As Congress prepares to vote on provisions of the American Jobs Act that would put hundreds of thousands of teachers, police officers, and firefighters back to work, we asked folks across the country to tell us why passing these measures is so important.
Alexis is a student in New Hampshire. After graduation, she plans to become a teacher.
"It's a little scary because right now teaching is a really uncertain profession to go into," she explains."A lot of people who are becoming teachers are making back-up plans—we don't know whether we'll have jobs after we graduate, or whether there will even be funding for our schools."
The President's jobs plan would change that, she says. "Just having the security of knowing the government is behind teachers would be amazing."
Like many other supporters, Alexis called her legislators about the American Jobs Act.
"I called repeatedly," she says. "I don't understand why they wouldn't vote for it—I just keep asking what they have against it. The language as it's written, there's nothing in there that would hurt anyone or anything. I can't understand the logic behind not passing it, that's what I want to know."
This isn't the first time Alexis has gotten involved with politics. She first joined the President's campaign in 2008, when a canvasser stopped by her house before the primary.
"I wanted to volunteer, but I didn't know where to go. They told me, and I just showed up and started volunteering. There have been so many big things over the last few years that he's done that have really impacted my life—credit card reform, for example, was big for me. I come from a low-income family, and his consumer protection laws have been really great. Plus, all of the things he's done for student loans and federal aid make it so much easier to be a student."
Even though Senate Republicans voted to block the American Jobs Act, Alexis is hopeful that activism by supporters across the country will help convince Congress to get behind the plan.
"We've been working so hard. I know a bunch of current teachers who are just so excited about how this will help the profession now, and future teachers like me are trying to advocate for it. It would help people who really need the help—teachers need the support, and we don't have it right now. President Obama knows that, and he's working to restore the respect and the funding that we—and our students—deserve. I'm hoping we can change some minds and get it passed."
"I'm hoping that the work I'm doing will really make this a possibility, and to other people out there who are thinking of standing up for the American Jobs Act: Now's the time. I know a lot of people are concerned that their one voice won't make a difference, but it can—especially along with all the other people who are raising theirs. If we all speak out, it will amplify all of our efforts."