JCRC Responds to State of the Union Address

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The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Boston applauds President Obama for outlining proposals in the State of the Union that will help strengthen the middle class and invest in our economy’s workforce.

JCRC was a strong supporter of the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Bill passed last November and we fully support the federal measure outlined last night by the President. Since sick workers who stay at home are less likely to infect their co-workers, paid sick leave creates a healthier work environment and helps prevent further productivity losses.

We share the President’s commitment to education, and to ensuring that Americans have the ability to receive a college degree and learn the skills needed to compete in a 21st century economy. Young people should be able to enter the workforce with skills that prepare them directly for good jobs with identifiable career ladders. Older workers should be able to get retrained so they can compete in an evolving economy. The steps outlined last night by the President will also ensure that more women and minorities are prepared for jobs in fields that have traditionally excluded them, like science technology, engineering and math.

JCRC shares President Obama’s hope for a diplomatic resolution to end the threat of a nuclear Iran that would present a risk to the security of the U.S. and our allies and would further destabilize the region. We welcome his reaffirmation of his commitment to keep all options on the table to achieve this goal. We are concerned by his insistence that we have halted Iran’s nuclear program given that just last week Iran announced plans to build two new reactors. While the President continues to promise a veto on congressional action in support of sanctions should diplomacy fail, we urge him to find a way to partner with Congress and to invite a bipartisan strategy both for the negotiations and in support of any deal. Doing so will ensure that any diplomatic effort is more likely to succeed and will be more durable than an agreement the administration pursues without Congress.

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Jeremy Burton
Executive Director, JCRC

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Jill Goldenberg,
President, JCRC