POLITICS - On Saturday, Good Jobs LA, a grassroots organization made up of neighbors coming together to reclaim the American Dream for working families, hosted a Kitchen Table Summit at Inglewood High School in Inglewood.
The high school gymnasium was filled with kitchen tables to resemble the day to day conversations that are occurring in people's homes all across the Southland and the nation.
The topic: job creation.
Moderated by SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) President Laphonza Butler, the summit gathered more than 1,000 attendants, all eager to hear from Representatives Karen Bass (D-33), Laura Richardson (D-37) and Maxine Waters (D-35).
Rep. Waters, whose district encompasses a large portion of South Los Angeles, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, and portions of Westchester and Playa del Rey, has recently [link] been critical of President Obama, citing that while the president is focused on white rural communities, he also needs to pay close attention to urban communities of color.
In her remarks, Waters took a stab at Congressional leadership who have caved to the unrealistic demands of the Tea Party -- demands that don't reflect the values, issues or concerns of a vast majority of Americans.
"I'm not afraid of anybody," she stated, "This is a tough game, you can't be intimidated, you can't be frightened, and as far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell!" (Video)
Her remarks sparked loud cheering from the crowd, most of whom had shared somber stories of being laid off, losing their homes to foreclosure and the hardship of living pay check to paycheck.
South LA includes the largely African American and Latino community of Watts which Rep. Waters estimates has an unemployment rate as high as 40%.
While the national unemployment rate is 9 percent, California's unemployment rate, as announced by the EDD office just yesterday, is at a high of 12 percent, a jump from 11.8 percent in June. In Los Angeles County alone, Latino unemployment is at 14 percent, while unemployment for African Americans is at 19 percent.
(Wendy Carrillo is a journalist and political commentator who posts at huffingtonpost.com where this report first appeared.) -cw
Tags: Maxine Waters, Karen Bass, Laura Richardson, SEIU, President Obama, Tea Party
Vol 9 Issue 68
Pub: Aug 23, 2011