Newsflash:
Issues End Wars and Occupations, Redirect Funding Economic and Social Justice JESSE JACKSON: Response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address
Thursday, 30 January 2014 20:01

JESSE JACKSON: Response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address

Written by  Rev. Jesse Jackson | The Washington Informer
JESSE JACKSON: Response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address rainbowpush.org

The country seems turned off and tuned out to the Congress, politics generally and the federal government in particular. The good news is the emerging grass-roots movement exemplified by The Dreamers and the burgeoning campaign among low income workers around the nation, offering a clear challenge to the political gridlock, the inaction and non-work by Congress. Seeking to respond to this grassroots energy and to combat the frustration many people are feeling around the country, President Obama presented an optimistic tone, an uplifting message and a new plan of action to move America forward.

JOBS & UNEMPLOYMENT: The number one priority for the president and Congress must be jobs, public and/or private, getting this economy back on track, growing it in a balanced fashion, which will create stronger consumer demand. While 8.2 million jobs have been created under his administration, unemployment in the U.S. remains at unacceptable levels, especially in African-Americans and other minority communities. The president must continue to urge Congress to pass an extension of unemployment insurance for 1.5 million Americans — a number that is growing daily — and food stamps for those in need through no fault of their own.

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: President Obama spoke directly of the need for jobs and the need to close the income inequality gap.

In the U.S., the wealthiest 1 percent grabbed 95 percent of the post-2009 economic growth and the bottom percent became poorer.

According to a recent Oxfam study, the world's 85 richest individuals have more wealth than half of the world's population, i.e., 3.5 billion people.

And according to the Campaign for America’s Future, without a new economic revolution 7 out of 10 Americans born into poverty are likely to remain there.

INCOME: Bolstered by a burgeoning nationwide grass-roots movement of low income workers, President Obama announced an executive order requiring government contractors to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 — potentially covering 2 million workers, including janitors at the National Zoo, cafeteria workers at the Smithsonian and the men and women who sew uniforms for the military. The president must match his words with action by making sure in his order that these workers and other direct workers for the federal government are immediately paid at the higher rate.

The president announced that he'll pressure Congress to pass the Harkin-Miller bill which would increase the federal minimum wage nationally for all low wage workers to $10.10 and index it to inflation thereafter.

IMMIGRATION: President Obama expressed his vision of America, imploring Congress to take up immigration reform previously passed by the Senate. It should be done comprehensively, but if the same result can be achieved incrementally that’s progress. Immigration advocates remain frustrated at the high level of deportations taking place under this administration that continues to divide parents from their children.

Immigrants who contribute so much to our economy and the moral fabric our nation deserve a pathway to citizenship.

VOTING RIGHTS: Republicans have launched an all-out attack on democracy and voting in state after state. That can only happen because of our states' rights and local control voting system in 13,000 separate and unequal local election jurisdictions. The fundamental right to vote is not explicitly in the U.S. Constitution and President Obama should launch a crusade to put the right to vote in our Constitution. He promised to "fix" our broken system, but common sense "reforms" will not fix it. Only adding a constitutional right to vote like H.J. Res. 44 can do that.

GUN VIOLENCE: While gun violence continues to kill Americans and bring tragedy to families and communities, the president failed to even mention common sense gun laws. Congress should pass reasonable gun legislation in order to reduce violent killings in America, reiterating his prior theme that the families of gun violence deserve a vote — up or down — from Congress.

BIG VISION AND BOLD ACTION: Challenges for the president and Congress remain. The Holy Bible tells us that without vision the people perish. In my judgment, what was missing in the State of the Union speech was a big vision and proposed bold action — a big vision and bold action of infrastructure investment to provide a foundation for private economic development; a big vision and a bold action plan for preserving our planet from negative climate change; a big vision and a bold plan to dramatically reform education for all of our children; and a big vision and a bold plan to provide safe, sanitary and affordable housing for all Americans.

CONCLUSION: The president's State of the Union address reflected a positive attitude that tells us he still has faith in the American people; that he is willing to work in a bipartisan manner with all of the American people's political representatives; and that he still believes that our democratic institutions can be responsive to the needs of the American people. It's time to engage the disengaged; empower those disenfranchised; turn cynicism into hope and pain into power. That's not a bad outcome for a State of the Union address.


Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.

 

Original article on The Washington Informer

Read 2626 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2014 20:12

End Wars and Occupations Articles

  • America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953
    America's Coup Machine: Destroying Democracy Since 1953

    U.S. efforts to overthrow foreign governments leave the world less peaceful, less just and less hopeful.

    Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami.  He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?"  The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C."  This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.

    Written on Thursday, 10 April 2014 19:30 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Or How the U.S. Military Avoided Budget Cuts, Lied About Doing So, Then Asked for Billions More

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II.

    Written on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 18:57 Read more...
  • The Pentagon's Phony Budget War
    The Pentagon's Phony Budget War

    Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II. Headlines about this crisis followed in papers like the New York Timesand members of Congress issued statements swearing that they would never allow our security to be held hostage to the budget-cutting process.

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:44 Read more...
  • 35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists
    35 Countries Where the U.S. Has Supported Fascists, Drug Lords and Terrorists

    The U.S. is backing Ukraine's extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of U.S. propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the U.S. government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.  

    Written on Friday, 07 March 2014 00:20 Read more...
  • We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror
    We Need To End the Disastrous Failure Of The War On Terror

    America's military adventures have fueled a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.

    Twelve years into America's "war on terror," it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an "arc of terror" stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:28 Read more...
  • Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers
    Iran Breakthrough a Triumph for Pragmatists and a Defeat for the Warmongers

    The implementation of the Iran accord Monday signaled a modest but still important sea change in that country’s relationship with the world. As with all good diplomacy, the deal is a win-win for Iran and the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:29 Read more...
  • Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations
     Syria Peace Talks: Bitter Exchanges Mark First Day Of Negotiations

    MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) — The United Nations is taking a day to see if there is enough common ground between Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition to talk directly for the first time since the rebellion began in 2011.

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:23 Read more...
  • No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks
    No Seat For Syrian Women at the Peace Talks

    The talks in Syria began today, with the Syrian government and opposition exchanging accusations and invectives. Missing was the voice of nonviolent civilians, especially women, even through they have been trying for months to have a seat at the table.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 17:16 Read more...
  • Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?
    Drones Will Be Tested in 10 US States - Is Yours One?

    At least ten states will be sites for testing drones — unmanned aircraft — in the next couple of years, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced on Monday. Six institutions have been authorized to operate test locations for the use of drones and for studying how they will interact with air traffic systems.

    Written on Sunday, 05 January 2014 20:49 Read more...
  • Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway
    Demilitarizing the Economy: A Movement is Underway

    As we end the longest period of war in our history, we should be entering a period of postwar downsizing - but what about the communities dependent on the massive post-9/11 military budget?

    End wars. Shrink the Pentagon budget. Reinvest the savings in neglected domestic priorities. It’s a logical progression. Right?

    Written on Friday, 20 December 2013 00:00 Read more...
  • Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing
    Congresswoman Lee on Nelson Mandela’s Passing

    Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela:

    Written on Friday, 06 December 2013 17:29 Read more...
  • Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
    Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List' Activists from across the globe kicked off the largest-ever anti-drone summit Friday with a boisterous White House rally then march to the headquarters of one of the most notorious weapons manufacturers in the world.
    Written on Saturday, 16 November 2013 01:11 Read more...
  • US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq
    US built 'powerful organs of state terrorism' in Iraq

    Iraq is still suffering from the US invasion because the apparatus of state oppression and terror is still in place, killing people every day. But few in the US seem to realize the scale of the war crimes committed in Iraq, an expert author told RT.

    Written on Saturday, 09 November 2013 19:49 Read more...
  • The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy
    The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy

    Having the most expensive and destructive military does not make the American people safer. The idea of U.S. "national security" seems inextricably entangled with the notion of "military supremacy."

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 02:20 Read more...
  • Reading Obama’s Iran Speech
    Reading Obama’s Iran Speech

    All of a sudden we’re talking to Iran. Now, granted, that shouldn’t be such an astonishing bombshell. But given the reality of the last several decades, it pretty much is. And that’s all good. It’s been too long coming, it’s still too hesitant, there’s still too much hinting about military force behind it… but we’re talking. Foreign minister to foreign minister, Kerry to Zarif, it’s all a good sign.

    Written on Thursday, 26 September 2013 01:36 Read more...
  • Beating Swords Into Solar Panels
    Beating Swords Into Solar Panels

    A trillion dollars.  It's a lot of money.  In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers.

    Written on Thursday, 19 September 2013 23:17 Read more...

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Email Your Senators and Representatives - Ask Them to Support Peace Legislation

There is no faster way to send a message to your Congress members than using our Email Advocacy Tool.

  1. Enter your Zip +4
  2. Use our letter or feel free to edit and create your own
  3. Choose an Advocacy Alert and have your letter sent directly to your Congress Member


Advocacy Alerts

Bennis: There is No Military Solution to Syria

Miriam Pemberton - Progressive Central

Building the Peace and Justice Movement

Miriam Pemberton - Swords into Ploughshares