The struggle continues 53 years later
Today, August 28th, marks the 53rd anniversary of the March on Washington, led by Dr. Martin Luther King. The main focus of the march was housing and jobs. Yet, here we are 53 years later with many of the same issues and concerns. This is not to say that we have not made progress, but as we face a housing crisis in NYC that cuts across all races and classes, it's time that we all realize we're in the same boat, and start working towards affordable housing for all. We already know that progressive policies with the right government investments are what is needed, and to get that done we need people like you voicing your support and concern on the issues.
Below is a great 2013 article regarding the March on Washington ad the issues of that day. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Josue (Josh) Pierre
Democratic State Committeeman/
District Leader, 42nd Assembly District of NY
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The March on Washington and the work of the Urban Institute
August 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, best remembered for Martin Luther King’s visionary speech anticipating the day when Americans “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
But the March on Washington was not only a demonstration for civil rights. Its full name was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and its demands extended beyond civil rights and voting rights to include economic rights. The 250,000 Americans who assembled around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool demanded the rights to get and keep a job, live in a decent home, obtain quality healthcare and education, and escape from poverty.
Over the five years that followed, Congress enacted a broad and ambitious array of “Great Society” initiatives introduced by Lyndon Johnson in response to the nationwide calls amplified by those who marched in 1963. The most famous programs of that era include the Civil Rights Act (1964), the Voting Rights Act (1965), Medicare (1965), and Medicaid (1965). But those years also saw passage of legislation touching almost every dimension of our social and economic lives:
- The Economic Opportunity Act (1964) created Job Corps, VISTA, and other job training programs intended to alleviate poverty;
- the Food Stamp Act (1964) expanded the Food Stamp Program that had been piloted in 1961;
- the Urban Mass Transportation Act (1964) authorized funding for mass transit and created what is now the Federal Transit Administration;
- the Immigration and Nationality Act (1965) ended immigration preferences for northern Europeans;
- the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) provided federal financial assistance for educational opportunities and emphasized equal access to education for all;
- the Higher Education Act (1965) provided financial assistance for postsecondary students;
- the Older Americans Act (1965) funded health, nutrition, and civil rights services for the elderly;
- the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act (1966) provided for better coordination of public projects in cities and transportation projects nationwide; and
- the Fair Housing Act (1968) outlawed racial discrimination in the private housing market.
For the full article - Click this link