By Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries
We all know how important it is that we come out to vote for President Barack Obama this fall. Yet, it's easy to forget how difficult it is for the President to do anything meaningful without the support of Congress. That is why it is critical that we come together this November and vote, not just for President Obama, but all the way down the ballot for Democratic candidates for Congress.
These are the people that will have the President's back, and it will be just as important to make sure they get elected so they can stand by him in our fight for working families.
For the past two years, the Republican-controlled Congress has been singularly focused on one goal -- to make sure President Obama fails. Record voter turnout in our community in 2008 helped make Barack Obama the first African-American president in our nation's history.
The effort to prevent a second term is aimed squarely at suppressing voter turnout in our community. Across the country Republicans have passed legislation that undermines the Voting Rights Act by imposing photo ID requirements, constraints on voter registration and the elimination of early voting periods.
With a Democratic Congress, President Obama was able to save the American auto industry, pass the biggest piece of Wall Street reform since the Great Depression, strengthen consumer protections and make history with the Affordable Care Act that will insure over 30 million hard-working Americans.
The most radical Republican Party in a generation now has control of the House of Representatives. Progress has come to a halt thanks to Tea Party extremists. Instead, the Republican House has sought to undermine civil rights, women's rights, worker's rights, immigration rights and fundamental American safety net programs for the most vulnerable in society. From cuts to Medicare and benefits for homeless veterans, to protecting tax breaks for millionaires and Big Oil, the Republican attacks on the poor and middle class are unrelenting.
President Obama has proposed a game-changing jobs bill that would strongly encourage hiring in the private sector and re-energize the workforce with much needed infrastructure investment in bridges, parks, roads and tunnels. This measure isnot controversial. They are ideas that have been supported by Republicans in the past. But since it was proposed by President Obama, Republicans in Congress have lined up against it.
The political gamesmanship and obstruction must end. We have to send the message that we have our President's back. Barack Obama deserves a second term and Democratic partners in Congress who will keep our country moving in the right direction.
Log onto www.HavehisBack.com and pledge that you will vote for President Obama and Democratic candidates for Congress this November. The President has done everything to look out for us. Now it's time for us to look out for him.
Hakeem Jeffries is the Democratic candidate for New York's 8thCongressional district, which encompasses parts of Brooklyn and Queens. He currently serves in the New York State Assembly.