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CAP Releases ‘Blueprint’ for Better Jobs, Stronger Communities

The Center for American Progress, a northwest D.C.-based progressive public policy research and advocacy organization, has released what it calls the “Blueprint for the 21st Century: A Plan for Better Jobs and Stronger Communities.”

The blueprint will create millions of jobs, with the goal of revitalizing economically distressed areas of the United States, CAP officials said in a news release.

In the report, researchers said millions of American workers — particularly those without a four-year college degree — face powerful forces such as globalization, concentrated market power, technology, extreme weather and attacks on unions and worker rights.

It’s a storm that has exerted downward pressure on employment and wage growth, job quality and opportunity, they said.

That decline in opportunity has been further exacerbated by longstanding inequities in the country which the CAP now proposes a series of major investments — including a job guarantee — to create 4 million jobs; move the country toward true full employment; tighten the labor market to raise wages; and address some of America’s most pressing challenges.

“The United States’ low topline unemployment number disguises the reality that, for many people and in many communities, wages have been stagnant, particularly for those without a four-year college degree,” Neera Tanden, CAP president and CEO, said in a news release.

“From Appalachia to Detroit, the benefits of economic growth are not reaching all Americans, and, in a world transformed by technology and globalization, we must do more for communities left out of recent growth,” Tanden said. “CAP’s Jobs Blueprint seeks to tackle these issues by making major investments that the market has not and will not make and standing up a job guarantee targeted to the communities left behind.”

As part of the blueprint, CAP proposes five major initiatives to create jobs and spur economic revitalization. Together, these nationwide investments will create more than 3 million new jobs. These are, by and large, investments in America’s physical capital and human capital for the 21st century that the market will not make by itself.

They include:

• Providing high quality, affordable child care.

• Rebuilding America’s infrastructure.

• Modernizing K-12 schools.

• Preparing America’s communities and housing stock for the effects of climate change.

• Providing critical support to senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

“In the most economically distressed areas of the country, including both rural and urban areas, CAP proposes that all long-term residents who want to work be guaranteed a job — with these communities provided federal support to create jobs that meet a variety of local community needs,” Tanden said, noting that the CAP estimates that 1.2 million eligible workers will participate in the program each year in these counties, of which, CAP estimates, approximately 300,000 will be able to find work through one of the nationwide investment initiatives.

“This proposal builds upon the ongoing policy conversation around a job guarantee as a measure to achieve full employment, spurred by scholars and advocates who have brought the idea to the forefront of the conversation,” she said.

In its entirety, the CAP’s plan includes the economy and ways to restore basic employee protections like overtime and expand apprenticeships.

It includes supporting, training and paying teachers higher wages while transitioning to a 9-to-5 school day to better fit parents’ needs.

The blueprint also includes expanding access to high-quality child care and preschool while investing in child care infrastructure; driving down health care costs through payment and delivery system reform; limiting special interests; and putting people to work while taking climate action including expanding electric transportation.

Further, the plan includes supporting LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination protections; creating an immigrant legal justice fund to guarantee legal representation to immigrants; responding to substance misuse as an epidemic, not a war and making the pretrial system fair and more effective.

Finally, the blueprint includes implementing stronger laws and policies to help keep guns out of the wrong hands and to protect communities by preventing gun theft.

“On issues where Washington fails to work for the betterment of our people and our communities, the states have become the best testing ground for innovative social and economic solutions, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement issued through the CAP.

“The Center for American Progress recognizes the need for states to step up and improve the lives of Americans, through the creation of bold, progressive ideas. From having state government agencies assist with automatic voter registration efforts and publicly releasing gun crime reports to expanding access to medical marijuana and standing up for Dreamers, New Jersey has shown true leadership” Murphy said.

For the full report, go to https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/general/reports/2018/05/10/450580/bold-ideas-state-action.

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Stacy Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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