Newsom & San Francisco Business Leaders Announce Renewed National Effort to Extend Stimulus Funding

Press Release

By:  Gavin Newsom
Date: Sept. 3, 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA

Mayor Gavin Newsom today joined local business leaders, employers and workers to announce a renewed national effort to extend the federal stimulus program that funds San Francisco´s successful JOBSNOW! program and similar programs that employ more than 250,000 Americans in 37 states, according to a new report also released today. The federal stimulus-funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Emergency Contingency Fund (TANF/ECF), set to expire on September 30, 2010 unless reauthorized by Congress, has helped put more than 3,800 San Franciscans back to work in private, nonprofit and public sector jobs through more than 800 companies and organizations. Mayor Newsom announced a new effort by mayors, local elected officials and employers in San Francisco and other states to urge Congress to extend the program so cities, counties and local employers can continue putting people back to work. The effort comes as a new report released today by the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities highlights the success of the TANF/ECF stimulus program at creating more than a quarter million jobs in 37 states.

"From California to Washington, DC, there is no government priority more important than helping local communities and employers create jobs and put people back to work," said Mayor Newsom. "The federal stimulus program that funds San Francisco´s JOBSNOW! program has helped put more than 3,800 San Franciscans back to work and, amidst a lingering recession and jobless recovery, we cannot afford to see it lapse. Today we are launching a renewed national effort with employers, mayors and local elected leaders across this country to extend this successful federal jobs program and keep more than a quarter million Americans working."

The House of Representatives, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has voted twice to extend the program for one year with an additional appropriation of $2.5 billion, though the Senate has so far failed to authorize an extension. California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer strongly support an extension of the successful program.

Aided by Small Business California and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, a national employer to employer lobbying effort is now underway initiated by San Francisco´s Robert Miller of Internet Archives, who is contacting businesses in other states and circulating a nationwide online petition to the U.S. Senate. Mayor Newsom is leading a coalition of other Mayors and elected officials from across the country -- including Chicago Mayor Daley, New York City Mayor Bloomberg, Providence Mayor Cicilline, Louisville Mayor Abramson, St. Louis Mayor Slay, Los Angeles County and many others -- to deliver a unified message to Congress when they return from recess next week about the importance of extending the TANF/ECF program.

"Jobs Now Providence has done exactly what federal stimulus funds should do -- put people back to work. This program has been instrumental in expanding quality employment opportunities for hardworking men and women throughout our city and state in the middle of a difficult economic climate," said Mayor David Cicilline of Providence, leading the coalition with Mayor Newsom.

"With a full economic recovery still to come, JOBS NOW! is exactly the type of program our small businesses need to keep people working," said Rob Black, Vice President of Public Policy for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

A recent survey of private-sector JOBS NOW! employers found that 82% were satisfied with participants´ job performance, 72% reported increased sales as a result of JOBS NOW! and 82% reported that their businesses run more efficiently due to the program.

"Due to economic conditions, small businesses have made cuts in their companies putting extreme pressure on employees remaining. The hiring of an additional employee reduces that pressure and improves morale for the company overall," said Scott Hauge, President of Small Business of California and owner of CAL Insurance & Associates Inc.

"We would have stopped growing without the JOBS NOW! program. With the grim economic outlook, we would have done what most businesses must do to conserve cash--stop hiring or reduce headcounts," said Tom Yeh, owner of Siteler Car Wash.

The success of the TANF/ECF program at putting people back to work, not just in San Francisco but across the nation, is underscored by a new report released today by the Center for Budget & Policy Priorities titled Walking Away from a Win-Win-Win: Subsidized Jobs Slated to End Soon Are Helping Families, Businesses & Communities Weather the Recession. According to the report, the TANF/ECF has given states over $1 billion to operate subsidized jobs programs that have proved successful on multiple fronts. The fund has been a "win-win-win," helping unemployed families find work, businesses expand capacity in a difficult economic environment, and local economies cope with the recession. Without the fund, some 120,000 young people would not have had summer jobs and some 130,000 parents would not have had jobs to provide for their families´ basic needs; they would also have lost a valuable opportunity to build skills for the future.

Further, the report states, the subsidized jobs supported by the TANF Emergency Fund have helped families get work and income and have helped employers maintain and even expand in tight times. That, in turn, has given a needed boost to communities trying to recover from the recession. Moreover, families that are stable, housed, and employed are better able to support the community -- economically and otherwise -- and are less likely to require local social services.

"The current economic recovery is far too fragile to end these programs now. Rather than walk away, Congress should extend the TANF Emergency Fund for one more year so that states can continue subsidized jobs placements in local communities," the report concludes.

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