We hope this annual message finds you well, fully vaccinated, and getting back to normalcy. We only send you this appeal once a year, so if it seems long, it’s because we have a lot to tell you! NJFAN has redoubled its advocacy and actions during the Pandemic because:
Post-Pandemic America Needs a Job Guarantee — to speed recovery, put millions of Americans back to work, improve wages and working conditions, strengthen the power of labor, and rebuild our nation.
The Voting Rights Challenge and Economic Justice. The current, severe challenge to democracy threatens the voting rights of the very groups that would gain most from economic justice policies like the Job Guarantee. The struggles for economic and social justice and for preserving and strengthening precious political rights are inseparable. We must join hands in solidarity—to preserve these inseparable rights.
The NJFAN Newsletter. Launched in December 2019, the NJFAN Newsletter is a major means of building support for a Job Guarantee and for unifying economic justice advocacy. The NJFAN Newsletter features the latest Job Guarantee initiatives–such as the lead story in March announcing Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s (D-MA) Job Guarantee Resolution. NJFAN Board member Rohan Grey played a major part in that initiative, and NJFAN has given our support for the Job Guarantee Resolution. Other lead articles include the inseparability of preserving voting rights and achieving economic rights and NJFAN’s longstanding commitment to Green Jobs for All and environmental sustainability. We maintain that a Job Guarantee would remove a major barrier to a full attack on climate change: fear of job loss.
The Newsletter has reported on the campaign for an Infrastructure Bank that would create millions of jobs; welcomed the increased emphasis on job creation by the Poor People’s Movement; and written about initiatives such as a WPA bill in the NY State Legislature and Civilian Conservation Corps bills at both federal and state levels. In Movement News we feature advocates like Jobs for All Network activist Bev Alves and Board member Tennessee State Rep. Barbara Cooper. A recent edition paid tribute to founding NJFAN member Professor David Gil.
In the Newsletter’s Book Nook we review recent works –such as Board Member Frank Stricker’s The History of Unemployment: Past, Present, and Future. Philip Harvey’s review of Frank’s book is one of seven NJFAN Newsletter articles reprinted by other publications–Dollars & Sense, Monthly Review, and Portside. Among the pieces picked up by other outlets is a review of William Darity’s and Kristen Mullen’s From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century which argues that a universal measure like the Job Guarantee should be paired with Reparations for Black Americans. (All issues of the NJFAN Newsletter are available on the NJFAN website, www.njfac.org)
A More Aggressive Communications Strategy. Part of this strategy is for NJFAN to become more involved in social media and to use multiple platforms for promulgating our work. As we work on the Newsletter, we send out some of the articles as email messages prior to publication. We feel increased communication and visibility help us to be the “go to” organization fighting for Living Wage Jobs for All and the Federal Job Guarantee. We encourage readers like you to share this material on Meta and Twitter as well as through personal correspondence.
Since our founding NJFAN has published The Real Count —a monthly rate of real joblessness consistently at least twice the official government rate of unemployment. Since we are for the right to
living-wage work, we accompany the count with the millions of year-round, full-time workers who earn less than the paltry four-person poverty level—the working poor!
No longer confined to our website, the Real Count* goes out monthly with an analysis by Frank Stricker. Frank’s piece, “Inequities Persist Amidst Lower Unemployment,” accompanied our May jobs report. Another of his informal, highly informative analyses—also printed in Democratic Left–is “Will Not Work for Peanuts: September Employment Report Shows Worker Resistance.”
The Global Forum on the Democratization of Work. A worldwide virtual conference led by NJFAN Board member Pavlina Tcherneva and sponsored by the Economic Democracy Initiative at Bard College is the subject of a lead article in the December issue of the NJFAN Newsletter. From October 5th-7th, over 3,000 scholars, activists, union representatives, and leaders from progressive private and public sector organizations, representing 85 countries, attended this international Forum. “What Is Full Employment and Why the Definition Matters?” was the subject of a Panel at the Forum presented by NJFAN. Proposals for a Job Guarantee were a central theme all three days of this global forum.
Job Guarantee Legislation. For the last 10 years, NJFAN has taken a lead in designing and advocating federal Job Guarantee legislation. With the resignation of the late Rep. John Conyers, Jr., the chief sponsor of HR 1000, The Jobs for All Act, we lost a powerful Congressional sponsor.
NJFAN’s Philip Harvey served as the principal advisor for HR 1000 and is working on an update of The Jobs for All Act with a Member of Congress who is eager to introduce the new bill– late in 2021 or early next year. With a strong Congressional advocate and an enthusiastic staff, we expect to win wide sponsorship for this new Jobs for All Act. A bill such as this is a major vehicle for increasing knowledge of what a Job Guarantee is and of building support for its enactment. We will keep you posted about the reintroduction of the Jobs for All Act.
NJFAN Town Meetings. Under the leadership of Outreach Coordinator Logan Martinez, NJFAN has led Jobs for All Town Meetings in four cities– actions that bring together a wide range of economic justice and human rights advocates and encourage their concerted action with the Job Guarantee as centerpiece.
The latest NJFAN Town Meeting–“Good Jobs for All!”– held in October in New Haven, Connecticut, was organized by NJFAN Board Member and Professor of Social Welfare, Stephen Monroe Tomczak and his graduate student intern, Sarianna Sabbarese. We intend to hold more Town Meetings in the near future and to seek funding for them. In addition to his leadership in the development of Town Meetings, Logan maintains a Jobs for All Network consisting of participants from a number of states that meets bi-weekly via Zoom. Logan invites you to join these Network meetings. To do so, contact him at loganmartinez [at] hotmail.com
Columbia University Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare, and Equity. Founded by Columbia University Professor Sumner Rosen, a co-founder of NJFAN, this Seminar has contributed
significantly to our thinking about analytical and policy issues pertaining to a Job Guarantee. The Columbia University Seminars has provided resources for conferences and public meetings co-sponsored by NJFAN and for publication of works pertaining to full employment that are influenced by Seminar presentations. “Keeping Alive the Dream,” an essay in a book about the Columbia University Seminars, emphasizes the role the Full Employment Seminar has played in supporting thinking and advocacy of the right to living-wage work. **
Resources Commensurate with Our Goals. In its 27 years NJFAN has been largely a volunteer organization with dedicated advocates of a Job Guarantee giving large amounts of their time to the cause. The expenses of part-time staff and costs for mailings and the website have been met through the contributions of people like you.
To achieve the human right to decent work, we must lift our organization and our advocacy to a new and much higher plane. For this we will need a great expansion of financial resources and staff. We are planning a drive for foundation support of our Town Meetings and our Media Campaign for public education. We invite your suggestions regarding this campaign and potential sources of support.
We appreciate the consistent support of friends like you. We ask you to dig deeper into your pockets–this year, particularly–so that we can expand our work and mount the drive for significantly greater resources.
You can make your tax-free contribution to NJFAN by sending a check in the enclosed envelope or by credit card through our website, www.njfac.org If we don’t have your email address, please send it to us so that we can send you the NJFAN Newsletter.
Warm regards for the New Year,
Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, Chair, NJFAN
*NJFAN’S Unemployment Real Count, October 2021
2021 Annual Appeal-final-12-2-21-revised (5)
Officially Unemployed 7.4 million 4.6% of the labor force
Employed part-time but
want full-time work 4.4 million
Want jobs but not
officially searching 6.0 million
17.8 million 10.6% of the labor force
**Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg and Sheila Collins with Helen Lachs Ginsburg, “Keeping Alive the
Dream: The Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare, and Equity,” in Thomas Vinciguerra, ed., A
Community of Scholars: The Columbia University Seminars, Columbia University Press, 2020
PDF Version of 2021 NJFAN Annual Appeal Letter >> https://njfac.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2021-Annual-Appeal-final-12-2-21-revised-5.pdf