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Miami residents, teachers and parents rallied Monday at Norland High calling for investment in schools and good jobs

MIAMI, FL – September 26, 2011 – On Monday a coalition of concerned residents, teachers and parents joined state Sen. Oscar Braynon, state rep. Barbara Watson and Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson to demand investment in our county’s schools, which in turn, would create good jobs for our communities. The rally, demonstrating support for the proposed American Jobs Act, highlighted Norland High as one of the community’s schools in need of renovations. However, in a climate when county and state budgets are being slashed, schools like Norland High are being ignored, while our unemployment lines are getting longer by the day.

“If they take care of the buildings that are in such disrepair by bringing the workforce into the schools, then they’re fixing the buildings and they’ve put people back to work,” said Anna Kleinholz, an unemployed teacher who lives in Miami.

Miami’s unemployment rate is at a staggering 22.5% when you take into account the unemployed, underemployed and the discouraged, which is well above the national average. With Miami being the fourth largest school district in the country and needing more than one billion dollars in renovations, many Miamians are starting to wonder why politicians are not lobbying for federal dollars to come south.

State Sen. Oscar Braynon who spoke at the event, proclaimed, “Cuts, cuts, cuts — Cuts do not equal jobs. Investing in Miami’s schools ensures a brighter tomorrow for our children, while also creating jobs for the people of Miami, who desperately need help. It is our duty, as elected officials, to make sure that Miami gets the aid it needs in this economic crisis.”

At Norland High, teachers and parents took notice of the smell of mold and mildew in the auditorium and the rust on several areas in the school.  “The building itself says how we value students,” said Karen Aronowitz, president of the United Teachers of Dade. “When you’re in an out-of-date, unsafe and unhealthy environment, that’s what we say the students are worth and the people who work in them.”

1Miami’s focus on Monday was to bring leaders, teachers and parents together, under a united voice, to demand that our politicians invest in schools; not only to improve the classroom and our children’s future, but to create much needed good jobs for Miami.

1Miami is a coalition of residents, community groups, neighborhood associations, faith organizations and workers united to call for good jobs in Miami. For more information on 1Miami, please visit www.OneMiamiNow.org.

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