Elected officials, Community Leaders, the Clergy and Organized Labor will join the community on Saturday at Jesse Owens Park to stop the massive cuts in the federal budget threatens its very existence if left unchecked.
By Yussuf J. Simmonds
Sentinel Managing Editor
There is a war going on in Washington, D.C., a war over the budget that if left unchecked will have a devastating effect on the quality of life throughout America’s minority communities. According to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, “We are in a war and it’s going to get worse. It all depends on what happens during the budget negotiations that’s taking place right now. If you think the feds are in bad shape, the state is worse, ask Steve Bradford.” Assemblyman Steve Bradford was present.
Not only is the federal government on the verge of shutting down, what happens in the nation’s capital trickles down to the state, the county and the city. As the congresswoman explained the situation in one of her meetings held at WLCAC to inform the community of what’s-to-come, similar pronouncements were echoed by Councilman Parks–chair of the city’s budget and finance committee–relative to the economic problems facing the city, and Councilwoman Jan Perry was also there to reinforce what he said. After Assemblyman Bradford left, his representative told the same story about the state budget relative to negotiations taking place in Sacramento.
It’s nationwide. The Republicans, who have control of the House (of Representative) in Congress, have passed a budget that has gutted the federal budget in the amount of $61 million. “Since the Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate,” said Congresswoman Waters, “There is still hope that the budget would not pass. But we have work to do.”
The impact of the Republican spending bill called HR1 will be felt in education, housing, job training, healthcare, elderly programs, justice and law enforcement and other important programs that the community depends on for its day-to-day survival. For example in education, Title I Grants to School Districts will be cut drastically, so will Head Start and After-school programs. “Those programs are vital to the security of the community,” according to Councilman Parks.
Already estimates show that that had been about a million home foreclosures in the last calendar and it is believed that number will increase in 2011, and that does not even include public housing, commercial real estate and businesses.
In order to stop this Republican juggernaut, direct community is needed. Congresswoman Waters has stated that her Democratic colleagues throughout the country are holding meetings to inform their constituents what’s at stake, and the proper course of action to take to resist these draconian measures that are being placed on some of the most vulnerable Americans.
Another focus of the Republican dominated House is the repeal of the President’s Healthcare Reform Act which literally provides a safety net to the low-income and the disenfranchised.
If the community fails to act, then the situation will only get worse. The Democrats are doing all the pushback that they can and without support from the community, their efforts could be a total waste.
Tim Watkins of WLCAC provided the meeting place for the community and some of the other participants were Robert Pullen-Miles, Mayor Pro Tem of the city of Lawndale, Mark Alston of Consolidate Realty, representative from Labor and several community organizations.
The community rally will be at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday April 9, at Jesse Owens Park, 9651 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles. The community is counting on you. Show up!