So I Got Laid Off

firedThis year (due to the Republicants not wanting to pay for colored people’s education) I, like a bunch of part-time teachers, got laid off. It is the first time in over 20 years that I did not teach summer school involuntarily. All the jobs were taken by the full timers, who incidentally (except for one) are white.

I had applied for a full-time job but did not get the job despite having thirty years of teaching under my belt and teaching part time at the University of California in upper division. But lower division classes Community Colleges are different, I guess. So a bright young white female got the job.

It didn’t really upset me until I got laid off and, for the first time ever in my life, I went on unemployment. It was an exceptionally easy process. I went online, filled out the form, and, wow, in 14 days I got a check. Not as much as I would make teaching, not enough to pay the rent and food bill, but it was enough for diapers and formula for my son. (In case you didn’t know, my wife and I adopted a new baby in December–talk about a life changer.)

So I started scrambling around for work and now have a project in the works that is going to help fund efforts that facilitate Democratic County Central Committees to get in the vote. I intend to focus on the Latino vote. The beauty of this project is it also promotes health at the same time; it is a race. Did you know that the ASPCA gets like $40K a year from a run? Some groups raise $100K per race for their organizations. I figure I can take this statewide and raise $1 million a year to help Latino voters vote. What a concept.

In the meantime, the economy still sucks. Here is the question of the day: Why is it taking so long for the federal stimulus money to hit main street?

I think I know. Ready for the conspiracy theory? Where Republicants are in charge, they don’t spend the money. Case in point, we have had $400 million sitting in California for over a year that is not being spent. The Republicant administration says it takes a long time to get bids out.

Here is a concept, give to the cities and counties with the stipulation that it can only be spent in the designated areas of spending. I mean, we are short $40 million here in Sacramento County. We could use this money right now to employ county workers who are being laid off. But you see, the Republicants want to be able to say that jobs are being lost every month. As long as they can say that, the Big O is in trouble.

I got to ask all the tea timers out there who have lost their jobs, what are you doing?

I mean, there is a lot of public money for the hiring of employees and you all are crying about whether the Big O is a US citizen.

Let’s get with it, America. Call your governor today; ask him/her where is the federal stimulus money and why is it not being spent.

The Big O is doing what he said he was going to do. Am I the only one that noticed that the last combat brigade in Iraq came home? We got health care, we got bank reform, and we got money to fix stuff. The only problem is that the Republicants want to keep it from being spent.

They are the bums to throw out. Throw them all out. Kick them to the curb. And, yes, end the Bush tax cuts that only affect people who make a ton more than I did when I was on unemployment, which is what Obama has in the works.


Classes start next week. I am going back to school to teach critical thinking. I know where we are going to start: a comparative analysis of the Bush years and the Obama years. And in Sacramento, California, on Labor Day, about10,000 Democrats and I will be cheering for Jerry Brown as he begins his Race for Democracy!

Steven J. Ybarra

©Steven J. Ybarra JD is a retired civil rights attorney who operates a consultant company in California. He is a member of the California Democratic State Party and is Chair of the Chicano Latino Caucus Voting Rights Committee and a long time political activist. Contact Steven at: This article is copyright by Steven J. Ybarra JD, originally published in but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media if this entire credit paragraph is attached.

Published by the LA Progressive on August 24, 2010
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