Outgoing Illinois Senator Roland Burris was supporting the release of federal funds that would continue the 26,000 Illinoians working under The "Put Illinois To Work" program, where Governor Quinn exhausted the State funds that were available to extend the jobs program from September 30th until November 30th, so now that a new deadline is approaching and Senator Burris now gone, how will Senator Kirk and the new Republican majority in Congress stand on whether these 26,000 workers program be continued with the federal funding, or will Illinois prepare to add 26,000 people to the unemployment rolls at the end of the month?
Here is where campaign rhetoric from candidates promising to create new jobs is now ready to be tested when confronted with the reality of what is going to happen to these 26,000 workers within the next few days. With the election of Republican Mark Kirk as Illinois new U.S. Senator and with The Republicans now in control of the U.S. House The Republicans they now have the responsibility and power to decide the fate of these 26,000 Illinois workers shortly. In Chicago, thousands of these workers are at-risk youth and young adults that come from urban areas where far too many of them face the challenges of the gang, drug, and other life threatening environments trying to make ends meet and these "Put Illinois To Work" jobs kept them off the streets, but if these jobs are not extended with the federal funds, then thousands will be forced back into the streets.
This should also be a civic education moment for these 26,000 workers who Governor Quinn should be educating on how to immediately fax 26,000 letters to new Senator Kirk and the Republican leadership to please approve the federal funds and not put them back into the streets and life threatening environments trying to provide for themselves and their families. Exactly how do we honestly think these 26,000 workers will have to do for money to survive if they are out of work again and back in the streets in a few days?
If Senator-Elect Mark Kirk and other Republicans now in Congress say The Obama administration did not move fast enough in create new jobs, then you would think that they would act now to prove that by sustaining these 26,000 Illinois workers.