HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Economists say there’s a glimmer of hope for the economy as the nation’s unemployment rate dips slightly.  But for those still looking for a job, the turnaround isn’t coming fast enough.

As Gigi Barnett reports, one Maryland congressman is showing them where to find help.

The nation’s unemployment rate is locked at 8.9 percent, the lowest in nearly two years.  Economists say it’s a sign of recovery but for those who have yet to see a turnaround, Congressman Elijah Cummings hosted a town hall meeting this weekend at Howard Community College to reach out to those who need help but may not know where to find it.

“It would be so sad for people to sit, thinking that there was nothing they can do, people losing hope.  And at the same time, there are programs that exist to help them,” Cummings said.

Foreclosures statewide are still at record-breaking levels, heating bills are higher this season and food is more expensive.  Also, experts say paychecks aren’t growing.  Fortunately, there are services offered year-round.

“They’re definitely pinching, cutting back on maybe not going out to dinner and just cooking at home and maybe making larger meals versus going out to restaurants,” said Sharon Harris.

With so many services available and so many people in need, Cummings says the next step is to streamline all of the services and offer them in one place.

“That’s something we need to do on the federal level more,” he said.

In the coming weeks, Cummings plans to host similar town hall meetings in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Comments (20)
  1. jim says:

    What has he done? Hold a job fair and conduct town meetings? Are you kidding me? And this is HELPING the unemployed, giving them a forum to complain. Stop holding meetings and create services to build their job skills, and comprehensive job skills at that.

  2. Tony says:

    Jim, did you read the whole article? The point of the meeting is to inform people of the services that are available. I think it’s about time that members of Congress focused more on jobs.

    1. liz4 says:

      I agree.

  3. merrysea says:

    I feel sorry for these people they have to cook at home and not go out to eat DA!!!!!!!!!!! If the gov. would learn to cut back we would all be better off. they say that 6b$ is only a small part of the budget. I find that saveing dollars starts with pennies.

  4. JS Sodhi says:


    Shun criticising anyone trying to help and give a constructive solution, In my opinion people getting higher wages say more than $30 per hour should be made to pay 2% unemployment tax till the unemployment rate comes to 0%.

    1. Tom says:

      How will a tax bring down unemployment?

    2. Duncan says:

      Who is John Galt?

  5. Herman Glimsher says:


  6. Bill says:

    He’s just coaching them on how to get around the system..Most of these people do have full time jobs. COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT. They know what companies are not hiring, call them, and then go to unemployment and say no one is hiring.. At this point they get benefits.

  7. excuse me says:

    Bill you are an hiring? I was laid off after 17 years at the same high paid desk job. I applied for 345 so called hiring companies until I finally had to create my own cleaning business and pound the pacement handing out fliers and praying and praying I get more work everyday. So until you know what the hell is really going one out there dont forget to hire the next person who knocks on your door with a flier to clean or do some improvemetn or somethiing else.

  8. James D Jones says:

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  9. James D Jones says:

    Looking for work? I can help help! Check this out and give me a call!

  10. baltimore resident says:

    I fully agree that unemployment is a big issue and that services can only cover so much, but the big problem is those that just use the system and take and take and take, some are able to work but won’t nobody checks up and the checks keep flowing month after month, want to save money for those that really need it make them do some type of community service 40 hours a week for that gov’t money, se how fast they can find a real job.

  11. hero1 says:

    The system is broken & nobody has the balls to fix it. Elijah can’t pull jobs outa his ass but he would like u to believe he can to continue that good lifestyle on Capitol Hill.

    1. baltimore resident says:

      true to the point hear hear

  12. Bel Air Resident says:

    I’m sure O’Malley can chase out some more businesses from Maryland in the next 4 years to raise that unemployment number. You would have to be nuts to move your organization to Maryland. The only thing that exists here is big government – which DOESN’T GENERATE ANY MONEY!

    You get what you asked for.. Keep voting democrat.. Maryland already can’t support it’s huge government burden. No one will be left to pay the bill.

  13. Alain says:

    Just the facts

    The concerned citizen answered the news lady’s questions;
    “Yes I am here to support the Congressman on the issue of reinstating the 1933 Glass-Steagall firewall in the banking system. The bank bailout is costing us Human lives. The Housing Bubble debacle would not have been possible without the 1999 take down of the Glass-Steagall statutes.”

    The Congressman showcased the initiative of the local county executive successful streamlining of the application process for various state aid programs for people in trouble in these hard economic times.

    The Congressman avoided all reference to federal bureaucracy as bloated or inept.

    The Congressman avoided all reference the cost of the bank bailout in terms of human lives.

    The Congressman emphasized that budget reductions must be done with the meticulousness of a surgeon and that the cuts must not wreck our future.

    The news program made no mention of the Glass-Steagall issue but did show a 15sec.segment interviewing a woman who expressed happiness and enthusiasm to
    now be able to spread the word about the new “One Stop” state aid system.

    My name is Alain Lareau and I was a congressional candidate in my district on the Ballot with the Constitution party during the 2010 election cycle.

    I must report to you that I see a great polarization between the right and left which is not necessarily a bad thing except when both end are embroiled with hypocrisy and again not the worst thing if people can see it. When people DO see it and shrink from exposing it or attacking it then the people who DO NOT see it have no qualified leaders for their representation. The leaders they elect simply mimic and mirror their hypocrisy and the people believe themselves to be well served.

    If situations afforded me an opportunity to ask a question at the microphone at a town hall meeting I would try to articulate the following:

    I do not live in your district, but if I did I would likely be voting for you as I regard you as somewhat better than the average apple in the barrel over there in Washington. I know depending who you are talking to, that doesn’t say much. I believe there is hope for us because there is hope that you might rise to the occasion.
    (you see I am not there to cut off his balls but to get him to grow some)
    Please see the need for people to find Common Ground.
    To achieve Common Ground we must fight for the Higher Ground, this is a metaphor most people can recognize very readily. Take a lesson from the Civil Rights’ movement, the Common Ground people found was created by the fight for higher principles, the High Ground By attacking the hypocrisies on both sides.

    I believe the Federal Government to be quiet bloated, I am all for a little downsizing; BUT the deregulations are coming made-to-order by the THIEVES that are causing all our problems, the 1999 take down of Glass-Steagall is the perfect example!

    Your metaphor about cutting the budget with surgical precision makes sense to me; BUT the finger can be removed by the best cutter around and then the thumb, sooner or latter someone says “that hand is USELESS why are we spending money keep it around” and then the same logic applies to the whole arm, “chop it off”.

    The great myriad of Federal Programs and Agencies admittedly are quiet redundant overlapping; BUT this was DELIBERATE, instituted by people who intentionally wanted to gum up the works and render much ineffectual. The problems with the Social Services office is ironically parallel. That working single Mom with two kids has to make 18 trips between 6 different offices to find a way to make by because it was designed that way on purpose, likewise for the homeless veteran has to make his 18 bleepin’ bus trips to get help. The “Economic downturn” has overwhelmed the system ,yes, but the source of the clamber for “streamlining” has come not so much from bureaucrats or aid workers but by the newly destitute middle class types who when encounter all this red tape must exclaim “holy smoke, I had no idea it was so hard for poor folks, the bashers of the welfare Moms make it sound like it is so easy!”. Well now you have made it easier, this is the best you have come up with to solve the economic crisis. Be surgical with the cuts and streamline the dole!

    Really any defunding right now will increase the ineptitude of agencies and likely trigger more contractions in GDP/GNP. Sad but true. Speaking of truth, isn’t that what we really need right now, elected officials to tell the people the real truth. Do you really think we are so stupid or immoral we won’t or can’t help you do the right thing. Are you not going to level with us because you are afraid of our response or is it someone else is telling you not to tell us the truth?

    What if I could show you a single item budget cut that would save us 5 Trillion Dollars this year, would you be interested? One item, no austerity, no hardship no detriment to Human Being what-so-ever. My congressman won’t talk to me, I even ran against him to get his attention. STOP BAILING OUT THE BANKS, STOP THESE STUPID WARS, GET BACK TO THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF POLITICAL ECONOMY.

    Will you help, please pull your colleague, my congressman aside and convince him to meet with me and allow me to help him fight for the Higher Ground.

    I need your help with one more thing. There is a media blackout on this Glass-Steagall issue. If you do not believe this is the case come with me now before the Television camera and prove to me that we can move forward with this or I can prove to you that we have more work to do if the Station Editor will not allow it to be aired. If you believe that you have clout to insist that this Glass-Steagall issue be aired then please use it now. The public may wonder is our news media controlling our elected representation. I tell you if you do not aid me in breaking the blackout of the Glass-Steagall issue now, you will expose your self as irrelevant.

    Sir, please come with me now to the camera.

  14. Bernard Mc Kernan says:

    Alain, Has anyone ever instructed you in the art of short but to the point paragraphs, sentences, or better yet a book which your arrogant ass just penned?

    1. Alain Lareau says:

      Bernard, I am very sorry for your lack of attention span. In Abraham Lincoln’s day people would sit for hours at political events. I thought I was going easy on people.

      Am I doing better?

      I am willing to help you with your attention problem if would help me become a better writer.

      Yes my ass is arrogant, I have a GOOD arrogant ass. To bad yours can’t sit still.
      Is it ADD or ADHD?

      I know where you stand on literary issues, but how about
      BLOOD SUCKING Wall Street, where do you stand on Glass – Steagall?
      That is the point, right?

      Am I doing better?

      Best regards

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