Friday, June 4, 2010

Thursday - Congressional Black Caucus Outreach

Outreach: Congressional Black Caucus
This is our group’s second pass at attempting to motivate the Congressional Black Caucus. Quite frankly, the first pass didn’t work. This time around we’re going to get someone’s attention. The tone in our sample letter simply reflects what we’re sending and you’re advised to use your own judgment. With that said, these people need a major wake-up call and a mere e-mail coupled with a phone call to the Caucus is not going to cut it . . . therefore, beneath our sample letter below, we’ve included a link that lists all the members of the Congressional Black Caucus along with their phone numbers. There are 42 and we need YOU to place a call, or several calls to every single member of the Caucus. The time for patience and apathy is over, act now!

Caucus Telephone # and Contact Points:
Patrice Willoughby, Executive Director
Irene Schwoffermann, Coalition Director
J. Jioni Palmer, Communications Director

Caucus E-mail Link

[Sample Letter]

Most of, if not all, the Congressional Black Caucus and our president can trace their political position and power to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many within the Caucus are the first to stand upon and commemorate their standing with Dr. King and their role within the civil rights movement as if the fight is “job done,” mission finished, time to kick-back and rest. Under the watch of the Congressional Black Caucus, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been erased for the vast majority of African-Americans via employment credit checks. The “Whites Only Need Apply” sign has simply been replaced by a “Credit Check Required for Employment” sign. Where is the outrage, where is the anger, where is the fight?

Someone once said, ‘a full belly doesn’t fight’ and $170+ K per year now and for the rest of your lives makes for a very full belly. Nostalgia and looking backward is wonderful and commemorating the passing of such civil rights icons as Benjamin Hooks and Dorothy Height via your website is highly appropriate. Isn’t it just as appropriate and even more important to lament the passing of the right to work for African-Americans? Where is that on your website? When unemployment (15.5 %) and under-employment for African-Americans is at its highest in modern history and economic gains made over decades of struggle are being erased into thin air, the Congressional Black Caucus has allowed HR3149: The Equal Employment for All Act to just sit stalled for almost a year.

Your efforts to create jobs and stimulate the economy are futile and worthless for the vast majority of African-Americans because they can’t pass the credit checks applied by well over 50 percent of all employers and more than 80 percent of white collar jobs. There’s no glamour associated with HR3149, just the ugly reality that bad credit is now the backdoor vehicle to racial discrimination in the workplace that was once illegal.

The corporate PAC money form the big three credit bureaus, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and all the other millions flowing into Congress have worked to stall HR3149 thus far. In 1964 those dollars didn’t buy silence and there was no Congressional Black Caucus. In 1964 African-Americans gained the right to work in America, but in 2010 the overwhelming vast majority of black Americans no longer have that basic right. That you seem to believe is worthy of nostalgia and commemoration? Has the cushy life within the Washington beltway blinded the Congressional Black Caucus to the racial inequality now exploding within the America workplace?

The fact that HR3149 sits stalled serves as an obvious answer that question. Many if not most of the Congressional Black Caucus are co-sponsors of the legislation. So what? What impact has that had? ZERO! Where is the outrage, where are the press conferences, where is support from a black president, where are the news releases, where are your calls for action and passage, where is any REAL support for HR3149? Without racial equality in the workplace, there is no equality in America and without passage of HR3149 Title VII is the Civil Rights Act is dead along with your relevance to the plight of the African-American community in regard to workplace equality. It’s time is for the Congressional Black Caucus to become relevant by restoring Title VII to the Civil Rights Act by passing HR3149 NOW! Way too much nostalgia has led to zero action in regard to the right of African-Americans to work.

[End Sample Letter]

Member Listing of the Congressional Black Caucus, CLICK ON "OUR MEMBERS" - Use it to make a call to every single member and call repeatedly until we see action.

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