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Piano prodigy Andre Watts, the first artist to appear on "Live from Lincoln Center," was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1946.

Black Leaders React to Jobs Plan

POSTED: September 13, 2011, 12:00 am

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Rev. Jesse Jackson, president Rainbow/PUSH Coalition

"The time to act is now. Congress – Democrats and Republicans alike – must swiftly move from debate to passing the President’s positive, job creating, legislative proposals. Republic before Republican. Democracy before Democrat."

"The President outlined a bold and hopeful plan for the future. Congress and communities across the country must now respond. We can’t wait any longer. The President has put forth his jobs program, now it’s time for Congress to show up and act."

Marc Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League

"While it’s important to recognize the limitations imposed on the President by an obstructionist Congress,” Morial said, “the unemployment crisis is now so dire that he needs to pull out every stop. We need to fight for America’s 14 million unemployed with every weapon at our disposal."

"I look forward to working with the White House and Congress to insure that this package provides the type of targeted solution that ensures that urban communities are not left by the wayside for a second time."

Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO, NAACP

"We were pleased to hear a plan that addresses the nation's twin needs to spur job creation and fight employment discrimination. And I am proud to report that we, NAACP activists across the country, have had a lot to do with the focus that each is receiving in the White House."

"When I sat down to meet with the President in the Oval Office in July, I relayed the specific concerns our members had expressed about job discrimination including the confounding problem of employment discrimination against the unemployed. The President responded very clearly that he would address the problem immediately. Tonight, we heard him commit to the nation do just that."

Rick Adams, Convener, Shirley Chisholm Presidential Accountability Commission (SCPAC)

"We are encouraged that he made a spirited defense of government, noting historical instances when the intervention of the federal government made the difference in the nation’s forward progress. Government spending is appropriate and necessary during a time of economic crisis, and results in jobs that yield tax revenue that will have a direct impact on deficit reduction. The SCPAC takes exception to the falsehood that government spending has led to this crisis when ample evidence exists that tax cuts under the previous administration significantly increased the deficit."

“Pass the Bill Now!” must be the rallying cry for a new social movement that will fulfill the spirit of Dr. King’s vision of a nation committed to honor its promissory note to African-Americans."

Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Chairman, and Dr. Elsie Scott, president and CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF)

"It is essential that we not lose sight of the fact that the best way to grow an economy is to ensure that all Americans have a fair share and that means targeted policies for individuals, families, and communities who were unable to protect themselves against the recession as well as others. The President's Pathways Back to Work Fund will provide low-income youth and adults with the job opportunities and training initiatives while at the same time prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers; this is exactly the kind of targeted legislation America needs in order to achieve long term economic stability and growth for all."

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