Fifty activists gathered on steps to the City Hall Plaza 4:30-5:30 PM on September 15. We were one of the 106 actions around the country called by National Jobs with Justice to raise consciousness about the jobs crisis. TV channels 23 and 33 covered the rally and interviewed representatives from the very diverse group participating.
Ernestor Pena and Christopher Head, top officers of the North Texas Association of Public Employees (Steelworkers) talked about the city's effort to lay off hundreds of critical employees. Even if a proposed tax increase passes, they expect layoffs!
John Fullinwider spoke for the Fair Budget Committee, which has been fighting City Hall on behalf of all the services that the city would cut and all the people they would lay off. He said that the more progressive members of City Council, nearly all "minorities," had just handed Mayor Leppert his first political defeat!
James Fortenberry spoke for United Labor Union 100 about the disgracefully low wages that the privatized city contractor pays to trash haulers. He said that Dallas is the only major city in America where those who work such difficult and dangerous jobs are given only minimum wage! Clara Faulkner spoke with pride of the NAACP's leading role in building the giant "One Nation" progressive alliance that will march on Washington October 2nd.
Kelli Obazee, Director of the Dallas Peace Center, gave a stirring talk about the relationship between the jobs crisis at home and the $1 trillion dollars or more already spent on attempting to subjugate people in the Middle East. Obazee stressed the growth of the progressive alliance in North Texas. It is a reflection of the broader alliance being formed by the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and UFPJ (United for Peace and Justice) plus hundreds of smaller organizations like Jobs with Justice and the Alliance for Retired Americans. Obazee said that some North Texans are going to Washington for the October 2nd march, but others will build local actions here. The growing diversity of the progressive movement was reflected in the rally. It included a number of unions, church leaders, and civil rights and peace activists.
A short video of some of the 9/15/10 Dallas participants is on the genelantzalot channel of youtube.
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