Immediately after the midterm election, President Obama acknowledged that he got it. The “it” was Americans want jobs. Nearly everyone knows someone out of work. And everyone knows someone earning less than they should due to the economy. President Obama spoke in his State of the Union address about long term economic solutions. On February 8, 2011, at a meeting with National Policy Alliance (NPA) leaders, Obama also spoke about cutting community development grants and community action programs which help minorities and underserved communities in the area of housing and jobs. Reports show that overall unemployment dropped to 9%. Black unemployment still soars at 15.7%.
House Republicans took over as majority congressional leaders in January. Since their takeover of the House in January, they have done everything but focus on jobs. In the first month, the Republican majority focused on repealing healthcare reform which went on the train to nowhere. They focused on limiting women’s health care rights, particularly in the abortion area. They broke their own rules as 2 of their own skipped the swearing in ceremony to attend a fundraiser at the Capitol. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has said it’s clear that their interests lie everywhere except the creation of jobs. On February 9, 2011 the DCC launched a new website, WhenAretheJobs.com with a ticking clock.
America is still a country of we the people, for the people and by the people. As cliché and perhaps old fashion sounding as it may seem to some, we have an obligation to give our leaders a swift kick by demanding that they focus on jobs. Change must also come from everyday citizens and not just relying on our lawmakers to make progress. Everyone must write, telephone, fax, e-mail, tweet, Facebook and by any other means necessary, contact their Representatives and demand, when are the jobs coming.
Debbie Hines is a trial lawyer, political and legal commentator. She is frequently seen and heard on tv and radio, commenting on issues related to race and gender in law and politics. She also writes for the Huffington Post. She holds a Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.