Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Speakout for Good Jobs Now: A "listening tour" sponsored by ProgressiveCongress.org


With an update from Howie (see below)

"The Speakout for Good Jobs Now tour will feature stops in numerous cities across America giving Americans the chance to speak out about how the economy is affecting them. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus will listen to what everyday Americans have to say and take that back to Washington with them as they continue to fight to reinvigorate the American Dream -- the ability to put in a day’s hard work for good wages and benefits so we can provide our children with a better future."
-- tour sponsored by ProgressiveCongress.org,
kicking off this Saturday, June 18, in Minneapolis

by Ken

During the 2010 election campaign, it was widely noticed by people not connected or in thrall to the official Democratic Party organs (emphatically including the White House, although come to think of it President-elect Obama made them one and the same, didn't he?) that one thing there was hardly any of in the official messaging was mention of jobs. The electorate noticed.

The administration has noticed and now frequently mentions the word jobs. Unfortunately, even as the message seems to be penetrating the political wing of the operation that the 2012 election is likely to turn on economic performance, mentioning the word seems to be about the limit of the administration's engagement with the issue. Meanwhile, from the Republicans comes the traditional Republican chant: tax cuts and now increasingly spending cuts. Of course the kinds of tax cuts the Republicans want won't produce jobs, in large part because they aren't designed to. (They're designed to benefit the rich and superrich, and also, in the case of the payroll tax cuts, to make Social Security, which has always funded itself, dependent for the first time in its history on the congressional budget process.) And the spending cuts, apart from the devastating effects they'll have on the people who needed the programs being crippled, will of course result in substantial job losses. (Did anyone ever expect consistency from right-wing ideologues?)

Into the breach now are stepping the Congressional Progressive Caucus and ProgressiveCongress.org, which today announced a 12-city Speakout for Good Jobs Now tour, in which the hope is to gather and share stories of people's needs and solutions and to share and gather more solutions. I've pulled some basic information out of the website in its current state. As you can see, there's still location and guest-speaker information to be filled in, and no doubt the information listed currently will be subject to change. The online event information page will presumably be updated as new information becomes available, and also contains instructions for requesting texted reminders for each event.

June 18: MINNEAPOLIS, 2-4 pm
Wesley Church, 101 E Grant St.

Reps. Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva (MN and AZ, CPC cochairs) and Jared Polis (CO), during Netroots Nation 2011

June 27: DETROIT, 6-8pm
Historic King Solomon Baptist Church, 6100 14th St.

Reps. Keith Ellison (MN, CPC cochair), John Conyers (MI), and Hansen Clarke (MI)

June 28: MILWAUKEE, 6-8pm
Vincent High School, 7501 N Granville Rd.

Reps. Raúl Grijalva (AZ, CPC cochair), Gwen Moore (WI), Tammy Baldwin (WI), and Jan Schakowsky (IL)

June 30: NEW YORK CITY, 6-8pm
Hostos Community College, 500 Grand Concourse, Bronx

Reps. Charlie Rangel (NY) and Jerrold Nadler (NY)

July 16: MIAMI
Time and location information to come

Reps. Raúl Grijalva (AZ, CPC cochair) and Lynn Woolsey (CA)

July 18: PITTSBURGH, 6-8pm
Kinsley Association, 645 Frankstown Ave.

Reps. Raúl Grijalva (AZ, CPC cochair), John Conyers (MI), and Mike Doyle (PA)

Time and location information to come

Reps. Raúl Grijalva (AZ, CPC cochair), Bob Brady (PA), and Chaka Fattah (PA)

July 20: BOSTON
Time and location information to come

Rep. Jim McGovern (MA)

July 21: HOUSTON
Time and location information to come

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX)

July 22: PORTLAND, Oregon
Schedule and guest information to come

July 23: SEATTLE, 12-2pm
Brockey Conference Center, South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th Ave. SW

Guest information to come

August 16: OAKLAND
Schedule and guest information to come

Are you a single mom struggling to make ends meet? Are you a young college graduate working a part-time, minimum wage job? Are you unemployed or under-employed? Tell us about your situation and why you believe we need to make it easier to help Americans earn a fair wage for a hard day's work. You can also, using the appropriate box below, submit the link to a YouTube video where you tell us your story via video. Be sure to tag your video with "SpeakOut."


See link above.

UPDATE FROM HOWIE: Second Bill of Rights

I'm glad Ken decided to write up the Congressional Progressive Caucus "Speakout for Good Jobs Now" listening tour. It sounds an awful lot like they're finally trying to fulfill the promises Franklin Roosevelt made to America in his 1944 State of The Union address, a list of promises the far right and their media allies have done all they could to bury.

FDR was proposing "a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed." Conservatives reacted as violently against FDR's second Bill of Rights as they reacted against the original Bill of Rights. This is what Roosevelt promised-- and as you read it, recognize how successful the right has been in making sure none of it has come to be. Democrats have been wasting their time putting their hops in the hands of Wall Street/Big Business shills like the Blue Dogs and corporate whores like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Yeah, yeah... they're "better" than Republicans but what have they done to help move this agenda forward?
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

Let's make sure that next time we get to pick a Democratic nominee, it isn't someone like Clinton or Obama or Biden, but someone with a record of having fought for the second Bill of Rights.


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