The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Christy Setzer 202-730-7349

SEIU's Burger: Recovery Act Stopped the Bleeding; Now We Need to Invest in Local Communities

SEIU Releases Report Showing How Recovery Act Investments in Human Services Created and Saved Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs


the first anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(ARRA), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) released a
statement from Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger praising the bill for
creating and saving hundreds of thousands of jobs, and calling on
Congress to continue needed state fiscal relief.

"When our economy dove
into a crisis of epic proportions last year, Congress moved quickly to
stop the hemorrhaging-and to solve the problems that got us here in the
first place," said Burger.

"The hundreds of
thousands of Americans who are now employed as a direct result of the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act can thank Speaker Pelosi and
Majority Leader Reid for their leadership and courage. Pelosi and Reid
championed the legislation that stopped the bleeding in a devastating
recession, provided critical fiscal relief to our states, and put
people back to work. Without their quick action, our economy could've
been in crisis for years or even decades to come," continued Burger.

into account all ARRA spending through 2009, the Recovery Act has
created or saved nearly 2.1 million jobs through the fourth quarter of
2009. To
commemorate the anniversary of the legislation, SEIU released a report
touting its success. The report, which can be viewed at, notes that the
Recovery Act helped counter the recession by protecting human services
and the workers employed to deliver those services at a local level.

people like Akbar Chatman, a substance abuse counselor for the
Department of Mental Health in Los Angeles County, the Recovery Act
played a critical role in helping him do his job. LA County deals with
the substance abuse troubles of a significant homeless population. With
the $111 million in Recovery Act funding that the county received,
counselors like Chatman were able to provide better care for his
patients. "Thank you to President Obama and everyone who voted for
this," Chatman said. [Watch Chatman discuss the Recovery Act at]

while Democratic leadership did the hard work to stop the bleeding of
our economic crisis, Republican leadership repeatedly chose to put
partisanship ahead of the needs of the country - both last year, in
voting against the Recovery Act, and again this year as we attempt to
pass a more broad jobs agenda," continued Burger.

"State fiscal relief from
the Recovery Act played a critical role in saving jobs and preserving
critical human services-like those Akbar Chatman provides-- to get our
economy back on track, but too many Americans are still hurting. The
House passed a broad jobs bill with increased funding for state fiscal
relief; as the Senate takes up their own jobs agenda, they would do
well to follow the House's lead," concluded Burger.

state fiscal relief provisions in the Recovery Act helped limit cuts in
human services proposed to respond to deep budget gaps in FY2010.
Without additional fiscal relief, new budget gaps could force state
governments to shed 900,000 jobs this year.

Read more about how the Recovery Act helped save and create jobs at

With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy.