WASHINGTON — Jobs, justice and education are the focal points of a new march on Washington announced today.
Committed to Putting America Back to Work and Pulling America Back Together, One Nation Working Together supporters will march on Washington Saturday, October 2 at noon at the Lincoln Memorial to refocus national priorities on investments in America’s people.
“One Nation Working Together is a movement of everyday people,” says Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the NAACP, “who are marching on 10-2-10 along with human and civil rights organizations, unions and trade associations, youth and student groups, faith, educational, environmental, peace, gender and identity rights groups, and hundreds of other groups. We are making a direct demand – to reclaim our fundamental right to the American Dream. We are holding our representatives in Washington accountable for re-focusing national priorities on what is important – the people,” he explains.
To highlight the urgency of the One Nation Working Together movement, consider the figures released by the US Census Bureau recently showing that one in seven Americans – that’s 45.6 million people – lives in poverty in the United States. This is the third consecutive year of increases. African Americans saw an increase from 24.7% to 25.85%, and Hispanics living in poverty jumped from 23.2% to 25.3%.
As Janet Murguia, president of National Council of La Raza, says: One Nation Working Together is an unprecedented coalition with an urgent mission. “We have been able to bring together groups and individuals who have never worked together before because we all share the common need for more and secure jobs now, equal justice for every person in this country – including passage of immigration reform — and access to high quality public education for all children.”
Representing the true majority in America, the One Nation Working Together movement aims to recommit every person in the United States to the principles that this nation was founded upon: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This means that every person who wants to work should have a secure job with a living wage, equal protection under the law, and access to a quality public education for all children, from pre-school through college or technical school.
“As a nation, we need to move beyond divisive politics and work together to address issues such as the deepening jobs crisis, a broken immigration system, struggling public education systems and environmental disasters,” says American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. “A robust economy, good jobs and strong public schools go hand in hand. To accomplish these goals, we all must work together—elected officials, community leaders, educators, parents, the business community our young people—to strengthen public education and other institutions.
“America’s competitive edge in the world economy and the ability of working people to compete and qualify for good jobs are inextricably linked with educational opportunity,” Weingarten continues, “Our strength as a people and a nation will depend on how well we invest in our children.”
Max Love, a sophomore at University of Wisconsin- Madison from Lodi, Wisconsin, tells his story of supporting the goals of One Nation Working Together: “Every American counts. As a country, we no longer invest in the future of our people as we should. Students struggle to stay in school because they cannot afford rising tuition, and when they do graduate they are jobless with a ton of debt. Students in Wisconsin and elsewhere have had enough. We are participating because it is my dream and my tomorrow that is at stake.” Love represents the United States Students Association.
In recent weeks, local coalitions from Boston to the Bay Area have been hosting events and mobilizing residents to march onWashington and to pledge support for One Nation Working Together. Examples of local efforts include a blog mobile that will depart California around September 24 driving across the country to the march on Washington, staffed by citizen bloggers who will capture stories of real people working together for more jobs, justice and quality public education; jobs fairs in Texas that attracted thousands of people, affordable housing rallies, a Wall Street rally with 200 people, parades, and dozens of news conferences and special events held at venues such as community colleges, organizing meetings, town hall meetings, tailgate and house parties, prayer breakfasts, voter registration drives and news conferences, to name a few.
One Nation Working Together supporters demand from political, business and civic leaders A Plan for A New Economy based on secure jobs, justice and quality public education. This plan includes at least one million new jobs now including green jobs, extended unemployment support, paid sick days and family leave for all workers, fixing the broken immigration system, extending civil and human rights protections to all, ending racial profiling, curbing re-segregation attempts, completing the promise of health care reform with the public option, and ensuring that all people have access to affordable, high quality public education from pre-school through college.