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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The WPA Today!

Welcome to WPA Today! 

Brent McKee and Ozien Luznar are announcing their new website and project, The WPA Today.  

As they describe on their site, this project has a three-fold mission: First, to help preserve the history of public works projects from the 1930s and 40s. Second, to provide assistance to the unemployed. And third, to propose the possibility of a nationwide public works program for today's long-term unemployed population.

We have, depending on what estimates you use, approximately 29,000,000 people who are either unemployed or who want full-time work (but can only find part-time work.)  While about 9,000,000 of this number are still collecting unemployment benefits, we have millions who have no income... and only a will to work.  It is degrading and disheartening to those looking for work, and it is damaging to our country to have so many unemployed.  

Needless to say, getting a new WPA going will be an uphill climb due to the deficit hawks around 

Washington and the nation.  They will say "We can't afford this."  But, really, with so many people looking for so long, can we afford not to put people to work?

Both Brent and Ozien have a background in Public Policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County,  Between them, they have experience in such areas as the history of public policy in the 30's, Americorps, work with inmates, long term unemployment, and affordable health care.

One of my uncles worked in the CCC back in the 30's.  Unfortunately, I can remember few details of his stories of his time with the CCC, and there is no longer anyone in the family to ask about this.  I also remember as a child walking through the forest preserves with my parents and being told that the CCC put in this trail, those signs, or built those shelters.  I don't know how much of that work is still around.

This is a great, worthwhile project.  Please check out the WPA Today website soon!   

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