Getting Behind HR 5204, the Conyers ‘Jobs for All’ Bill

Legislation for Our Time:

The 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act

Join PDA’s Economic and Social Justice Issue Organizing Team (IOT) to Campaign for It; Learn More Here.

By Bill Barclay
Beaver County Blue via ChicagoDSA.org.
Jan. 15, 2011

In May 2010, Rep John Conyers introduced a bill entitled "The 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act." The bill was little noticed at the time but, today, after another 7 months of dismal jobs reports—we have actually lost ground during 2010, creating fewer jobs than the growth of the labor force—there is renewed interest in this legislation by a range of progressive groups.

The DSA NPC has made mobilization around the Act a national priority; Progressive Democrats of America is developing a similar effort, as are both the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and the National Jobs for All Coalition . What follows is a summary of the major elements of the Act and why it is one that anyone concerned about the economy should support. 

The 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act includes (i) funding for jobs; (ii) allocation of monies raised by the funding mechanism; (iii) job creation targets (who and what types of jobs); (iv) mechanisms for implementing the Act; and (v) a definition of the economic situations under which the Act would come into effect. I will take these topics one at a time. I will also briefly suggest what a political mobilization effort around the Act could look like.

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