Jara (right) with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a Women for Obama event in Oakland.
I work multiple jobs to pay my bills. If I were to quit one of my jobs to start my own family or spend more time with friends, I would immediately become one of the millions of under-employed Americans who are not counted in unemployment statistics.
One of my jobs is as a marketing manager for a book retailer. In order to retain our current hourly sales staff and pay for their medical insurance, they job-share and take frequent unpaid vacations. Most of us use our unpaid vacation time to work our other jobs. We are the fortunate ones. The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live in the world, and one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
If The American Jobs Act were to pass, we would benefit from the small business taxcuts. Because our bookstore earns less than $7 million in annual revenues, it is considered a small business. The bill cuts payroll tax in half on the first $5 million wages and temporarily eliminates all payroll tax for hiring new workers. With reduced expenses, we could afford to hire more people, lower the individual work load for all of us, and give cost-of-living raises to our current sales staff. Also, the immediate deduction for investing in new equipment would allow us to finally purchase new computers with updated software packages. Bye-bye, headaches from frozen operating systems and crashed databases. As we all know, happy employees are productive employees.
In 2008, I became a Summer Organizer because I believe in President Obama’s plans for America. Since then, I have helped to promote and encourage the passage of many bills. It’s deeply rewarding to see that my seemingly small actions can lead to the passage of monumental bills such as the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and Wall Street Reform Act of 2010.
Sometimes, it’s too easy for legislators who can afford to live comfortably with one job to get caught up in the minutiae of policy debates or be detoured from the act of public service by personal ambition. They need us to remind them of the importance of their one job in determining the overall quality of our lives.