Lately, I've been on a couple of teleconferences with other Jobs with Justice chapters across the nation and with our leadership in Washington DC. Our overall goals are to fight the jobs crisis. We want to see Wall Street, who created the mess, clean it up. There are several important bills that would create jobs and send federal funds to state and local governments to head off layoffs of essential service providers, including teachers. Between now and November, we'll be registering voters, holding actions, and getting petitions and resolutions, all with the idea of making sure that the November 2, 2010, election is all about jobs.
We meet very often by telephone, but face-to-face planning and coordination meetings take place, too. Our Southern Regional Organizer, Erica Smiley, asks us to attend one in Denver on August 6th. Elaine Lantz, Reverend Ed Middleton, and I plan to represent North Texas.
The new President of the United Auto Workers, Bob King, is working with Reverend Jesse Jackson of Operation Push to develop a new social justice coalition. The goals are published on the UAW web site including ending the wars in the Middle East "and redirect the war budget to rebuilding America." This is pretty radical stuff! As of the last teleconference, national Jobs with Justice didn't know if we they would ask us to mobilize for their planned march in Detroit on August 28th. The date is the anniversary of the 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.
National JwJ wants all of the JwJ chapters who have Workers Rights Boards to hold public activities through August. Leaders of the Workers Rights Board here have planned their event for 10 AM on Saturday, September 4, at Judge Sepulveda's courtroom, 410 S Beckley Ave (sub courthouse), Dallas, 75203. Of course, the jobs crisis is our continuing theme.
From time to time, National JwJ calls a "day of action" so we can have coordinated activities across the nation. There's a synergistic effect in trying to get news coverage when things are happening everywhere. Our group always joins in, and we're busy trying to think of good actions for that Wednesday, 9/15. Most of the chapters will probably do public actions around banks. One possible target that we have in Dallas that most people don't have is the Federal Reserve Bank.
The NAACP, JwJ, and a few unions called a march on Washington for October 2 a month or two ago. Subsequently, the AFL-CIO endorsed it and other major unions, including the Auto Workers and the Teachers, have joined in. So far, no one has given us specific instructions on how to relate to this event, but it makes sense to send a small delegation to DC and hold some kind of a "going away" rally for them a few days before the actual march. Here in Texas, the cutoff for voter registration will probably be Monday, October 4. As it takes a day or two to turn cards in the mail, it might be wise for us to hold our event around September 29 or 30, so we can register voters and emphasize that the main issue in the November election MUST BE JOBS!
We'll have the august 11 and September 8th (2nd Wednesdays) meetings to sharpen our plans.