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Monday, October 11, 2010

Grassroots Unemployment Groups, Come Together to Form a GOVOTE Movement for the November Elections

Vote 12345Image via Wikipedia
Unemployed support groups across the U.S.
come together to form a "GOVOTE"
Movement, lead by the grassroots
Unemployed States of America Group
Many unemployed job seekers, nationwide and within Michigan, was recently disappointed with the actions of Congress, when S.3706, the Americans Want to Work Act legislation, sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was blocked within the Senate on September 30, 2010. 

Senator George LeMieux (R-FL), whom lone filibuster blocked the bill from being debated on the floor for an up or down vote, cited budgetary concerns for future generations for his reasoning on not allowing over 5 million 99ers (unemployed job seekers, currently exhausted from any of the supplemental income tiers, who received between 73-99 weeks of payments) to possible receive additional assistance during the highest period of unemployment since the late 1990's.

The September 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics figures did not result increase of hiring activities, among employers, across the United States. The nationwide unemployment rate continued almost two years stand at near double digits levels at 9.5 percent. 

In addition, the BLS report noted that 95,000 jobs were lost during the month of August 2010. Meanwhile, private businesses only added 64,000 employment opportunities.  Governmental agencies eliminated 159,000 jobs mostly split between the shedding of temporary U.S. Census Bureau workers and, other state/local cuts.

Reviewing both the above figures and the fact that most unemployed job seekers are taking on an average, between 6 to 12 months, to receive an opportunity to return back to full time employment; some unemployed individuals have become disassociated and angry at the actions in Congress. 

Many job seekers over the age of 45 have experienced a tougher time, re-entering the employment market, facing issues of underlying age discrimination and increased skill sets required by employers, for the open positions available.

A group of long term unemployed job seekers, led by the call of a small subset of the 99ers has called for a No Vote or "NOVO" grassroots movement. The group formed around the idea that since assistance has not been extended in the form of the Tier V benefit to the jobless, who have been without work for over two years, individuals within this movement should sit out voting in the upcoming November 2 elections.

On the September 21, MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” hosted by personality and talk show host Ed Schultz, a 99er name Mignon Veasley Fields, threated to boycott with a “No Vote” during the November 2 upcoming elections. 

Recently as October 1, Veasley-Fields spoke on even-though the “NOVO” movement has slightly changed their opinions on informing their small group not to vote, many of the members are going to follow their original advice, and sit out the November 2, elections.
“Even though we are trying to tell them to vote, many of them are not going to vote, even though the “NOVO” says to go ahead to and do this. They were disillusioned by what they saw on the Senate Floor (September 30). We are very graceful for Senator Stabenow for her effort but, we thought it was sort of put together really quickly – like a dog and pony show,” Veasley-Fields told Schultz.

Claiming that the “NOVO” movement has reviewed the history of the various unemployed tier, Ms. Veasley-Fields noted that it was the Republicans, not the Democrats, which have approved the extended benefits, over time.

“It is not the Republicans; it is the Democrats that put us in this situation,” Veasely-Field recited.

The “NOVO” movement is somewhat misinformed, on this notion. Reviewing the history of last unemployment extension, The Unemployment Extension Act of 2010, it was the Democratic Party that pushed for the additional payments for Tier II thru V. 

The only time that the Republican Party sided with the Executive Branch on extending the supplement income payments, was when former President George W. Bush was in office. The GOP last stance on the approval of a jobless extension, without using the filibuster to block the measure, was with the Unemployment Extension Act of 2008. President Barack Obama was sworn into office on January 21, 2009.

President Obama cited the GOP obstruction on measures like S.3706 to assist the 99ers, in a recent Rose Garden ceremony.

"... For a long time, there's been a tradition - under both Democratic and Republican Presidents - to offer relief to the unemployed," Obama said in a Rose Garden speech. "That was certainly the case under my predecessor, when Republican senators voted several times to extend emergency unemployment benefits."
On November 30, jobless under 99 weeks, run upon the fact that H.R. 4213, expires. With this action, unless Congress approves another extension of the filing dates for Tiers II-V, unemployed job seekers past the normal 26 weeks of supplemental state based funded payments, will have their income suddenly halted.  

Realizing the reality of the situation at hand, with Republican obstruction and an upcoming  lame duck session of Congress, when lawmakers return after the elections during the second week of November. 

Groups including Unemployed States of America, U3-Union of Unemployed, One Nation Working Together and Facebook Groups “The 99ers Need a Tier V Added to Unemployment Benefits” and “Extend Unemployment Benefits” are trying to counteract the confusing talk of the “NOVO” movement and encourage unemployed job seekers to vote.

Unemployed States of America has an active forum, which provides the latest information on unemployment legislation and provides information to assist users of the site to register to vote, online. This group is bonding to form a positive grassroots "GOVOTE" movement to counteract the talk from the, "novo" movement

“The unemployed are cutting their on resource, if they listen to the talk of the "novo" and do not vote in the upcoming elections,” stated Eric, a moderator of the site out of the Philadelphia, PA area. “We have to realize the facts as they are, right now. As long as President Obama is in office, the GOP will say no to any help for the unemployed.”

Rhonda Taylor, a 99er out of Rhode Island and active member of the Facebook Group, The 99ers Need a Tier V Added to Unemployment Benefits, spoke in recent interview with Reach Out Job Search.

"Ethnically, I want to uphold my values and that is by voting", Ms. Taylor told the "Reach Out Job Searchblog writer. "I waited eight months for this and I am still voting for the Democrats." Additionally, Ms. Taylor cited that, "I am just one story of a very big crowd."

Ms. Taylor has appeared on a number of media resources, including the “The Ed Show” citing her concerns that by taking a “NoVo” action, the 99ers would be hurting their efforts allow bills like S.3706 to have an opportunity to be enacted into law.

Statements like these from GOP party leaders, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and up and coming leader in the GOP, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) reinforce Taylor’s views.

"Americans are frustrated with the amount of spending and borrowing around here," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to "Let's not wave on through legislation that is going to worsen the deficit and dig an even deeper hole than we're in."
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) stated in the same article:
"The American people are fed up with Washington's push to spend money we don't have, add to our crushing burden of debt, and evade accountability for the dismal results."
Brian Yeagle of New Jersey, moderator for the Facebook Group, “Extend Unemployment Benefits”, regularly post information on the site; encouraging unemployed job seekers to fully examine where candidates in their local community and state, stand on providing assistance to America’s job seekers.

“Check out this link, join the cause! Read up on all candidates,” Yeagle cited on a recent group post. “Know who SUPPORTS you and who is AGAINST you! This is one of the most crucial mid-term elections of our time! Sitting this one out is like voting Republican, and we know how they support us.”

Following up the theme of the October 2, One Nation Working Together rally, the site Facebook group, actively embolden all unemployed members to join in to volunteer in local voting centers, in an effort to “Get Out The Vote”.

“There are still so many ways to get involved with One Nation Working Together,” posted by the Facebook Group Page administrator. “Please check out our Voter Center for calls, canvassing and local events! There are only 21 days until 11-2-10 and we should make them count!” 
The One Nation Working Together Facebook page has over 12,500 members, at the current time.
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