I want to publicly thank The Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn for avoiding what I had called a coming State of Emergency if 26,000 workers working under "Put Illinois To Work" jobs were not extended after today's November 30th deadline. The desperation and anxiety facing these workers have surely been eased and now they will not be on the streets and unemployed at Christmas time. But even as we share in this victory, I think that it is important that The Governor allow for these workers to be engaged in the civic education necessary to lobby the new members of Congress for the federal funding needed to extend if not make these jobs permanent after the final state funding deadline of January 12, 2011.
With the economic desperation already existing in the Black and urban communities, it would have been an absolutely State of Emergency to have added 26,000 at-risk youth and adults those illegal street economies and life threatening environments where many of them would have been headed for survival had their jobs ended at 5pm today. I want to that Governor Quinn for responding to the desperate calls of many, and I want to thank him for proving to these workers that they were not just political pawns for the November elections in that they were originally extended just to get their votes, but today have gotten en early Christmas present of their continued jobs until the after the new year.
I also want to thank radio station WVON-AM and WBGX-AM and their producers and hosts for scheduling me to come on to make personal appeals to listeners these past few days in making calls to The Governors office to save these jobs from expiring today and forcing 26,000 people to the streets.
Mark S. Allen
Board Member, Black Wall Street-Chicago
The South Street Journal Newspaper
Put Illinois To Work Employer, and Veteran Activist