Pelosi Says Paying a Living Wage Creates Jobs At Speakout For Good Jobs Event
By Dave Johnson
Campaign for America's future August
"The way to create jobs is by paying a living
wage to workers, That creates demand.
Republicans say jobs from tax cuts for rich
people." These were some of the remarks by
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi at a Speakout
For Good Jobs Tour I attended last night. See
the rest of Pelosi's very, very strong remarks
Last night I attended a Speakout for Good Jobs Tour
event at the Acts Full Gospel Church of God in Christ
in Oakland, CA, hosted by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-
CA). Also at the event were Democratic Leader Nancy
Pelosi (D-CA), Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Co-
Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC),
and Congressman Michael Honda, CPC Budget Task Force
Chair. There was about About 1000-1200 people attending
and it was a lively crowd.
Here are some photos I took: http://tinyurl.com/3p7yawf
These town-hall-style events have been going on in
different cities throughout the summer. People come to
the events to tell their own stories about the need for
jobs. Progressive Caucus members will take these
stories back to Washington in September and use them to
ask Congress to stop playing games and work on a real
plan to create jobs. The events were organized by
ProgressiveCongress.org and the Congressional
Beginning the event, Rep. Barbara Lee talked about the
9.1% national unemployment rate, with 1 in 5 children
and 45 million people in poverty. This is worse in
communities of color. But the Republican-controlled
congress has yet to bring any legislation to floor that
would address the nation's unemployment.
Rep. Lee introduced Leader Nancy Pelosi who pointed out
that this is day 224 of the Republican majority in the
House. In that time they haven't passed one bill for
They want to reduce taxes for the very wealthy. They
did that during the Bush administration, and it did not
create jobs. In fact, more private sector jobs were
created under Obama last year than in 8 years of Bush
She said she told the "Super Committee" of 12 that the
best way to reduce the deficit is to create jobs. The
progressive members of the House that she named to the
committee were told to take this to a higher ground,
take it to a place that really does create good paying
jobs, and we want the committee to think about how to
If you are paying wages commensurate with productivity,
workers will be paid more, and the more you pay
workers, the more they inject demand into the economy,
the more jobs they create.
In addition we must protect Social Security, Medicare
and Medicaid. Cuts to medicare makes seniors pay more
to get less, while we are giving subsidies to big oil.
Cutting off Medicaid throws seniors out of nursing
homes, while giving tax cuts to companies for sending
So the Republican priorities are way off balance. This
is not good for communities, not a good way to cut
deficits. It turns things upside down. We have to do it
in reverse, stop these tax breaks at high end.
We have to have jobs moving forward now, need something
on the table on day 1 when Congress comes back. She is
glad Obama hit the road with plan for job creation so
people can see the difference between what Republicans
propose and what he would propose.
The FAA bill, this is almost an obscenity. By not
passing it r Congress has held up about 4000 FAA jobs
and about 8,0000 construction jobs. it is another labor
issue, trying to put into bill something to gut the
"This is all just an all out assault on American
We need more jobs, good paying jobs, we need to
understand where we are in history. This is a very
important time, it could be a turning point where
workers rights are asserted. It is appropriate that we
are here because everything in the Bible tells us we
are here to help each other, this is not the law of the
"The President doesn't like to look back and assign
blame, well I will." President Clinton had to sweep up
after Reagan and the first Bush. We know how to get rid
of the deficit, we did it before. Bush II immediately
turned it around with tax cuts that did not generate
jobs. Then giveaways to pharma and insurance. Then 2
wars. Then deep recession that their policies caused.
And here we are.
Now Obama has to clean up after Republicans again.
They are hijacking the issue of deficit reduction in
order to destroy the public space. They do not believe
in the government role, they want to destroy the
government role. They are using this as an excuse.
Know your power and know your role in history, this is
a very important time. This really is the most crucial
time, as to whether we respect work, value it, pay a
living wage, reduce private debt. Look at how they got
people hooked on private borrowing, private credit,
they won't raise the minimum wage, if you keep the
wages down people have to use credit, home equity loan
borrow against their savings, take 2 jobs, not a pretty
We must build an economy that has economic justice,
environmental justice, social justice, honor what our
country was intended to be. Honor the people who got us
here. Build a future worthy of their sacrifices to us.
Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva spoke next.
When I was a kid, my mom would say, "tell me who you
are running with and I'll tell you who you are." I'm
glad to be running with these three (Pelosi, Lee and
This is a contrived fiscal crisis. It is an absolute
fact that for the economy to raise itself again we need
We are here to listen to you. We are here to talk about
a real jobs agenda. Not wait for trickle down theory.
Our job is literally saving our democracy.
Congressman Michael Honda spoke last. We are in the
house of God, for that I'm grateful, because it will
Love your enemies as you love yourself -- what a test.
Be angry but sin not. Every night I go to bed at peace
but the next morning I pick up that rod a ==nd I look
for somebody to whip
Here is what you have to do:
1 You have to vote
2 You have to get our information straight, have to
listen to the people.
This is what we do, we are here to hear the petitions
of the people, and to match that against what we have
From The Audience
Among the audience members who told their stories was a
woman who was a janitor from a country club. "It costs
20000 to be a member there and 600 a month." She has
been locked out from her job because they asked for
health care, and the country club don't want to give
benefits. SO they did a "lock out." They tried to
organize, were told go look for another job if you want
benefits. Some have been working over 20 years, thrown
out in the street for asking for health care. "They
take advantage of the national economic crisis and we
are fighting against that."
Another woman said her son can't support himself with a
40 hour job so worked two other jobs, 60 hours a week.
"Taking those jobs meant others can't have even those
jobs." No insurance, can't afford to go to doctor, even
when ill, so he got very sick because couldn't see the
doctor. So now MediCal is paying, he is only working
one job now, his kids are on state health care, the
rich corporations are making money we are suffering.
Another man, "when I need health care I go to Tijuana."
Click to see a number of videos of people telling their
own stories at other Speakout For Good Jobs Tour
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