NJFAN: National Jobs For All Network
P.O. Box 96, Lynbrook, NY 11563 • njfac [at] njfac.org • http://www.njfac.org • tel. 203-856-3877
For nearly 30 years, the National Jobs for All Network has “kept alive the dream” of Full Employment or a Job Guarantee—of a nation where unemployment ceases to exist and where decent, useful living-wage work is available to all. Many of you have contributed generously to our work, enabling us to educate, organize, and advocate on behalf of this keystone of economic justice.
As conceived in HR 1000, the Jobs for All Act—for which NJFAN was the principal consultant—full employment would significantly reduce other serious social problems. Why? HR 1000 would create jobs that would contribute to environmental sustainability; greatly expand social services, especially for children and the elderly; and create affordable housing. Full employment would make a dent in what has been called our “affordability crisis”–the inability for many employed Americans to live rather than merely exist from paycheck to paycheck.
Led by economist Philip Harvey, NJFAN has designed full employment legislation at federal, state, and local levels of government, and we have recently been among a group of organizations endorsing the bicameral Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act that would establish a model federal job guarantee program in up to 15 high-unemployment communities and regions across the United States. This initiative is sponsored by Senator Cory Booker and U.S. Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman and Ilhan Omar.
The latest NJFAN legislative initiative resulted in the introduction of a bill in the Connecticut legislature– Senate Bill 151-An Act establishing a Full Employment Trust Fund. This was the result of the third of NJFAN’s Town Meetings, a virtual event held in New Haven in Fall 2022. (Earlier NJFAN Town Meetings were held in Dayton Ohio and Memphis Tennessee under the leadership of NJFAN Outreach Coordinator Logan Martinez.) To raise consciousness about the importance of full employment and direct government job creation, NJFAN organizers initiated a Connecticut Jobs and Human Rights Task Force. The project is led by NJFAN Board Member Professor Stephen Monroe Tomczak, Coordinator of the Community Practice Program at Southern Connecticut State University. The program was initially staffed by Master of Social Work students—to our knowledge the first such use of social work interns in a full employment advocacy effort. Following their graduation these formers students were hired as organizers by NJFAN. Outreach Coordinator Logan Martinez works closely with the Connecticut organizers.
Last year we announced to you that NJFAN is the beneficiary of a generous bequest from our co-founder and distinguished proponent of full employment, Professor Helen Lachs Ginsburg. Our Executive Committee has spent this year in a Strategic Planning effort to determine how best to use this money to expand our education and advocacy. We were fortunate to have the expert leadership of Jodi Magee, a consultant to nonprofits with a distinguished career as a nonprofit executive. We will soon be announcing plans for our expansion. Meantime, we have kept up our educational and outreach efforts, published the NJFAN Newsletter, and continued with our design of legislation and support of other educational justice initiatives. The Columbia University Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare, and Equity—a forum for advancing the conception and advocacy of full employment—continues to be chaired by NJFAN leaders. Using a hybrid model, we are able to meet in person at Columbia University Faculty House as well as virtually with scholars and activists beyond the New York metropolitan area.
Our signature Full Count of Unemployment, published monthly on our website (www.njfac.org), shows that unemployment is always more than twice the size of official U.S. unemployment because it includes involuntary part-time unemployment and workers who are jobless but not officially seeking work— because of discouragement, lack of childcare, transportation…. Economist and NJFAN co-founder June Zaccone prepares the Full Count within a few hours of the Department of Labor’s monthly release of the data. Historian of U.S. unemployment Professor Frank Stricker works with Professor Zaccone in preparing the Full Count and writes a monthly commentary on the Labor Department’s report that is released on social media and published on the website of Dollars and Sense as well as on the NJFAN website (www.njfac.org) and in the NJFAN Newsletter. Frank’s September commentary is titled “More Bad Good News.”
Your continuing support is more vital than ever. The Ginsburg bequest enables NJFAN to expand our reach very substantially. But, in order to maintain that higher level of advocacy and achievement, we will need your continuing– and hopefully more generous– support as well as an expansion of our constituency. We invite your comments and suggestions regarding our expansion as well as your generous support.
Our good wishes for the New Year,
Gertrude (Trudy) Schaffner Goldberg
p.s. You can mail your tax-deductible donations to NJFAN: National Jobs For All Network
P.O. Box 96, Lynbrook, NY 11563; or make a donation through the NJFAN website, www.njfac.org