Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A wish list for 2009

By this time next year I wish. . .

. . .that the U. S. Congress will have enacted comprehensive immigration reform that would provide for the documentation of the millions of Mexican and Central American immigrants who currently work hard to keep things going in our nation without the protection and benefit of legal status. In this regard, I hope that early in 2009 the Congress will send the D. R. E. A. M. Act to President Obama for his signature. The children of undocumented immigrants, like many of my young friends whom I've written about here so often, need protection and legal status so they can remain in the United States as they pursue higher education, military service or both.

. . .that a major part of any economic stimulus package passed by the new Congress and signed into law by the new President will include significant provisions for expanded workforce training programs that are accessible in every major urban center in the nation and that are designed to assist low-income citizens to gain the skills needed to obtain and hold a living wage job.

. . .that the federal government, in cooperation with states and local urban municipalities, will provide significant tax rebates and subsidies to encourage the pursuit of green energy production by business, private and public sectors in an aggressive manner that encourages and achieves scale as quickly as possible. Note: due to differing tax structures, a state-by-state policy approach will be required. Time for new thinking.

. . .that the federal government will create partnerships with local community-based organizations with proven track records in workforce training to create "green job corps" whose members will be enabled to lead the way in turning urban communities green while creating millions of new, livable wage jobs.

. . .that the City of Dallas will see the wisdom of providing increased funding for affordable housing development, including scalable permanent supportive housing for the homeless, out of its general revenue budget over and above what outside sources of revenue currently generate.

. . .that local leaders will make a compelling case for using some of the promised economic stimulus funds to expand and "fast forward" plans for DART, our light rail public transportation system, to the end that the system is built out more aggressively across more of our community with special attention given to connecting neglected areas of the city to the whole.

. . .that faith communities of every variety would embrace a renewed concern for the poor that translates into effective action in terms of both meaningful service and unifed aggitation for systemic public policy reform.

. . .that everyone in Dallas would come together to make sure the Dallas Independent School District would work in an optimal way for every student.

. . .that the State of Texas would reform the Department of Health and Human Services so that it would get back to actually providing needed care, intervention and support for the poor, our children and our most vulnerable citizens.

Ambitious, you say?


Hope does that to a soul!

What's on your list?



Anonymous said...

I think that many people fail to realize how vital a workable mass transit system is for the working poor. Whenever I have traveled in Europe I have always been amazed at the extent of their rail system. Places like the Memphis area where I live are in the dark ages when it comes to mass transit. There is a young lady in our church who doesn't have a car and the community where she lives is not served by MATA. The end result is that if it were not for transportation provided by church members she would not have a job. If your only option is to walk to work then your options for work end up at almost zero.


Larry James said...

RC, you nailed that one! I just hope a significant portion of the stimulus package is marked for mass transit in cities like Memphis and Dallas.

Anonymous said...

Even in cities the size of Bryan-College Station, transportation is an issue for the poor. The transit system here ony operates until 7 pm and only Mon.-Fri. Then the number of buses is so limited, and transfer stations so few, that it takes more than an hour to get from one location to another. For the people in our program to use the transit system,they have to find jobs that fit into that time frame which is unrealistic. Ann

Chris said...

I wonder where all the money will come from for these programs, especially since all the people who don't pay taxes will get a "tax cut", in other words a welfare check.

It also seems to be a dangerous thing to build an economy on the pseudoscientific baloney of global warming. Hundreds of credible scientist do not agree with the theory. Their voices are not allowed to be heard because of the liberal agenda.

I predict catastrophe the next 4 years and perhaps the country will be glad to vote the Messiah out in 2012.

Odgie said...

My policy wish is for massive reform in our disability policies -especially as they relate to individuals with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities.

DreamACTivist said...

Hey Larry,
Long time reader here ever since the DREAM Act came up for vote in 2007.

Lets get together and talk about mobilization and what we can do.

Currently, Change.org is a great avenue to mobilize for immigration reform -- See http://www.change.org/ideas/view/pass_the_dream_act_now

And do pass on the information, put up a widget for support if you can.

My email is admin@dreamactivist.org and I am a DREAMER well-connected with other immigration groups fighting for reform.

Larry James said...

DreamActivist, just email or call me and we can set a time to meet.

Chris, okay, forget global warming. How about national energy independence?

DreamACTivist said...

Wats your email? I can't find it on your profile.

Larry James said...

Email: ljames@centraldallasministries.org

Chris said...

There isn't anything that comes close to oil for energy. We need to drill now. Energy independence may happen in the future but it is several decades away. Meanwhile, I do not want to drive a covered lawnmower.