Some 200 residents gathered around mock kitchen tables in South Los Angeles to challenge Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) to be a voice for jobs in the upcoming budget negotiations. Becerra is one of 12 members appointed to the committee charged with reducing the federal budget deficit over the next ten years.
The summit was organized by Good Jobs LA which says the debate in Washington is dominated by budget cuts and protecting tax breaks for corporations.
“Big corporations and the rich might be out of the recession but we’re still seeing the devastation of foreclosures, bankruptcies and layoffs in our communities,” said Jonetta Rivers, an Inglewood resident who lost her job as a real estate agent when the housing market crashed and now relies on public assistance to pay her rent. “Congressman Becerra needs to remember our voices as he negotiates with the ‘super-committee” – real people who are desperate for good jobs – not just the big corporations and Wall Street investors who caused this mess.”
Before the summit, residents marched to an Exxon Mobil station at W. Adams Boulevard and South Figueroa. Exxon Mobil is one of the companies that has benefited from corporate tax loopholes and has fought efforts by Senate Democrats to raise oil and gas taxes by about $2 billion a year for 10 years.
According to Good Jobs LA’s Web site, “ExxonMobil earned nearly $10.6 billion the first quarter of 2011, which means the company made $116 million a day. One week of profits could create more than 2000 green jobs, save childcare for 30,000 Californian children, or save the jobs of thousands of teachers by ending the entire LA Unified School District Deficit.”
Good Jobs LA claims that although corporations are sitting on almost $2 trillion in cash, they are not investing in jobs. One in four workers in Los Angeles County is unemployed or under employed, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
Later on Tuesday, Rep. Becerra hosted a “coffee” at the New World Open Academy in Koreatown, which, according to Patch.com drew more than 100 constituents on Tuesday evening, many of whom asked him to continue his support of Medicare and Social Security.