October 23, 2016
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Unemployed To Rally In Washington, D.C. To Demand A Real Jobs Plan

 WASHINGTON -- On Saturday, May 8, people who need jobs will join supporters at a national rally for a jobs program in front of the Department of Labor to mark the 75th anniversary of the Works Projects Administration. The Labor Department Building at Third Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest is named for New Deal Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins who was a strong supporter of the WPA. On May 6, 1935, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7034 creating the largest public works program in history. The Works Progress Administration created 8.5 million jobs during the Depression of the 1930s.

Virtually every jobs coalition in the country including hundreds of local jobs campaigns will be participating in the May 8 rally. Unemployed people of every race, every generation and from areas especially hard hit by unemployment including Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Baltimore and Rhode Island, will be in the District on May 8 to attest to their reality. No talk of a recovery can mask the fact that joblessness in much of the country -- especially for African-American and Latino/a youth -- is as bad as or worse than it was 75 years ago in the middle of the Great Depression.

The biggest economic crisis since the 1930s -- together with the impact of globalization and new technologies on the job market -- has ushered in a permanent state of high unemployment that no recovery for the stock markets alone will alter in any meaningful way. The 75th anniversary of the WPA is a timely occasion to make the point that small measures like the recent jobs bill passed by Congress are not going to make a dent in the unemployment and underemployment crisis. A bold and aggressive WPA-type jobs program is needed. It is unacceptable for politicians to spend trillions of dollars on bailing out Wall St. and waging two wars, on one hand, and then tell the estimated 30 million unemployed and underemployed in the country that there is no money to bail them out.

In the coming weeks, more details on the May 8 rally including confirmed speakers will be available. The Bail Out the People Movement, a national coalition of activists groups and individual activists, is the primary initiator of the WPA anniversary jobs rally.


For Information Contact: Sharon Black, 410-218-4835, or Larry Holmes, 917-825-2302

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