Archives for May 2011
President Obama and most of the Congressional Black Caucus members met in the White House Dining Room for an hour Thursday. The CBC members number one agenda item, jobs.
The April 2011 black unemployment rate is 16.1 percent with a black teen jobless rate at 44 percent. The overall American unemployment numbers are in single digits with a rate of 9 percent. Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emmanuel Clever says, “The pain in the urban core is at an extremely high level.”
House Assistant Minority leader, James Clyburn could not make the Thursday meeting as he was in the Deficit Reduction talks with Vice President Joe Biden, administration officials, Democratic and GOP leaders. Clyburn did acknowledge he has been in talks with President Obama on the 10-20-30 concept. That concept focuses on a poverty agenda for the poorest Americans. Congressman Clyburn says, “We look at all these communities throughout the country where 20 percent or more of the population have been existing beneath the poverty line for the last thirty years…In those communities we will direct ten percent of the expenditures in any given category in these communities.”
Clyburn contends the Congressional Budget Office finds it passes constitutional muster and does not violate any ban on earmarks.
President Obama is said to be reviewing the idea. Clyburn hopes it is implemented by the beginning of the next fiscal year, October 1, 2011.
Meanwhile, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman, Emmanuel Cleaver lead the 40 year-old group in the discussion with the President. One of the sub-categories in the jobs conversation, summer jobs. “He [President Obama] did understand the urgency in doing that,” according to Cleaver. The CBC Chair says the group also suggested creative ways in helping the urban core in need of jobs. Cleaver is looking for ways to give some sort of job help through disaster relief packages “in the areas that have been devastated with tornadoes and floods.”
For two and a half years,President Obama held fast to a universal approach that would lift all of America rather than a single group.
The President has some political meetings on his agenda today. On his schedule a meeting with the Senate GOP Caucus and also a meeting with the full membership of the Congressional Black Caucus. Reverend Al Sharpton wants the CBC to come out of the meeting with President Obama with something concrete for legislative action to cut into the rising black unemployment numbers that stand at 16.1 percent and the black teen unemployment rate of 44 percent. The overall unemployment rate for April 2011 is 9 percent.
The Obama administration has been promoting stats showing 14 consecutive months of increased job hires in the private sector. The question among America’s black leadership, who is getting those jobs? Reverend Al Sharpton says pressure needs also to be applied on the private sector, “the Data speaks for itself. African Americans are not getting those jobs, which is why I think we have to bring the fight back to the private sector.”
Sharpton believes one immediate jobs remedy is for federal and state lawmakers to require companies to hire people within the city limits of the companies location. The civil rights leader contents that alone will help cut into the black unemployment numbers especially in a city like Detroit, Michigan.