Letters to the editor – Monday 5-16-11

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 15, 2011

Brockís proposal not very well thought-out
The writer is addressing a bill sponsored by state Sen. Andrew Brock, a Republican who represents Rowan and Davie counties.
On paper, Senate Bill 737 (requiring five hours of public service from the unemployed) sounds reasonable and likely appeals to those who think the unemployed are freeloaders. I would prefer to see Senator Brock and his colleagues spend more of their time on creating employment opportunities rather than establishing a new requirement that could be more costly than might be imagined.
Having worked as a nonprofit executive for 13 years and unemployed for the last six months (and, doing volunteer work in Rowan County), I canít help but wonder how well this new requirement has been thought out.
Iím not sure how unemployed citizens will be used in government and public agencies, but I can predict with some certainty that requiring large numbers of unemployed folks to show up at the door of nonprofit agencies for five hours each week could be problematic. While many nonprofits have a great need for volunteers, most require those volunteers to be motivated and trained, to be scheduled and supervised, and, in some cases, to be equipped. Many now require a background check. All of those requirements translate to spending money, money that most nonprofits are currently short on largely due to a decline in giving ó that due to the recession and unemployment.
What happens if the numbers of unemployed are greater than the number of positions available? Who is responsible if a ěvolunteerî gets hurt on the job? How does a ěvolunteerî receiving unemployment benefits pay for child care and fuel to travel back and forth?
Senator Brock, please explain how this requirement will be implemented without creating another management bureaucracy spending more tax dollars; without creating more expense and stress for our nonprofits and without destroying the dignity of those ěrequiredî to show up somewhere five hours each week or risk losing benefits that help them survive?
ó Steve Simpson
Aim is to humiliate
This is an open letter to Senator Brock:
I am not fooled by your sugarcoated intentions to have the unemployed ěgive something back to the community.î You are trying to further humiliate and punish the unemployed, based on you and your partyís biased and ignorant opinion of them.You and your Republican Party seem to think the unemployed are using the system unfairly.
In a time when there are still no jobs to be had, your proposal is insulting. My family and others like us have spent the past couple of years sacrificing, scrimping and just getting by, and you think we owe the community service work? Most of us are down to the very simplest of basics, or have gone under completely. Iím lucky to receive unemployment insurance benefits; I worked for those benefits. I had to qualify to get UI. I had to fight to get UI. Itís not ěwelfare,î itís not a ěfavor,î itís not a ěvacation.î
Iím looking for work every minute Iím not sleeping, and it invades my sleep as well. Whatís more, my health is not as good as it once was.You are clearly another typical politician thatís a poor statesman.
Iím a U.S. Navy veteran, and the jobs Iíve had in the past 29 years ,in nursing and in other service jobs, like security work, and in retail, were in the service and care of others. And you have the audacity to think that someone like me ought to ěgive something back to the community?î My entire working life has been ěserving the community,î and it wasnít ěfor the money,î either.The past year and half has simply been spent trying to survive!!
Mr. Brock, your intention is to punish and humiliate the unemployed, because you want to see results for money. You have no right to act as if you and your party ělord overî it. Employers are required by law, to pay for this insurance. UI money goes right back into the community. Itís barely enough for much of anything else, itís not a ěworking wage.î
As far as what I will ělook like to a possible employer,î you let me worry about that. I dont need your help. And we donít owe you or your party one single thing.
ó Butch Young