Just possibly we can return to a more civil tone in our conversations and attitudes. I hope so.
But, with President Obama headed for his second term, I have favors to ask of him and the new Congress.
My requests relate to my own neighborhood and to the people who live around me, my neighbors. I'll just put my priorities in a list without much comment.
1. Please work to give us comprehensive immigration reform so that so many of us can live without the fear of deportation. The vast majority of us work hard every day to make Dallas great. Please give us all a pathway to legitimacy as residents and members of the labor force.
2. If comprehensive immigration reform is not possible, then at least give us the DREAM Act to put our children in documented status so they can finish school and go to work legally.
3. Help us obtain the workforce skills we need to land livable wage jobs.
4. Make sure our children can attend public schools that work.
5. Stay the course so that we can make progress in providing universal health care for all of us.
6. Continue to fund programs like AmeriCorps, and take a look at how the programs of the Corporation of National and Community Service actually pay for themselves in public benefit and educational advancement. AmeriCorps' ROI is astounding!
7. Help us rebuild the blighted neighborhoods often referred to as the "ghetto," but known as "home" to many of us.
8. Find ways to support/reward creative mayors who come up with new, innovative community renewal strategies that actually work!
9. Incentivize the utilization of creative financial instruments like social impact bonds (SIBs).
10. Lead the most progressive tax reform effort in our nation's history to promote policies that lift people and create new wealth at the bottom--I know those techniques exist and I know you are smart enough to identify them!
11. Bring work back to the inner cities of the nation.
12. Figure out how to make as many of those jobs as possible linked in training programs to the emerging "green economy."
Larry's new book, now available from Amazon.com! Also, now in Kindle format! To place your order visit Amazon.com today! Also, available at Barnes and Noble bookstores and on the web. Click on the image above to order!
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.