Arts, sciences and humanities build healthier, more livable, vital communities. They are essential to a strong education system. They contribute enormously to our economy.
In an all-new episode, Steve D'Agostino interviews Grace Ross, a founder and organizer of both the Worcester Unemployment Action Group and the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team. They talk about how we get unemployed Americans back to work doing good jobs at good wages.
In February 2012, Congress put a temporary end to a divisive fight over extending unemployment benefits that left Massachusetts unemployed workers with at least a 57-week extension on their unemployment benefits. As Worcester Mag reported at he time, “Problem is, say local organizers, no one consulted with the unemployed before taking the vote."
The WoMag article quoted Chris Horton as saying, "'What’s going on with unemployment, it’s a very deep and broad problem and it’s receiving very little attention.' His work with the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team has kept him involved in the plight of the un- and under-employed.”
The WoMag article also quoted Grace Ross as saying, "'There was a lot of pressure behind the scenes, but the media coverage made it look like an afterthought. It was the kind of vote we were afraid of.'" Grace is also author of the book Main St. $marts, a study of the most recent economic and foreclosure crisis.
As the WoMag article noted, “for Ross and Horton, the spin hurt the hardest. As the economy shows signs of recovery, including claims of a national [at that time] 8.3-percent unemployment rate, they say there’s less focus on joblessness because the statistics sound comparatively rosy. Unfortunately, that 8.3 percent misses tens of thousands of unemployed who don’t fit the federal government’s definition.”
In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve does marketing consulting work for Geese In Flight, of which Grace is a founder and organizer.