NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: A JOBS SURGE, AND BEYOND…Published by Hon. George Martinez on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 8:48 am.
Congratulations to Marc H. Morial and the National Urban League (NUL) for the thought-leadership and success of the I Am EMPOWERED campaign. This effort has inspired youth across our nation to act as agents of transformational change. It starts by acknowledging that access to education, sustainable employment, affordable housing and quality health care are unalienable rights. In return, these rights demand a commitment from us. A commitment to civil engagement, entrepreneurship and environmental responsibility.
The success of Mr. Morial’s presidency of the NUL and his I Am EMPOWERED campaign stem from a decision made in 2003. Mr. Morial realized that connecting the next generation of youth leadership with modern organizational tools could create transformational change in our society. This guiding principle became the basis of institutional changes within the NUL – changes designed to facilitate the NUL’s role in upgrading our Nation into the 21st Century. This led to the reemergence of the NUL as a national leader in civic engagement and community development.
As part of the I Am EMPOWERED campaign, the NUL recently teamed with the Congressional Black Caucus to call for a Jobs Surge. This was a direct response to the woefully inadequate jobs bill recently passed by the House. At $15 billion, this bill costs a fraction of what we spent bailing out Wall Street. It’s a drop in the budget ocean compared to the cost of the Iraq War. It shows the true measure of where our Representatives’ interests lie. Job creation just isn’t a priority for them.
This is why we need organizations like the NUL. I support their Jobs Surge, which puts money directly and immediately into the hands of real people. And we need to go further still to create sustainable long-term employment. We’ve already transformed the American economy from industrial to service-based; now we must move to a knowledge economy. We need to shift our thinking about what employment means. To realize that jobs tied to brick and mortar employers, dependent upon the whims of corporations, will soon seem quaint and outdated. That we must all take responsibility for creating our own futures.