COLLAPSED I-35W BRIDGE IN MINNEAPOLIS - Photo: Heather Munro/Star Tribune


Repairing America's Schools - Impact of the American Jobs Act in the Bay Area

American Jobs Act Fact Sheet:
The President is proposing that we invest $30 billion in enhancing the condition of our nation’s public schools and community colleges.  This money would fund a range of critical repairs and needed renovation projects that would put hundreds of thousands of Americans – construction workers, engineers, maintenance staff, boiler repair, and electrical workers – back to work.  And it will help modernize at least 35,000 public schools – from science labs and internet-ready classroom upgrades to renovated facilities.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded the United States a ‘D’ for the condition of its public school infrastructure.  The average public school building in the United States is over 40 years old, and many are much older. 

"How Obama’s plan for infrastructure bank would work"

Brad Plumer at The Washington Post:
One of the key aspects of President Obama’s jobs plan is an idea that’s been knocking around Washington for some time: a national infrastructure bank that would leverage private investment to fund new roads, bridges, mass transit and other public-works endeavors. Here’s how it would work.

Ed Schultz on the politics of the American Jobs Act and infrastucture repair

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


2011 Bay Area Infrastructure Report Card from The American Society of Civil Engineers

Since the last update of the American Society of Civil Engineer (ASCE)’s Bay Area Infrastructure Report Card in 2005, we have seen several major infrastructure failures: the gas line explosion in San Bruno, California with major loss of life in 2010; wastewater discharges from Marin County into the San Francisco Bay; and a collapse of the Interstate Route 35 Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota with significant loss of life in 2007. All of these are classic examples of aging infrastructure allowed to perform without sufficiently funded monitoring, rehabilitation, and replacement programs.

The 2011 Bay Area Infrastructure Report Card for the San Francisco ASCE Section aims at bringing awareness to, and quantifying the need for, funding to upgrade our area’s essential infrastructure to acceptable levels.


A National Infrastructure Movement - a proposed organizing strategy as the first, concrete step to "Rebuilding the Dream"

"Rebuilding the Dream":  What follows is a proposed draft strategy, in concert with the national "Rebuild the Dream" movement, for a nationwide but locally-based infrastructure inventory, organized at the grass-roots: The project would be developed as an organizing/education tool to create a tangible, community-based infrastructure and jobs agenda. It is - in its process as well as its goal - a concrete action-plan, directly related to local initiative, experience and needs, but aimed at pressing for national legislative action.


"Low-Paying Jobs Have Dominated Employment Growth"

From East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Society:

NEW YORK – A new study finds that low-paying jobs have dominated employment growth in the first year of the recovery, while occupations offering bettery pay have been far slower to return. The report, by the National Employment Law Project, is the first to examine the recovery’s growth trends specifically by occupation, and it offers the latest sign that jobseekers are encountering a severe deficit of good jobs as they navigate the labor market.

The NELP study analyzes employment trends for 366 detailed occupations, drawing on newly available data from the Current Population Survey (CPS), and ranks their median wages into three groups:  lower-wage ($7.51 to $13.52 per hour), mid-wage ($13.53 to $20.66 per hour) and higher-wage ($20.67 to $53.32 per hour).


"Can Oakland Grow Stable, Long-Term Jobs For Local Youth?"

A report by writer and photographer, Jennifer Inez Ward. Ward, a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, has been documenting Oakland neighborhoods for more than 10 years.  From Oakland Local:

"It's been hard," soft-spoken, 21-year-old Louis King said. "Being a young black male, when you go out looking for a job, a lot of people just look at you like you're just a kid on the street. A street kid who probably won't come to work, and I'm really the opposite. I'm very respectful, but people don't take the time to see that."

King, a student at Hayward's Chabot College who always dresses in a jacket and tie for interviews, said he's willing to work hard, but it's frustrating trying to find a job.

"People say it's the economy, but I just don't know," he said.

Hurting for jobs

Oakland is hurting for jobs and no where is unemployment more dire than with the youth population. In some neighborhoods, the unemployment rate for those between 18- and 24-years-old is as high as 30 to 40 percent, experts say.