Sunday, November 6, 2011

Atlanta Needs Full Employment Now!

WE HAVE AN UNEMPLOYMENT AND INEQUALITY CRISIS.

WHAT:
Responding to new federal statistics for October, unemployed Atlantans participating in Occupy Atlanta and Jobs with Justice spokespeople will tell their stories and call for aggressive action to end out-of-control economic inequality and unemployment.

WHERE:
In front of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce headquarters
235 Andrew Young International Boulevard NW, Atlanta GA 30303

SPEAKERS:
  • Phillip Clark and Rob Call Unemployed Occupy Atlanta participants
  • Deacon Chester Griffin, Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church
  • Roger Sikes, Organizing Committee Atlanta Jobs with Justice
  • Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort
  • Atlanta City Councilmen Julian Bond

SPONSOR:
Atlanta Jobs with Justice, a coalition of 19 labor, community, student and faith-based organizations.

WHY: 
  • Atlanta had the widest income gap between rich and poor of all major U.S. cities from 2005 to 2009 (U.S. Bureau of the Census). 
  • The top 1% of U.S. households received 59.9% of income gains from 1979 to 2007, while 8.6% went to the bottom 90% (Economic Policy Institute).
  • The Atlanta region lost more jobs last year than any other metropolitan area (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Georgia has the 3rd highest rate of poverty in the United States, with 1.83 million Georgians living in poverty. (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
  • Georgia’s unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for 50 consecutive months. Atlanta’s September rate was even higher than Georgia’s: 11.5 percent in the city and 10.5 in the metro area (Georgia Dept. of Labor).
  • Unemployment among African Americans nationally (16.%) was double the rate for whites (8%) in September 2011 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler proposes lowering the maximum unemployment insurance benefit from $330 to 300 per week and possibly reducing the number of benefit weeks, to make up for a shortfall caused by the Georgia legislature giving employers a “tax holiday.”
  • Atlanta Jobs with Justice demands an aggressive, large-scale public program to create good jobs, especially for the hardest hit populations: communities of color, youth, older workers, and the long-term unemployed, paid for by taxes on the most affluent individuals and corporations, and extension – not reduction – of unemployment benefits.