Immigrants, Constituents Ask Rep. Smith for Good Jobs

by Sara Kiesler Update: See the Adam Smith "Speak Out" video

Des Moines, Wash.--About 170 people came to Rep. Adam Smith in the 9th congressional district Monday to ask him to bring back a message of good jobs to Congress.

Woman stands to speak as others listen

The large group, comprised of a variety of backgrounds including Somalian, Bhutanese and Mexican immigrants, filled the Highline Community College auditorium in Des Moines. Many of the people attending were out of work or looking for more work, and came ready to share stories of how the economic crisis is affecting their families.

Kim Garcia, a construction worker that was formerly in the military, said when she lost her job in 2009, things took a downward spiral and she now may lose her home. Her 18-year-old son has recently joined the military because he cannot find a job either.

“We don’t see a bailout for us,” she said, referring to the government’s Big Bank bailouts, such as the $100 billion that went to mega-profit making Chase Bank.

The “Speak Out for Good Jobs” event is part of an ongoing series during the August Recess in which Washingtonians are reminding Congress that good jobs are vital to keep America moving forward.

David R. Lindberg, a cargiver, shared a message heard over and over this month--that the recession may be over for the rich, but what about the rest of us?

“We need to re-establish the American Dream,” he said. “The only way to do that is to end tax loopholes and create jobs.”

Rep. Smith (D-WA) reflected on the access his family had to the American Dream.

“My father was in a labor union, and when he died, my family had enough support to keep going,” he said. “There’s a lot more we can do to protect jobs in the US.”

He responded to many of the constituents concerns and encouraged them to keep contacting their representatives.

At the end of the day, emcee and Washington state Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33) looked out over the crowd of diverse faces and congratulated everyone for speaking up for good jobs.

“The Tea Party ain’t got nothing on us,” he said.