CHICAGO - During this week of action for jobs there are activities big and small all over Chicago. Through the AFL-CIO America Wants to Work and MoveOn.org websites and other new media people are finding all kinds of ways to tell the Republicans to stop blocking the American Jobs Act and put people back to work.
The South Halsted Unemployed Action Center chose a local library for a vigil for public works jobs. (see video below) They argue that rehabbing and modernizing public buildings like libraries can put millions of people back to work.
The Bridgeport local library even has a vacant lot next to it for expansion - but nothing is happening. The library reports a two-fold increase in library usage since the start of the "Great Recession." Patrons report as long as a two-day waits to reserve use of a computer. An extension of the library could include a state of the art computer center, very much needed by people in this working-class neighborhood. To add insult to injury, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's new budget proposes cutting libraries' hours.
The vigil got a great response in the neighborhood, with many signing a petition demanding that Congress pass President Obama's American Jobs Act. People also participated in a "photo petition" calling on the mayor and Congress to fund public services and put public workers back to work.
Photo: Scott Marshall/PW