NAACP URGES PASSAGE OF COMPREHENSIVE JOB CREATION LEGISLATION
THE LOCAL JOBS FOR AMERICA ACT WOULD CREATE A MILLION PUBLIC AND PRIVATE JOBS THIS YEAR AND PUT AMERICANS WHO ARE STRUG¬GLING TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES BACK TO WORK WHILE IMPROVING STATE AND LOCAL SERVICES
Our nation is going through one of the most difficult economic times in its history. The national unemployment rate has stubbornly remained unacceptably high, especially among African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority Americans. Since the fall of 2009 the national unemployment rate has stayed near 10%; during the same time the unemployment rate among African Americans has been between 15.2% in November 2009 and 17.3% in January 2010. At the same time, states and local municipalities are facing severe budget cuts. As a result, many communities are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to meet the very basic educational, health care, public safety, child care and public transportation needs of their residents.
As a federal response, Congressman George Miller (CA), the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and Senator Sherrod Brown (OH), have introduced H.R. 4812 / S. 3500, the Local Jobs for America Act. This legislation responds to the needs that are being felt in every corner of our country, and by every demographic. H.R. 4812 / S. 3500 would create a million public and private jobs this year and put those Americans who are strug¬gling to support their families back to work, while at the same time helping states and municipalities meet the basic needs of their communities. Support will be targeted directly to states and municipalities with the greatest number of people out of work and will help those communities by focusing the jobs in the areas of education, public safety, childcare, health care, and public transporta¬tion. By supporting the services local communities deem most necessary, the bill will help local governments avoid having to choose between eliminat¬ing services and raising taxes. Furthermore, by increasing employment in local communities, families will be able to start spending again at their neighborhood businesses and favorite restaurants. This will help spur additional jobs for local small businesses. The Local Jobs for America Act will also fund salaries for private sector on-the-job training to help local businesses put people back to work.
Specifically, the Local Jobs for America Act invests $75 billion over two years in local communities and allows them to hire vital staff; funding for 50,000 on-the-job private-sector training positions; $23 billion this year to help states support 250,000 education jobs; $1.18 billion to put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat; and $500 million to retain, rehire, and hire firefighters.
The NAACP strongly supports H.R. 4812 / S. 3500, the Local Jobs for America Act and encourages members of both the House and the Senate to quickly pass comprehensive jobs legislation to address not only the unemployment crisis facing our nation, but also the challenges being faced by states and local municipalities in meeting the basic education, public safety, health care, child care, and public transportation needs of our communities.