We all know that there is a shortage of jobs across the U.S. The depressed economy has hit a lot of families and households hard; but certain communities have to fight even harder for job opportunities in an already competitive job market – especially communities of color and young people.
This is yet another issue – if not the most important issue – that calls for all who can to vote and have our voices heard among elected officials that we want them address the joblessness of so many in our nation. The Senate has recently rolled out legislation that could lead to some economic improvements with tax cuts for smaller businesses and tax benefits for those that use minority owned businesses. This is an example of how elected policy makers can create job opportunities in communities who are suffering the most. This is why the elections matter to us and our communities.
More must be done to make sure the ever-increasing unemployment disparity between people of color and whites does not continue to expand. According to economists, Black job seekers, with comparable education to their white counterparts, are still at the greatest disadvantage when it comes to finding jobs – especially in Corporate America. This highlights the question of just what employers are looking for if similarly educated Blacks are left disproportionately unemployed. A strong voter turn out would ensure that our elected officials would prioritize such an injustice, if we make our voices heard.
Also, there is the issue of new college grads even getting their foot in the door with employers. It is becoming extremely hard for new job seekers to compete in a job market that would just as soon have them working minimum wage jobs or as interns. This furthers the economic divide because only those with family means can afford to intern for free.
Formerly incarcerated people are another group that Respect My Vote! is concerned about. Many ex-offenders, who already disproportionately represent people of color, are having very a difficult time re-entering the job market. Some economists say ex-felons are twice as likely to be unemployed as other job seekers. With already so much fierce competition, they have the added burden of the stigma of being an ex-offender and the reactions they’ll get from employers and follow co-workers. On top of it, they are disenfranchised in many states, and in most states ex-offenders don’t know their voting rights, when they have them (find out what they are here). We as voters must actively voice our concerns for the dismal employment conditions of ex-felons, which deserve at least a second chance to reacclimatize themselves to the workforce.
For all these reasons and countless others, especially all the mothers and fathers who are unemployed right now, who are wondering how they are going to put food on the table and provide heat and air for their children, Respect My Vote! is saying #RespectMyVote for job opportunities. This is not a game, it is very real for so many people who want to work hard, and earn a living for their families, but cannot because our elected officials haven’t been looking out for us like they should have been.
Register to vote today! Together we can force the issue of unemployment in our communities!