Saying radical budget cuts to healthcare and education would kill thousands of jobs for already struggling Minnesotans and make a “shameful” racial employment gap even worse, the crowd called on the representatives to focus on putting Minnesotans back to work before courting high-dollar donors.
“These job-killing politicians are pushing radical budget cuts that threaten the jobs of nurses, teachers, and other hardworking Minnesotans,” said Minnesotans for a Fair Economy spokesperson Donna Cassutt. “It’s shameful that Reps. Bachmann, Cravaack, Paulsen and Kline are more interested in donors willing to pay $10,000 for a round of golf in order to protect tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, while the Twin Cities has the second highest rate of black unemployment among large metropolitan areas in the United States."
According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) the Twin Cities has the second-highest rate of Black unemployment among large metropolitan areas in the United States (20.4%). The report, based on 2009 data, says that African Americans in the Twin Cities are more than three times as likely to be unemployed as whites in the area—the largest disparity in the nation.
The crowd outside the Boehner fundraiser, organized by the community coalition Minnesotans for a Fair Economy and other groups, had followed the politicians and high-dollar donors, who made a last-minute change of venue from the exclusive Spring Hill Golf Club, apparently to avoid facing Minnesotans angry over their job-killing policies.
They watched as a plane flew overhead bearing a banner reading, “Where’s our piece of the pie? JOBS NOW.” The group was joined by puppet versions of Reps. Boehner, Bachmann, Cravaack, Paulsen, and Kline, who arrived in a limousine.
Minnesotans for a Fair Economy spokespeople said that Boehner, Bachmann, Cravaack, Paulsen, and Kline have voted for zero jobs creation bills, instead supporting a budget that economists say will kill 2.5 million American jobs, including 7,675 infrastructure jobs and 25,025 health care jobs in Minnesota. Meanwhile, all four voted to give $2.9 trillion in tax breaks to the rich and big corporations.
“For average working folks and the poor, things are getting worse. I need a job that can really support my family,” said Angel Buechner, a resident of Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood, who attended the protest with her two teenage sons after hearing about the event at their church. “People in our community have no jobs or are getting laid off, but politicians are bailing out banks, funding wars, and worrying about the wealthy while people are suffering.”
Jeodaun Lee of Minneapolis who attended the event, said he was surprised to find himself still unemployed after two years looking for a job in his field. "I don't think that politicians understand they're public servants, they're supposed to help us. Times are tough out here - we need jobs,” Lee said. “Rather than pay attention just to rich people, politicians should help us - working people and people who want to work."