Good Jobs Are a Human Right
Sarianna Sabbarese, CT Jobs and Human Rights Task Force
In our lifetimes, we have seen the rapid deterioration of once robust union protections. Even as social conditions have improved for many, economic disparities grow. Despite artificially low criteria for poverty, the threadbare American social safety net creaks and groans. We watch in anxious horror as a new cast of hard-right chaos agents in-filtrate Washington’s highest offices, wondering if democracy is on the brink of collapse. What can we do― besides shop―to hop off this doom spiral? Even if we feel driven to create a better future, where do we begin?
In 2021, Sarianna Sabbarese and Dr. Stephen Tomczak worked as representatives of the National Jobs For All Network to organize a Town Hall Meeting, holding these concerns and sentiments in mind. NJFAN has long operated as the premiere organization in the United States seeking to advance Full Employment via a large-scale, direct government job creation program: the jobs agenda to which FDR aspired when he called for a “second, economic Bill of Rights.”
The Town Hall explored the economic and social justice work of many different representatives from the New Haven community―including educators, students, activists, and people with lived experience of economic and social inequities―and the intersections of that work with Full Employment. It was a meeting place and a reminder that, despite necessarily limited sets of personal priorities, all present were engaged in a single, shared project.
Out of this event, the Connecticut Jobs and Human Rights Task Force formed, organized by macro social work practitioners Jennifer Perez and Sarianna Sabbarese, and advised by Logan Martinez and Dr. Stephen Tomczak. The group works to advance the right of people across the state to living wage remuneration, laying local infrastructure for direct government job creation so that jobs are created where they are actually needed―and not merely to serve the interests of wealthy individuals and corporations. As a group built on the supposition that economic justice is the bedrock on which social justice rests, they are committed to interjecting people-oriented priorities into economic policy.