Jobs, there is no greater priority for me

Our community has been hit hard. Tens of thousands have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are struggling to find a job and make ends meet. I am disgusted that the Republican Leadership has not offered any solutions, and has not allowed us to implement or even debate the many jobs bills that my colleagues and I have introduced.  We cannot wait.  Therefore, I have begun a new initiative – John Lewis on Jobs – to empower our family, friends and neighbors who are looking for jobs to take the initiative, dust off old skills and develop new ones.  I have already held three events and plan to hold many more until each and every person looking for work has found a job. 

In August, Rep. Hank Johnson and I co-hosted a job fair and townhall meeting at Atlanta Technical College as part of the Congressional Black Caucus “For the People” Initiative. This event was a painful reminder of how many people are hurting right now – just struggling to make ends meet. In response to skyrocketing unemployment in the African American community on top of high national averages, the CBC decided to launch the “For the People” Jobs Initiative to raise awareness and built support for H. Res. 348, which calls on Congress to pass more than 40 bills proposed by the CBC to help alleviate the crisis.

 After the job fair, I began a series of workshops to assist 5th Congressional District constituents who are looking for work .  The first workshop in the series focused on demystifying the federal employment process, since the federal government is currently one of the top hiring forces in the country. The workshop exposed residents of metro Atlanta to hiring managers at government agencies to discuss the federal government hiring process and the best ways to use the federal government jobs website JobsUSA.

 Next, I hosted a jobs workshop offering tax tips for individuals and the self-employed as well as free tax preparation assistance for those who need it. The tax preparers helped many people who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which offers a significant cash benefit to many low-income earners. It also helped individuals and small business take a strategic look at ways to use the tax code to get a return on investments and cash expenditures they have already made or will need to make in the future.  Big corporations have departments of accountants focused on combing the tax code to find millions for them in returned income and there are resources to help individuals and small businesses get the same benefits. 0

This is just the beginning and I will continue to fight for you in Washington and to provide you with opportunities in our district to move forward with your job search.  A schedule of upcoming jobs workshops will be posted on this website.  Please check back regularly. 

If you were unable to attend this event, please go to or call the IRS at 1-800-906-9886 to find a free tax preparation location near you and to find out the days and hours of operation for these VITA tax locations.