Martinez Jobs Bill

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The Martinez Jobs Bill was a project of the Communist Party USA.

Communist co-ordinator

In 1997, Evelina Alarcon was the new national Communist Party USA co-ordinator for the Martinez Jobs Bill.[1]

Communist Party "Jobs Bill"

H.R. 950, the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 was introduced in the 105th Congress on March 5, 1997 by Congressman Matthew Martinez of California. It had 33 original co-sponsors, including Danny Davis. The primary purpose of this emergency federal jobs legislation was to provide much needed jobs at union wages to crisis ridden cities by putting the unemployed to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, environmental improvements, etc. $250 billion is authorized for emergency public works jobs over a five year period.

Congressman Martinez had previously introduced this bill in the last Congress (as HR 1591) at the the request of over 50 prominent Labor leaders who formed the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, which is why it is often referred to as the "Martinez Public Works Jobs Bill."[2]

This is the most significant jobs legislation introduced in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal established the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This bill is the WPA-type program for today. It has strong provisions which will put hundreds of thousands of unemployed building trades workers to work as well as provide jobs for victims of plant closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth, and the long term unemployed. The public works projects which will be established under this bill will be built in communities with the highest levels of unemployment and with the greatest needs.
The goal of the New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs is to build the movement to pass the Martinez Jobs bill as part of the National Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs. You can help by asking your union, community organization, or local government body to to join those who have already passed resolutions to endorse the bill. Such a resolution has been introduced in the New York City Council. Calling on additional Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the bill is very important. We will be organizing petition campaigns, visits to elected officials, and demonstrations and other actions for a public works jobs program.

The leaders of the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs and its only affiliate New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs, were all known supporters or members of the Communist Party USA.

Los Angeles , National Labor Coalition For Public Works Jobs

New York affiliate, New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs, c/o Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2.

Further co-sponsors

In June 1997 George Miller of California and Nita Lowey of New York signed on as co-sponsors of the Communist Party USA inspired Martinez Jobs Bill.[3]

WPA model

The April 9 1994 Los Angeles state wide convention of the Mexican American Political Association, unanimously approved a public works jobs resolution.

Jose Chacon, MAPA's metro region organizer told the People's World "Mexican-Americans have every reason to go all out, hand-in-hand with labor to support this bill. its a matter of survival"

Addressing MAPA's convention banquet Rep. Matthew Martinez said that he was looking at the Works Progress Administration legislation passed in 1935 as a guide for the public works bill - popularly known as the Martinez Jobs Bill.[4]

Less military spending

In 1997 Danny Davis of Illinois, at the request of the National Labor-Community Coalition for Public Works Jobs, wrote a letter to his colleagues in Congress, asking them to address the real issues and solutions related to the economy, starting with the Martinez Jobs Bill. "The debate over the size of the military budget has not been fully aired, has not been conducted with the same vigor and intensity as the scrutiny over other discretionary spending....military experts have earmarked savings of over $200 million over the next ten years, while continuing to maintain our military supremacy".[5][6]

References

  1. Political Affairs, January 1997, page 8
  2. The Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 (H.R. 950) From the New York State Communist Party 16 March 1997, email list (accessed on June 14, 2010)
  3. PWW, June 28, 1997, page 2
  4. PWW, April 23, 1994, page 4
  5. PWW, June 28, 1997, page 2
  6. PWW, June 28, 1997, page 2