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More than 1,000 speak to Congress about need for good jobs

Detroit event included U.S. Reps. Clarke, Conyers and Ellison and Rev. Jackson

DETROIT, MI - Over a thousand people packed into the Historic King Solomon Church in Detroit on June27 to demand that Washington listen to the concerns of working Americans and address the jobs crisis that is taking place in the city and state.

Despite the night’s other big event downtown—the annual fireworks display---Detroiters came out in droves for their opportunity to talk about the city’s high rate of unemployment. The SPEAKOUT FOR GOOD JOBS NOW/REBUILD THE AMERICAN DREAM,” part of the Progressive Caucus’ Listening Tour, allowed residents to talk directly to U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who co-chairs the Progressive Caucus.

The event began with a rousing kickoff speech from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was in town to also protest the state’s emergency manager law.

“What do we want?” he shouted, as the crowd replied, “Good Jobs!” He then posed, “when do want them?” and the crowd responded, “NOW!”

Dozens of people spoke at the forum, which lasted more than 2 hours.

Among the speakers was Carson Limbrick, a 57-year-old Detroiter who said he hasn’t worked consistently in more than a year.

“I am kind of like in limbo. It’s been so long since I’ve worked, but I’m also running into people who have been out of work longer than I have,” said Limbrick, who is a registered nurse. He noted that five schools have closed in recent years in his Detroit neighborhood, “and I’m not sure what happened to the teachers. A friend of mine teaches, and she’s still looking for work.”

The Detroit forum was part of a national listening tour being put on by the Progressive Caucus. The group’s goal, whose goal is to connect the progressive movement, ideas, and Congress, focuses on four areas: peace and global security; energy independence and environmental sustainability; civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights; public health, education and economic opportunity.




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