Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Mexico Needs Jobs and Leadership to Restore the American Dream

Following is an op-ed from Sam Bregman - Restore the Dream

What is Governor Martinez doing? Where are the jobs and where is the leadership she promised with the private sector and federal government to generate good paying, long term jobs? They’re not in Tampa, site of the Republican National Convention and a top destination for this Governor since she took office in January 2011. Now that the panic is over about whether she will be allowed to speak or not, maybe the priority can be finding and creating jobs. Maybe. What has she done to create one, single job? Absolutely nothing.

So far, the Governor’s agenda consists of bringing up divisive social issues, blaming our teachers for failing schools, placing incompetent, discredited political hacks in charge of government agencies and allowing her chief political consultant to run a shadow government that is obsessed with furthering her political ambitions, whatever the cost.

Meanwhile, the worst economic crisis in 80 years continues to destroy jobs as New Mexico working families struggle for their slice of the American dream. After 20 months in office, they expect strong leadership from their Governor, someone that will fight and work hard to create jobs. Sadly, the result is failed leadership, starting with the Governor and continuing with do nothing political appointees, while repeated excuses assigning blame, play like a scratched, broken record.

As a concerned citizen and proud New Mexican , I believe that state government can and must take the lead in promoting and encouraging job growth in the private sector as well as in government. We must have strong, committed leadership that reaches out to both parties and is willing to use every tool available to help New Mexicans.

I have traveled thousands of miles throughout New Mexico and listened to voices in communities large and small, young and old, Democrats and Republicans. No one cares about personal political agendas or how to tear down your opponent in the next election—they care about providing a home to their children, good schools, safe streets and holding on to the American dream. They look to the future and want their Governor to support them. Nothing else matters if you cannot provide economic security for your family.

Recently, the Republican National Committee sent out a press release quoting Governor Martinez:” …Americans want to work. They want to build their businesses, compete and succeed in order to create more jobs and a secure future for their families.”

Really? Could you start doing something that would create jobs and provide a secure future in the state that elected you Governor?

New Mexican working families are waiting for Governor Martinez, her political appointees and consultants to stand up, provide leadership and fight for jobs in New Mexico, instead of looking for opportunities to tear down yet another opponent in the next election.

Because hard work, a good job and hope for the future is the American dream. For New Mexico and the USA.

August 16, 2012 at 09:59 PM in Economy, Populism, Jobs, Susana Martinez, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (7)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Unemployment More than Double for Hispanics than Whites in Abq

Following is a press release from NM Voices for Children regarding a report released on July 2nd, 2012.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics in Albuquerque is more than double the rate for Whites. That’s according to a report released on July 2, 2012 by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The report looks at unemployment rates for Hispanics in 25 metropolitan areas, including Albuquerque.

According to the EPI report, the unemployment rate for Hispanics in Albuquerque was 11.3 percent in 2011. That was up from 9.3 percent in 2010. Albuquerque had the highest ratio of Hispanic-to-White unemployment of all the metro areas. For every White worker who is unemployed, 2.5 Hispanic workers are out of jobs.

“There are several factors at play here. First, the construction sector lost the most jobs after the housing bubble burst, and there was a high concentration of Hispanics in that sector,” said Gerry Bradley, Research Director at New Mexico Voices for Children. “Also, the Hispanic population in New Mexico is younger than the White population overall, so they tend not to have as much seniority at their jobs and generally have lower levels of education than Whites,” he said.

“This report shows the need to improve educational opportunities for Hispanics. The most effective way to do this is to start before children enter the K-12 school system so they are ready to learn when they begin school,” Bradley added.

The overall unemployment rate for May 2012 was 6.7 percent for the state and 6.8 percent for the Albuquerque metro area, according to the NM Department of Workforce Solutions.

The EPI report is available online at:


July 6, 2012 at 12:44 PM in Children and Families, Education, Hispanic Issues, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bingaman: US Senate Votes to Move Forward with Unemployment Benefits Bill

Sen. Bingaman speaks about UE bill on Senate Floor today

Senator Jeff Bingaman today said he is pleased the Senate has voted to move forward with legislation to extend unemployment benefits to thousands of New Mexicans who have been unable to find a job in this difficult economic climate.

The bill would extend unemployment insurance by up to 14 additional weeks for jobless workers in all states and up to 20 weeks in hard-hit states with unemployment levels at or above 8.5 percent. New Mexico’s unemployment rate as of September was 7.7 percent, up from 4.3 percent a year ago. The Senate is expected to vote on final passage later this week.

“This legislation will help many New Mexican families who are struggling because of the economic downturn. I am pleased the Senate is making this issue a priority,” Bingaman said in a statement released today.

You may recall that Republican Senators have been blocking movement of this bill for a month, using stall tactics and attempts to add controversial and unrelated amendments having to do with ACORN and tax cuts, among other things. Imagine the mindset and lack of empathy that would motivate the GOP leadership to delay unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who are suffering from an economic disaster created in large part by their own failed policies under Bush and a Republican-dominated Congress. Have you no decency, sirs?

The House passed a scaled-down version of the bill, H.R. 3548, on September 22. Since then, Senate Democrats have tried at least four times to move the bill quickly through the Senate under unanimous consent agreements, but Republicans rejected the agreements each time. Today's vote was for cloture, which means the bill will face amendments -- and we can be sure that the Repubs will try to derail it once again. Open Congress provides more info about the procedural hurdles the bill has faced and will face as it goes forward.

October 27, 2009 at 07:48 PM in Economy, Populism, Jobs, NM Congressional Delegation, Obama Administration, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Udall Calls on Repubs to Stop Delaying Passage of Unemployment Benefits Extension

Senator Tom Udall today called on Senate Republicans to stop blocking legislation to extend unemployment benefits to jobless Americans who are struggling to put food on the table as they search for new jobs and train for new careers.

Legislation to extend benefits to 1.9 million out-of-work Americans has widespread support among Democrats, but passage has been delayed because of stall tactics by Republicans opposed to the bill. The legislation would provide a 14-week extension of benefits for unemployed workers in New Mexico, where 7.5 percent of residents are unemployed – up from 4.3 percent a year ago, according to a statement released by Udall's office.

“These benefits are a lifeline for hardworking Americans who are out of work through no fault of their own and are struggling to find stable, good-paying jobs to support themselves and their families," Sen. Udall said. "By extending this insurance, more Americans will have the peace of mind and support they need while they work to get a new job. These benefits aren’t a hand out – they are a benefit earned through years of hard work by people facing extraordinarily difficult circumstances. Although we’re seeing signs of economic recovery, times are still very tough for displaced New Mexico workers on the front lines of this recession, and we must do everything we can to help them pull through.”

According to an article in the Washington Independent, Republicans hope to quash or at least delay Senate action on the legislation by attempting to add controversial amendments:

Republicans are hoping to attach a number of amendments related to ACORN and immigration — provisions that have delayed floor action on the UI bill indefinitely, according to the offices of both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The Republican amendments include at least two provisions related to ACORN; one related to the E-Verify program; one to pay for the UI benefits with unspent stimulus money; and one providing tax relief.

In other words, Republicans are once again putting politics before the urgent needs of Americans who are suffering thanks to a sputtering economy -- one that was created in large part by their own ideology. Shameless is the word that comes to mind.

As a recent New York Times editorial says:

Every day that the Republicans continue to block an extension — fighting over amendments to the bill or delaying a vote — means thousands more Americans pushed closer to the edge of despair.

October 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM in Economy, Populism, Jobs, NM Congressional Delegation, Republican Party, Sen. Tom Udall, Unemployment | Permalink | Comments (1)