Yesterday, CBC Chair Emanuel Cleaver toured the White House and met with President Obama with 12 Black business titans.Â The group included Bob Johnson and Ollie Gates of the famous Gates BBQ chain based on Kansas City.Â The job crisis for African Americans reached a historic 27 year high in August when the Black unemployment number hit 16.7%.Â The CBC had a jobs tour that same month that included much national attention after Rep. Maxine Waters brought up the crisis and wondered outloud what specific White House plans and policy were on the issue.Â Since September, the White House has been generally more responsive on the issue though last month’s unemployment figures show black unemployment at 15.5 as other groups improved.
Pictured: Weldon Latham, Bob Johnson and Ollie Gates.
CBC PRESS RELEASE: Today, Chairman Emanuel Cleaver led a discussion with African American business leaders and President Barack Obama. The first of its kind, the meeting served as an opportunity to discuss job creation recommendations and cultivate stronger working relationships within the African American business community, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Administration. Â As legislators and as a Caucus, Members are working diligently to remedy the jobs crisis. The Members of the CBC have introduced over fifty job creation bills since the beginning of the 112th Congress, launched the For the People national jobs initiative, and provided nine job creation proposals that help our nationâ€™s most vulnerable.Â These proposals and initiatives are closely in line with the Presidentâ€™s Americans Jobs Act. “With African American unemployment stubbornly resting in the double digits, Members of the Caucus believe that it is imperative to have everyone at the table to help find solutions to mend our economy and get Americans back to work,” added Chairman Emanuel Cleaver. The African American business leaders met with the Congressional Black Caucus immediately following their meeting with President Obama. A full list of participating business leaders is included below.
African American Business Leaders
Robert L. Johnson- Founder & Chairman, The RLJ Companies
Ollie Gates – President, Gates BBQ
Warren Thompson – President & Chairman, Thompson Hospitality Corporation
Weldon Latham – Sr. Partner, Chair, Corporate Diversity Counseling Practice, Jackson Lewis, LLP
Ernest Green – Partner, Madison Asset Management Group LLC
Melvin Clark – GW Peoples Contracting Company
C. Michael Gooden â€“ CEO, Integrated Systems Analysts
Tom Moorehead â€“ President, Moorehead Properties
Janice Howroyd – CEO, Act 1
Valerie Daniels-Carter – CEO, V&J Holdings Company
Maurice Tose – CEO, TeleCommunication Systems
Suzanne Shank – CEO, Siebert Brandford Shank