NEW YORK (September 9, 2011) -- National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said he was encouraged to see that President Obama's job creation plan includes three components of the National Urban League's 12-Point Jobs Plan
, but Morial urged expansion of the proposals.
“While it’s important to recognize the limitations imposed on the President by an obstructionist Congress,” Morial said, “the unemployment crisis is now so dire that he needs to pull out every stop. We need to fight for America’s 14 million unemployed with every weapon at our disposal.”
The President endorsed a summer jobs program for youth, an infrastructure bank, and direct job creation, all of which Morial had advocated during meetings in the Oval Office in February of 2010 and July of this year. However, Morial urged modifications.
"An infrastructure bank has enormous potential to stimulate the economy and put Americans to work,” Morial said, but cautioned that the program needed to include more than roads and bridges. “We also need to build schools, community centers, libraries, and - especially relevant during this time of harsh weather - storm sewers and flood control projects.”
The President proposed direct funding to employ teachers and first responders, but Morial said the plan should be expanded to include other state and municipal workers, and funding should be provided directly to municipalities rather than through the states.
"We should take a lesson from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and distribute resources directly to the communities that are hardest-hit by unemployment," Morial said.
Similarly, Morial said, funding for summer jobs should be directed to the national community-based organizations that have a proven track record on job training.
"I look forward to working with the White House and Congress to insure that this package provides the type of targeted solution that ensures that urban communities are not left by the wayside for a second time," Morial said.