College students, local leaders say region needs American Jobs Act
Sacramento, CA – Several hundred college students, educators, police, firefighters and community leaders today rallied at Cosumnes River College (CRC) and called upon area Congressional Representatives to pass President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act. California could potentially receive billions of dollars to help put Americans back to work from the measure, which would raise the income tax on millionaires by one-half of one percent. The Sacramento coalition is fighting for the region’s share of the funding to use for job training, education and other local needs.
“The American Jobs Act would create 37,000 jobs in California’s public education system,” said Professor Dean Murakami of the Los Rios Community College District, and a vice-president of the California Federation of Teachers. “Today’s rally is a direct plea on behalf of the region, urging Republicans to leave partisan politics aside and put the American people first to get our economy back on track. The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act would create or protect nearly 400,000 education jobs, while preventing the layoffs of thousands of policeofficers and firefighters.”
Jeff Neves, a student at Cosumnes River College said, “Students can’t get the classes we need to move towards our degrees. The classes we can get are overloaded. Faculty and staff layoffs have reduced the instructional time and staff support students need to succeed. We call on our representatives in Congress to act quickly on the Jobs Act bills to get Americans back to work.”
Dr. William James, an adjunct Spanish professor from CRC who lost his County job due to budget cuts, told a noontime campus rally, “We cannot expect to train our youth for the high-skilled jobs of today or for the opportunities of the future without investments in a worldclass education system. Let’s fulfill our civic duty Jobs now by better funding our community colleges, our police, and our firefighters.”
Karl Pineo of Ironworkers Local 118, told the rally, “Within a 10-mile radius of downtown Sacramento, we have more than 60 bridges and overpasses that are structurally insufficient. We could put a lot of people back to work – ironworkers, carpenters, painters, and laborers –making our bridges safer. Nobody really thinks about bridges until one collapses. Let’s not wait until that happens. Let’s pass the Jobs Act now.”
“President Obama understands that when we invest in our public schools, we invest in the future of our communities,” said teacher Maggie Ellis, president of the Elk Grove Education Association. “Congress needs to act now to pass the president’s jobs plan that would mean hiring or rehiring thousands of teachers across the state. After suffering from unprecedented state cuts in recent years, our students deserve this vital classroom support.”