On Monday, October 24, community members came together in La Crosse, Oshkosh and Racine to speak directly with their lawmakers about the jobs crisis facing many Wisconsin communities.
Unlike Gov. Walker’s job forums, the jobs hearing are open to the public and allow for people living through these difficult economic times to ask questions about job creation and offer suggestions to their legislators.
Mike Pawlak, a junior at UW Oshkosh, explained why he attended the jobs hearing: "We need to make sure that our elected officials know that they need to take a more proactive stance. They need to start passing better policies that will better Wisconsin, and right now our state legislators aren't doing that.”
Also in Oshkosh Tonja Adams explained to the crowd, “I’m just looking for a living wage job, and if I can't get that, I don't know where I’m going to end up.”
Adams has been without full-time work for two years. Her unemployment benefits have expired -- and now a tumor threatens her life.
"I've gone through my savings and I don't know how I can survive after surgery without a job. I'm willing to work. I want to work. Now I can work, but there are no jobs. All I'm asking from you today is to make some kind of commitment to me that you'll do something to help me in six weeks, not two years from now. I can't wait."
In Racine, Randy Bryce, Ironworkers Local 8, asked area lawmakers, “what are some specific projects in Kenosha and Racine that can put people to work right now? ”
With input from working people around the state the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO has developed a ten-point jobs agenda which, if enacted, will put people back to work.
Jobs hearings were held at UW La Crosse, UW Oshkosh and the Roma Lodge in Racine.
A jobs hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9 at 7:00 p.m. in Wausau at UW Marathon County, Terrace Room, 518 S. 7th St.
Media Coverage of the Jobs Hearings
- Oshkosh Northwestern, Close to 100 Including Sen. King and Reps. Spanbauer and Hintz, attend jobs hearing
- Racine Journal Times, Job struggle continues, area residents tell legislators
- La Crosse Tribune, Help wanted: Forum seeks answers on jobs, education
- WBAY, Green Bay: Lawmakers Get Public Input on Need for Living Wage Jobs