As concerned as we are about economic justice, the American Jewish community has failed to understand, on a gut level, a glaring reality: adults with disabilities in the U.S. disproportionately experience poverty. According the census bureau, about one in five Americans has a disability. That means twenty percent of us.
Todd Morrison is an exceptional communicator -- who happens to be deaf. I met Todd through my networking in the deaf community, which I undertake as a recruiter who is committed to giving the best IT opportunities to all job seekers, including people with disabilities.
Here in Washington, we are anxiously experiencing the start of the sequestration of the Federal budget and the significant impact it is likely to have on employment for hundreds of thousands of federal employees, contractors and businesses which depend upon a healthy local economy to remain solvent. Sadly, for adults with disabilities this prospect of reduced employment opportunities is what they experience daily.
Forty-three years ago this month, our nation watched the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. The images were seared into our minds, along with the sense that our nation had lost a beacon of hope in the ongoing struggle for racial and economic justice. Though he had lived to see many important advances and constitutional guarantees for all Americans regardless of race or creed, Dr. King was murdered before he had made much progress toward another vitally important goal: economic justice.
As economy continues to falter, middle-class families forced to turn to Jewish food banks.
San Francisco — Robert M., 58, worked for a news organization in the San Francisco Bay area until September 2008, when he lost his job in layoffs that eliminated 15 percent of the company’s workforce nationwide.
Robert had eight months of savings. They ran out in six months.
After 14 months of unemployment, in December 2009 Robert turned to San Francisco’s Jewish Family and Children’s Services for help with rent, utilities and, hardest of all, food.
The calls come one after another. Eventually, they blur together — the 60-year-old unemployed real estate broker who is behind in his rent; the former headhunter who is struggling to find work; the wife of a recently laid off high-tech professional who can’t pay her family’s utility bills; and the 81-year-old man who needs an affordable place to live because his adult children can no longer subsidize his rent.