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December 9, 2009

“We applaud President Barack Obama's intent to spend some of the collected TARP monies on job provision,” the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. announced today on behalf of the National Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “In fact, we suggest that the Congress expand on the President's ideas, and spend the entire amount on job creation, targeting “points of pain” in communities where unemployment is as high as 50% among young people. Creating jobs, revitalizing small businesses, rebuilding healthy communities ARE deficit reduction programs.”

“People forget that Dr. King's March on Washington was also a jobs march,” Jackson stated. “Dr. King knew that full employment was the predicate to solving many of our nation's racial and social ills. We should be that smart today, too.”

Reverend Jackson continued: “If we had to bail out misbehaving banks because they were supposedly too big to fail, then certainly we can bail out America’s working families. Their need for jobs and comprehensive health care is too big to ignore.”

The National Rainbow PUSH Coalition is demanding that:

* The banks that got the big bailouts must now loan money to real people. With the profits the big “banksters” are making, and the bonuses they continue to pay their top executives, they can afford to give credit to people who need it to get back on their feet. Lend it or lose it.

* Home foreclosures continue to outstrip loan modifications, and too few modifications are permanent. We need a home foreclosure moratorium until a comprehensive plan is in place to permanently restructure loans to allow people to keep their homes. The rash of home foreclosures is ruining the tax base of our communities, dragging down needed public services such as police, fire, and libraries.

* Reduce the cost of student loans. This allows young people to afford more higher education, thus reducing the pressure on the job market. It also allows many of our brightest students to choose careers in public service, rather than being forced to choose careers based on the high salaries they need to pay off their outrageous student debts.

* The President is doing the right thing by pushing universal broadband access. We need that, especially in rural areas. Many small towns also need assistance to write the grants they must submit to gain access to broadband—which is the key to stimulus from the ground up.

* We need a new War on Poverty and immediate intervention on behalf of the millions and millions of “food insecure.”

* We need the federal government to provide direct jobs to those without work. We already know this is useful—FDR proved it seventy-five years ago, with the CCC, the WPA, and other job programs of the New Deal. So if the private sector cannot provide full employment, we need the federal government to not be afraid to be “the employer of last resort.”

* We must demand that civil rights law be adequately funded and enforced. The stimulus and economic investment must be targeted, fair and inclusive and leave nobody behind.

Reverend Jackson concluded: “President Obama is focusing on the jobs issue, the point of pain for far too many Americans. We encourage him to be bold, to ignore the nay-sayers, and to provide jobs for all the millions and millions of unemployed and underemployed, ill-housed and ill-fed Americans.”

The Rainbow PUSH Public Policy Institute, an initiative of Citizenship Education Fund is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit the organization’s website, www.rainbowpush.org or telephone (773) 373-3366. To get additional information, please call the number listed above.