Support the “Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act”

Media 10.20,11

Recipient: U.S. Senate

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership
Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express our support for S.
1723, the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. S. 1723 is a budget neutral
proposal that will create or save hundreds of thousands of jobs for some of the
most vital public servants in our communities. We urge you to support cloture
on S. 1723 and promptly move forward with its consideration and passage.

The Teachers and First
Responders Back to Work Act would provide $30 billion to protect or create jobs
for nearly 400,000 teachers, helping ensure that our children do not bear the
brunt of our economic downturn. It would also provide $5 billion to keep
thousands of local police officers and firefighters on the job, helping to
ensure that public safety is not compromised by state and local government
budget cuts. These provisions would be fully paid for by a surtax of one-half
of one percent on income above $1 million.

The provisions in S. 1723 are
beneficial to our communities, will help boost our national economic recovery,
are fiscally responsible, are highly popular with the public, and have a
history of bipartisan support. They are particularly important for
African-American and Latino communities that are currently facing unemployment
rates of 16 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively, well above the national
average. Notwithstanding the “pledges” that some Members made to special
interest groups before the 2010 election to oppose any tax increase, Congress
must face the fact that sensible, targeted revenue increases – such as the one
in S. 1723 – are an absolutely necessary and fiscally responsible component of
ensuring our long-term economic health.

For these reasons, we urge
you to support cloture on S. 1723 and work towards its enactment. Thank you for
your consideration.


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President