Congressman Alcee L. Hastings made the following remarks this evening at a press conference regarding the Congressional Task Force on Job Creation.
The Honorable Alcee L. Hastings
Remarks for the press conference on the
Congressional Task Force on Job Creation
Good evening. I would like to first of all thank Chairman Larson for his leadership in establishing this Task Force. I also want to thank my distinguished Co-Chair, Congresswoman Betty Sutton, for her efforts on this critical issue.
Make no mistake: job creation is the number one issue on my mind right now. Millions of Americans, including many in my own district in South Florida, are struggling with unemployment each and every single day.
Let me mention one particular area of my district, and that is the Glades communities along the shore of Lake Okeechobee, especially the cities of Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay. The unemployment rate in this region has been as high as 40 percent recently. 40 percent of residents are receiving food stamps. 85 percent of students get free or reduced-price school lunches. Crime is high, city services are low. Poverty is a fact of life. But it shouldn’t be, and our present national economic crisis affords us the opportunity to improve the lives of the people in the Glades communities – and throughout America – through economic development projects that will create jobs.
Rest assured that there is no shortage of ideas here in Congress on ways to create meaningful work for millions of Americans. This Task Force is an endeavor to harness those ideas and coordinate our efforts to put forth legislation focused on job creation. At the same time, we want to hear directly from the American people about the needs of their communities and the job opportunities that exist there.
We have set up a website – www.dems.gov/putting-america-to-work -- where all Americans can send us their ideas for how to create jobs in their communities.
I also hope to travel to some of my colleagues’ districts – and I hope that they will come to mine – to see firsthand the communities impacted by the economic downturn. I think it is important that we meet with our constituents to both hear them out and to communicate our commitment to working FOR them here in Washington.
Finally, let me say that I am very aware that this is an incredibly difficult time for millions of Americans and their families. We have not seen a challenge of this nature in a very long time. I, and Chairman Larson, and Congresswoman Sutton, and the other members of this Task Force, are sincerely focused on putting forth the necessary effort to create jobs, spur economic growth, and put our country once again on the road to prosperity.
Lale M. Mamaux
Chief of Staff, DC
Office of Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-23)