The June 9th meeting of North Texas Jobs with Justice focused completely on the jobs crisis. We began with the new 12-minute AFL-CIO video, then ran through the present sorry status of jobs legislation in Congress, then brainstormed possible activities.
The sad truth is that Congress does not seem to have the will or the strength to pass meaningful jobs reform. All the more progressive efforts were put on hold over the Memorial Day week's recess because Congress could not even pass a decent extension for unemployment benefits. The Senate ripped $24 billion from HR4213 and then left it hanging while they took their vacations!
We set ourselves to brainstorming ways to build that movement. Here are some of the suggestions:
North Texas Jobs with Justice can get speakers and relevant videos to show to any audience that would have us. It's very good news that the national AFL-CIO has taken leadership and is providing guidance, opportunities, and materials. We must leave no stone unturned in finding people who will let us talk. Contact us
All of us need to find leafleting targets. Many campuses and almost all shopping malls have figured out ways to take away our First Amendment rights to free speech, but we can still leaflet in public areas and on city sidewalks. It makes sense that leafleting students would be the most effective, because youth are the hardest-hit of all jobless demographics. On the upside, we have a fabulous leaflet maker working with us.
Even though establishment media has not been friendly to real solutions, opportunities still exist. We already have the 7-8 AM spot on KNON radio. It might be possible to podcast the programs, or parts of the programs, for more accessibility.
Even though Summer is upon us, it might still be possible to locate friendly student groups.
At the end of June, North Texas Jobs with Justice is supposed to get a new, improved e-mailing system that will include the ability to organize events, organize contact with politicians, and get petitions signed on-line. Also, this homemade web page could use some professional attention. The AFL-CIO and Working America do a lot of outreach. A new on-line recruiting device from the Machinists' Union might become useful.
If we can't get the Mountain to Mohammad, and we can't bring the general population to meet the unemployed, then we should try bringing unemployed people into other venues. For example, we could raise money to buy tickets to the annual Labor Day breakfast.
Our monthly meeting takes place in a large hall with capacity for 200-300 people. There is a sound system and A-V equipment. Thanks to our coalition member, UAW 848, for letting us have this excellent facility. This meeting could be, should be, campaign central for the fight against the jobs crisis!
National Jobs with Justice has the same focus on the jobs crisis that we do. They are working on the U.S. Social Forum and the jobs march in Detroit. After that, they plan regional conferences. Town hall meetings are projected for August and they are discussing a national march in Washington in October.
Rallying ordinary people to demand an end to the jobs crisis is the only possible solution. Let's get to work!