

•The Student Jobs Corps would creates 250,000 more part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program.

•The Neighborhood Heroes Corps would hire 300,000 teachers, 40,000 new police officers, and 12,000 firefighters.

•The Health Corps would hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.

•The Child Care Corps would create 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education through additional funding for Early Head Start.

•The Community Corps would hire 750,000 individuals to do needed work in our communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.

The legislation gives the unemployed priority for jobs, particularly those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits (the “99ers”), and veterans. The bill allocates a fair distribution of funding and jobs among states, with targeting based on high unemployment and need. The bill also ensures that jobs do not undercut the rights of other workers, lower wages, displace current workers or take business from small/local businesses.

The $227 billion cost of the bill ($113.5 billion over each of two years) can be fully paid for through separate legislation such as Rep. Schakowsky’s Fairness in Taxation Act, which creates higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, and eliminating subsidies for Big Oil and tax loop holes for corporations that send American jobs overseas.


CONTACT: Adjoa Adofo; 202.225.2111, adjoa.adofo [at]

Nearly 29 Million People Need Jobs in the U.S.!

                                          (U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS)

OFFICIAL UNEMPLOYMENT: 9.1% [Analysis]A year earlier, the number of unemployed persons was 14.6
million, and the jobless rate was 9.5 percent.

African American
Persons with a disability **
Men 20 years and over
Women 20 years and over
Teens (16-19 years)
Black teens
Officially unemployed
13.9 million


Working part-time because can't find a full-time job:  8.4 million
People who want jobs but are not looking so are not counted in official statistics (of which about 2.8 million** searched for work during the prior 12 months and were available for work during the reference week.)  6.6 million
Total: 28.9 million (18.1% of the labor force)

**Not seasonally adjusted.

Cross posted from

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A bold, new U.S. jobs bill would stop a double-dip recession -

A bold, new U.S. jobs bill would stop a double-dip recession -
by Robert Reich, 8/9/11

"...We’re now poised on the edge of a double-dip — and have our hands tied behind our back because of a phony debt crisis and a misleading view that the first stimulus failed.":

"The hope: voters tell their members of Congress — now on recess — to stop obsessing about future budget deficits and get to work on the real crisis of unemployment, falling wages and no growth. Demand a bold jobs bill to restart the economy."

Friday, August 5, 2011

New York City Council Introduces Resolution in Support of Full Employment and Living Wage Jobs for All!

The New York City Council Committee on Community Development is now considering a resolution in support of HR 870, the 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act, introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).  The resolution was introduced by Council Members Brad Lander, Gale Brewer, Margaret Chin, Daniel Dromm, Letitia James, Deborah Rose and Jumane Williams.

The Put America to Work Campaign thanks these Council Members for their vision and leadership on this issue!   And we thank Mark Dunlea of Hunger Action Network of NY State for helping to get the resolution introduced.  We urge other cities and communities to pass similar resolutions to draw attention to the unemployment crisis and build support for a national jobs program.

Download a copy of the Draft New York City Resolution.

You can also obtain a Local Jobs Resolution Toolkit on how to pass a local jobs resolution at Cities for Progress.  Additional language that may be helpful for local resolutions can be found in the draft The Drive For Decent Work jobs resolution developed in 2008 -- but please update the text for your local situation, and add a current reference to HR 870.   Contact us if you'd like help developing a local resolution.

The text of the NYC draft resolution follows below.

Res. No. 956

Resolution calling upon Congress to pass and the President to sign The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act, H.R. 870.

By Council Members Lander, Brewer, Chin, Dromm, James, Rose and Williams

Whereas, Millions of people in the United States are unemployed in good times as well as bad, and many more work without living wages, comprehensive health insurance and retirement benefits; and

Whereas, The official unemployment rate leaves out the "hidden unemployed" - who want full-time work but are forced to work part-time or who want a job but are not currently looking for reasons such as lack of child care or transportation; and

Whereas, In May 2011, an estimated 13.9 million workers were officially unemployed (9.1%), an additional 11.3 million were among the "hidden unemployed," bringing the actual jobless rate to roughly 16.5%; and

Whereas, The Full-Employment and Balanced Growth Act was signed into law by President Carter in 1978, thus becoming the nation's first attempt at establishing an official Federal full-employment policy; and

Whereas, The original intent of the legislation's sponsors, Senator Hubert Humphrey and Representative Augustus Hawkins, was to create a full-employment society brought about by direct hiring policies that would obligate the government to create jobs if the private sector was unable to create a fully employed society through gradual economic growth after ten years; and

Whereas, This legislation was supported by both civil rights and labor organizations who viewed the bill as a way to address the economic hardships being felt by low-income Americans; and

Whereas, The intent of the Act's sponsors was weakened when the bill reached the United States Senate prior to it being signed into law; and

Whereas, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. has introduced legislation that is tailored to fit the current state of the nation's economy and seeks to embody the spirit of the original Humphrey-Hawkins legislation; and

Whereas, H.R. 870 known as the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act seeks to establish a National Full Employment Trust Fund to create employment opportunities; and

Whereas, This trust fund would have two separate accounts directing the allocation of monies towards job creation and training programs; and

Whereas, The first trust fund account would direct funds to a jobs program, allocating funds based on a Community Development Block Grant formula that considers unemployment data, with the purpose of creating employment opportunities in activities designed to address community needs for eligible individuals who either are unemployed for at least twenty-six (26) weeks or unemployed for at least thirty (30) days and low-income; and

Whereas, The second trust fund account would distribute funds to job training programs covered under the Workforce Investment Act; and

Whereas, Although New York City's economy has improved at a faster rate than both the state and the nation, state and federal budget cuts along with a slowly recovering national economy could keep the City's level of unemployment high for some time; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon Congress to pass and the President to sign The Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act, H.R. 870.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jobs and Economic Justice Tour Launched

cross-posted from
by Isaiah J. Poole, 3/10/11
"...The Progressive Caucus is launching a "jobs and economic justice" tour around the country, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., announced at the Summit on Jobs and America's Future.
The tour is designed to promote an alternative to the "so be it" agenda of congressional conservatives and their corporate backers that Ellison says is attacking the fundamental underpinnings of the middle class — and ultimately the principles of American democracy.
Ellison was at a session of the jobs summit that included Rep. George Miller, who with Ellison last year campaigned for a $100 billion public jobs bill that if enacted would have created an additional 1 million jobs, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is launching his "America Fast Forward" initiative to promote new transportation investment.
Ellison said that the jobs and economic tour will promote a three-part agenda that he said was designed to be inspiring and a political winner:
• "Let's rebuild our country," creating infrastructure jobs that can't be exported, using steel and other raw materials from America.
• A "trade agenda that is about fair trade, not just about moving jobs out of the country."
• "An affirmation of public jobs and public employees."

Conyers Introduces Deficit Neutral Full Employment and Training Bill

Washington DC- Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) today introduced H.R. 870, the “Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act,” a comprehensive and innovative federal and local government job creation and training bill that would create millions of new jobs for the nation’s unemployed. Local jobs would be created through a partnership between the Department of Labor, state, and local governments, non-profit community organizations, and small businesses. Under the Act, jobs would be created in the fields of construction, infrastructure repairs, green jobs, education, health care, and neighborhood renovation. The Act’s Full Employment Trust Fund would provide federal funding for local community-based job creation and training initiatives until full employment is reached in the United States. The Act is deficit neutral and fully funded through a modest tax on Wall Street stock and bond transactions.

“Today, there are millions of Americans who want a job, but can’t find one,” said Conyers. “The inability to find meaningful and sustainable work strips our fellow citizens of their basic right to have access to food, housing, health care, freedom of movement, and perhaps, most importantly, the ability to pursue life with a sense of dignity and meaning. High levels of unemployment are unacceptable and immoral in the wealthiest nation in the world. Thus, I believe it is critical that the federal government empower states, local governments, non-profits, and small businesses to create jobs during an economic downturn.

My “Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act” would allow local government officials to work with community leaders to come up with an effective job creation program, based on each community’s respective needs—be it improvements in infrastructure, housing, energy efficiency, education, or health care. The private sector will also benefit if millions of new jobs are created through improvements in our nation’s aging and crumbling infrastructure. New orders for brick, concrete, steel, aluminum, and plastics mean new jobs in America’s plants and factories and a rebirth of American manufacturing.

Lastly, because we exist in a period when concerns about government debt loom large in many minds, my legislation will be fully funded by a tax on Wall Street speculation and will not add a dime to the federal debt. Wall Street was responsible for the financial crisis that began in 2008 and continues to affect us today. Having already received significant assistance from the federal government, it is only fair that Wall Street now pay Main Street back by helping put America back to work.”

Link to Rep. Conyers' 3/2 Press Release

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Conyers Calls On President Obama to Enact A Bold And Effective Emergency Job Creation Plan

(Washington, DC - 1/25/10) - Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) called on President Obama to boldly and decisively address national job creation and further economic recovery initiatives in this evening’s State of the Union Address.

]“President Obama must now provide bold and decisive leadership and move this nation forward with an effective and targeted national job creation program that will put millions of unemployed Americans in my district in the rest of the country back to work,” Conyers said. “I encourage him to lead the country in investing in more initiatives that spur and invest in creation, innovation, and infrastructure. We cannot allow politics to brush these major issues under the rug any longer. We must face them and fix them.”

Congressman Conyers urges President Obama to consider the following action items:
  • Create a national job creation program that will put millions of unemployed Americans back to work. For example, I propose we enact the Humphrey Hawkins Bill which was first created in 1978 and established a federal government-run jobs program.
  • Organize a series of national town hall meetings across the nation to assess the unemployment crisis in America and hear from the American people about what they think the federal government should do to create millions of jobs.
  • Call for a series of national, regional, state, & local job creation conferences in order to seek input from business leaders, local & state elected officials, economists, faith leaders, and ordinary citizens about their ideas on how to put people back to work.
  • Re-examine the impact of NAFTA and other trade agreements, and consider renegotiating trade agreements that are more favorable to the U.S. We need to see exactly where we lost our manufacturing jobs, and see if we can replace these manufacturing jobs with new green manufacturing or infrastructure development jobs.
  • Push for the development of light rail and monorails in cities where there are severe traffic and pollution problems, and where citizens are unable to get to and from work, from airport terminals, or utilize public transportation because it does not exist in their cities or towns but is desperately needed.
  • Help secure an extension in unemployment insurance benefits for the 99er’s, updating our country’s unemployment insurance program.
  • Support “Right to Rent” housing legislation to help American families especially in Hardest-Hit areas to remain in their homes.
  • Consider a one-year mortgage foreclosure moratorium until there is a more effective solution to housing crisis that will affect 2-3 million home owners next year.
  • Consider creating a HUD funded program where transitional apartments are built by nonprofit housing developers, public housing, and for-profit housing developers to house the new unemployed.