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As Liberal Groups Prepare Mass Rally, 99ers Push to Organize

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Monday, September 27, 2010 at 7:47 am

Howard Dean speaks in support of the One Nation Working Together Rally.

In response to last month’s Glenn Beck-hosted “Restoring Honor” summit, hundreds of thousands plan to descend on Washington for a rally by the Lincoln Memorial next weekend. On Saturday, liberal groups are hosting the “One Nation Working Together” event, making a case for activism for progressive legislation to a middle class that increasingly seems to be withdrawing support from Democratic candidates.

[Economy1] The groups attending include civil rights, gay rights, economic justice, peace and labor activists. The AFL-CIO, National Council of La Raza and dozens of others are busing in participants, and more than 200,000 are set to attend.

“Despite having such evidence of what we can accomplish together, we have seen voter participation rates plummet — from Shelby County, Tennessee to Alameda County, California,” said Ben Jealous, the head of the NAACP. “Simultaneously, far-right extremists have found their way back into the nation’s political discourse and helped re-energize a retrograde agenda that includes attacks on every pillar of our civil rights protections from the Voting Rights Act to the Civil Rights Act to the 14th Amendment itself. Now is the time to get everyone off the sidelines and back on to the battlefield.”

And one of the groups storming that battlefield will be a new, targeted umbrella organization for the 99ers, the American 99ers Union. Just a few weeks old, the union represent 17 groups that in turn represent workers who have exhausted the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits. Its stated goal is supporting fading legislation to help the long-term unemployed, given the high unemployment rate and congressional intransigence and to raise awareness.

Nationally, long-term unemployment remains one of the most prevalent and pressing results of the recession. There are about 6.6 million workers who have been out of a job for more than six months and approximately one million who have exhausted their jobless benefits. Long-term joblessness results in everything from worse health outcomes to increased use of safety-net programs such as disability insurance — and studies show the longer a worker is unemployed, the harder it is for her to find a job.

Gregg Rosen, host of the BlogTalk radio show Unemployment Roundtable, and Michael White of the Unemployed Workers Action Group started the umbrella group. It represents about 40,000 workers, most of whom connect via the Internet. “99ers and 99er groups are banding together,” explains LaDona King, one of the most prominent 99er activists on the Web and a member of the new union. “And they are coming in one by one for strength and for consistency. The idea is that we have a consistent message, not a bunch of stories of woe and terror. And the message is that Americans need legislation to stay afloat. Workers are really hurting.”

The union is intently focused on pressuring legislators to move forward on two bills to give additional weeks of benefits to jobless workers. One bill, by Reps. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), grants 20 more weeks of benefits to workers in states where the unemployment rate is above 10 percent.

“Right now, there are more long-term jobless Americans than we’ve ever had on record, and we can’t just let them all fall off a cliff,” McDermott said, introducing the legislation. “I don’t believe how we can cut and run from helping unemployed workers when there are five of them competing for every available job. You only have to hear from a few unemployed workers to know how hard they are looking for work and to feel their sheer sense of desperation. Are we really prepared to just stand by and watch them sink into abject poverty?”

The second bill — fuller legislation that is therefore the subject of more 99er activism — is Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D-Mich.) Americans Want to Work Act. That legislation changes the maximum number of weeks to 119 in states with unemployment rates above 7.5 percent, meaning 34 states and the District of Columbia would currently qualify. It also extends a tax credit to companies that hire workers who have been unemployed for more than two months.

The union held its first major push for the bills last week, having members fax in a letter to Congressional offices, urging action on the bill. Sites informed jobless workers how to use free websites to send two faxes a day, some Congressional offices reported hundreds coming in. Additionally, the 99ers union is working to bring workers to the One Nation Working Together rally.

Thus far, there are no clear signs of movement on either piece of legislation, though Stabenow’s office has indicated it will try to get the Senate Finance Committee to move forward on her bill. (It needs committee approval before a floor debate.) Congressional aides say it is highly unlikely for a vote on either bill before the November election — after which, Congress will need to take up an extension of current benefits, meaning Tier V legislation might fall by the wayside.

But the activists remain galvanized by their new coordination. “We’re fired up and we’re not giving up,” King says. Thousands of jobless workers are using the new 99er group to find free or reduced rides to the rally, a chance to press again for the cause, she says.

“If Obama said the word ’99er’ once, if he recognized this problem, I would put all my energy into campaigning for a Democratic win this November,” she notes.

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45 Comments

As Liberal Groups Prepare Mass Rally, 99ers Push to Organize « The … | Independent
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Pingback posted September 27, 2010 @ 11:26 am

[...] Lowrey reports on organizing efforts by the American 99ers Union, which is seeking to represent the constituency of the growing number [...]


Trippin Mczoink
Comment posted September 27, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

Being “fair and balanced” I would expect the equivalent amount of free advertising for this rally on Fox News.


ValleyVixon
Comment posted September 27, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

We are not real important to Fox, being educated etc.


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sam
Comment posted September 27, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

This is exactly what 99ers need to do to make sure they are not forgotten by Washington. By the end of the week, some 93,000 America a week will have exhausted their unemployment insurance.
You can listen to one 99er who'll be at the rally here: http://tinyurl.com/2brzohu.
Joe was interviewed on http://www.JobTalkAmerica.com


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Free Speech TV
Comment posted September 28, 2010 @ 4:52 am

“In this time of economic crisis, it is easy for fear-mongers to pit groups against each other and to find convenient scapegoats for the problems that plague us”, said Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP and a march organizer. “We cannot be distracted. We must reorder our nation's priorities to invest in our most valuable resource: our people.” Tune in to Free Speech TV's live coverage of the One Nation march on October 2nd on DISH Network ch. 9415, DIRECTV ch. 348, or online at FREESPEECH.ORG and help us raise awareness of this important event by sharing this information with your networks. –caleb/fstv


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Pingback posted September 28, 2010 @ 9:24 am

[...] Liberal Groups Prepare Mass Rally, 99ers Push to Organize (Washington Independent) Americans who have been out of work for over 99 weeks are tired of being ignored, and they plan to [...]


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Praise 11
Comment posted September 28, 2010 @ 11:25 am

Donnalee king is a ego-driven person and nothing more. ALL of us have and are fighting and many legit reporters are not receiving appreciation for what they are doing. Her changing her name doing change her self-serving.


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monkey99
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 4:32 am

Didn't you know?

Fox is the fundraising propaganda arm of the right-wing. They're not a news organization. Haven't been for some time now, even before their “gift” to the Republican Governor's Association.

They are known now as “Fox-Pac”.


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ANITADELBORRELLO
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

THIS BILL HAS TO HAPPEN FOR THE 99ERS,WE HAVE BEEN FULLY STRESSED OUT AND SCARED,LOSING ALL WE HAVE,OBAMA JUST NEEDS TO SIGN EXECUTIVE ORDER AND RELIEVE 99ERS PAIN,WE WAITD LON ENOUGH,OBAMA NEEDS VOTES,MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR THE BILL BEFORE THEY EVEN CONSIDER VOTING,SIGN THE BILL AND DEMOCRATS WILL STAY IN THE SEATS


BIG DADDY
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

I'll be at the rally protesting against S3706. It's funny how these free loaders have the time and money to stage a rally for more lazy entitlements. The funny thing is, the GOP is going to filibuster this, then go on break. lol. Try applying at Toys R Us. Will be hiring 45K seasonal workers. Now get busy, POUND THE PAVEMENT. See you at the rally, look for BIG DADDY.


me
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

Another who doesn't know what they are talking about….yawn


LangwayWastheKing
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

Gee, “Bid Daddy”, you'll be at the march protesting against S3706 and assume that the folks attending are freeloaders, presumably b/c they are taking time to attend.

Under that logic you must also be a freeloader, but independently wealthy b/c you don't need a job to survive.

Anyone named BIG DADDY prob has some shortcomings. That's okay even the chonically stupid are welcome!


me
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

You obviously do not know what you are talking about. If your life is so great why are you wasting time trying to insult Americans down on their luck via no fault of their own. You are part of the problem!


99er
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

VERY important to note that it was the NOVO threat that got Stabenow to commit to bring 3706 to the Senate floor this week.


truthteller
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

Obviously another jealous nobody that just cannot stand it that she has done so much to help the cause and you likely have succeeded at NOTHING!! LOSER!!!


ValleyVixon
Comment posted September 29, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

I am a 99er but I feel that the extensions and the bill will pass right after the election. If they are passed now, the republicans can claim it is only for votes. I think Obama wants to know the house before passing any legislation. He may have additional ideas that could only be passed by a full majority. I ahve been following the HuffPo and the Comedy Central Rallys and Obama's Wisconsin Rally. I think the party got our message and are starting to play the game. I will be following the Rally's as well. Good Luck and Thank you for representing us.


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gucci continental wallet
Comment posted September 30, 2010 @ 7:42 am

Now get busy, POUND THE PAVEMENT. See you at the rally, look for BIG DADDY.


gucci messenger
Comment posted September 30, 2010 @ 8:46 am

If they are passed now, the republicans can claim it is only for votes. I think Obama wants to know the house before passing any legislation.


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BIG DADDY
Comment posted September 30, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

What a beautiful Thursday morning on the Potomac. Diva is making me french toast in celebration of S3706. I bet George is having a wonderful start to his October break. Think I'll take 99 coins and toss them in the river and make a wish. It's going to be a great November.

See ya at the rally


BIG DADDY
Comment posted September 30, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

Not gonna happen. Republicans are going to sweep in November. Have a nice day


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Squire Ric
Comment posted October 2, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

If our congress would do the right thing and pass laws that would create encourage more manufacturing in our country, and the unions would dissolve since they have caused the high costs of products and forced business off-shore, then we would have more hope for our economy!


Squire Ric
Comment posted October 2, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

Washington has not forgotten you, you are the ones that put them there, and it's us who pay the bills are the ones that are forgotten!
When I was out of work, I found other ways to make a living and did not mind working at whatever it took to support my family.
That is what is needed!


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tammy
Comment posted October 3, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

do the welfare recipients get cut off? Do they have to sit on the edge of their seats waiting for their doom? I highly doubt it. At one time we were all thriving individuals who HAD a job. A job that afforded us a home, a car and all the necessities of life. What we are getting, or NOT getting anymore is INSURANCE that we paid into. It's called “Unemployment Insurance”. We can't forget that fact. It is not a handout. This is neither welfare nor a government handout. If this country was REALLY in debt, like our legislatures say, then we wouldn't be able to write a check for a billion dollars to countless foreign countries like we do. That's just plain logic. Without seeing anyone physically, I believe the majority of the unemployed are primarily Caucasian, educated, born in the U.S. and over 30 years of age. Could it be that we are being replaced by younger, less experienced and educated people that are NOT born in the US? Their overall status does not demand the salary that we do. Therefore these business are making a huge profit. IT's all about the money. In my own experience, this is the case. When I did have a job, I was the minority. My fellow employees were mainly of Latino descent, and they would proudly speak their native language, while ON the job, and right in front of my face. I even had a “lead” speak instructions in Spanish, knowing full well that I didn't speak Spanish… She assumed that my work partner would interpret and he did…. I couldn't believe my ears. Needless to say, I was clearly at a disadvantage because many of my supervisors were also of Latino descent. I was literally outnumbered. I know this has been building for years. I believe that is why we are all in this situation now. Very Sad! But I believe there is hope. Businesses and individuals who turn their backs on us cannot get away with this forever, and we Americans are resilient, but we need help now, since we are not being considered when applying for jobs. Our government needs to take care of their own first.


Bad Bob
Comment posted October 6, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

As far as “Big Daddy”is concerned everyone needs to ignore him.He is either a punk kid or a jerk-off that has had a easy life. Don't worry things have a way of coming around.Watch him squeal and cry when some of real life's experience's land on him.


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