Several of the Atlanta's local news stations provided media coverage of the various local city organizations that feed the hungry every Thanksgiving. At the annual "Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry" dinner, GADOL (Georgia Department of Labor) commissioner Michael Thurmond proved once again, that he is a politician and not a Statesman as was evidence by his remarks concerning the unemployed in Georgia and his "promise to keep the states unemployment benefits FLOWING."
Unfortunately, for the estimated 70,000 plus unemployed in Georgia, who at this time are eligible for the latest round of jobless extension benefits recently passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama on November 6th, a waiting game has been put in place by the GADOL. While other States have quickly addressed the need of the unemployed and already disbursed the funds, GADOL has decided to play a waiting game with these Federal Funds which in effect, puts many of the States unemployed, at further risk. When contacted by email concerning a date of when these Federal funds might be made available to the 70,000 plus waiting Georgians, the GADOL replied;
"In an effort to ensure that all Georgians are paid in a timely manner, we are working tirelessly to ensure payments are released on December 11, 2009." Not good enough Michael Thurmond!
Many of these unemployed Georgians have been without benefits since the second week of September. These important benefits provide the unemployed the means to provide the basics for their families-like keeping utilities on, keeping food on the table and most importantly keeping a roof over their heads. The fact that many have been without any means of support for months and to have the GADOL put them off till December 11th, is inexcusable.
As Michael Thurmond practiced politics at the Feed the Hungry dinner, many of Georgia's unemployed went without this Thanksgiving. A very sad commentary on how tirelessly the GADOL isn't working to take care of Georgia's unemployed.