Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Structurally Unemployed Workers Deliver Juneteenth Proclamation to City of New Orleans

From our friends at the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice:
Stand with Dignity Commemorated Juneteenth by delivering a proclamation to New Orleans City Council and Mayor.

"The 20 people who arrived at City Hall today with Stand were there to deliver a message to our city that we are going to continue fighting for full and fair employment until we see the changes that we need to see in our communities."  Said Alfred Marshall, Organizer of Stand with Dignity.

Representatives of all City Councilpersons and the Mayors office accepted the proclamation which calls for real career ladders in the Post-Katrina Reconstruction.  The group challenged city officials:

"We challenge you to work with us to fundamentally shift New Orleans’ dependency on the penal system to a system of opportunities for our community which will prevent the driving forces behind crime.  We challenge you to use the mass reconstruction of New Orleans to finally shift from a system of slavery and oppression to a system which drives toward full and fair employment.  We will all be free when we can be safe to live in our communities- to us safety is not just freedom from physical violence, but freedom from the violence of homelessness, poverty, mass incarceration that divides families, and the freedom that comes when you know you are doing what is right for you, your family, and your community."

"We are here to make sure that our elected officials understand that when we are locked out of work that not only hurts us and our families but it hurts our communities.  I understand that the Mayor is trying to take steps to deal with violence in our community- my message to Mayor Landrieu is you should work with what you got, right now what you got is a lot of construction work here- don't throw good money after bad, just make sure you get the most out of what you have to work with." said Chase Smith who was there with his young daughter.

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