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Monday, May 7, 2012

A Farewell Note to Congressman Burgess

U. S. Representative Michael C. Burgess


1224 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

P: (202) 225-7772

F: (202) 225-2919

RE: Congressional Change & New Leadership

My Dear Congressman:

It would be unbecoming of Eddie Griffin not bid to you farewell and God’s spend, after all the memories and good times we have shared together, with you as my congressional representative.

I wish to thank you for your diligent service to the community, and for the grace and favor you have shown to me, personally.

I am especially thankful to your assistant, Erik With, for making me a part of the Economic Summit Workforce of the Future Advisory, which has proven to be a great work in my life and a work that continues to this day in its implementation stage.

Besides this, I wish to thank you for supporting my campaign against Misogyny and for reading my letter to entertainment industry executives before the Congress into the Record, Sept. 25, 2007.

I want to thank you also for that one vote that you characterize as “this vote is for Eddie”, in voting to raise the Minimum Wage, albeit this was a compromise included in President George Bushes’ 2007 “War Funding Bill”.

Your supportive role in voting NO to the “Walk Street Bailout” was instrumental to changing the tide in Washington, D.C.’s culture of K-Street domination, although for a short time period. But for those who hedged their bets, banking on an early bailout from Congress, on a particular day, the big disappointment led to great losses and the collapse of the stock market. It was the turning point in the economy that got Barack Obama elected.

Thank you for also building a VA Clinic in Southeast Fort Worth. The clinic, built across the street from Tarrant County College, helps support the institutional infrastructure in our community, besides the local jobs it created.

I am particularly thankful insofar as it enabled the VA to provide medical services, locally, to a disabled veteran old warhorse like me.

I am thankful to God for you, and I pray on your behalf, each and every morning, of every day.


April 11, 2005

From: Eddie Griffin

To: Erik With

RE: “No Plates For Some”

Dear Erik:

I love my new congressman, Michael Burgess. Thank you for introducing us. I told him that “one day I woke up in his gerrymandered district”. He said it was “the miracle of re-districting”…

Since the congressman is just now getting a feel for this new population, he might be tickled pink to know that he now represents the “poorest section of the Fort Worth community”, which brings me to your comment in your last email: The concept of shortage is difficult to imagine in a country as blessed as the US.

I am inspired to speak on behalf of “the poorest of the poor” in irony to “the concept of shortage” in a nation of prosperity. Once again, I allude to Thomas Malthus: “There are no plates for some”.

Eddie Griffin


Fort Worth, Texas

Congressman Michael Burgess, District 26, kicked off the Smart Commute Initiative before an audience of about 100 southeast residents and community leaders. The Initiative is designed to attract people back into the historic inner city district, after years of decline.

Congressman Burgess praised the coalition that put the Initiative together, which included representatives from Transportation, Housing, and the community. Glenn Forbes, president of Southeast Fort Worth, Inc., served as master of ceremony. Also, participating in the program was Mayor Pro-Tempore Ralph McCloud, Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks, and State Representative Marc Veasey.

Re-Urbanization Plan

Community leaders and financial institutions have been meeting with community residents in developing a re-urbanization plan for some time. Increasing the population density of Near Southeast Fort Worth has been a long-range goal for business visionaries like Glenn Forbes. New home building in the area would create an Urban Village, which is attractive to new business capital.

The Initiative represents a grand vision in modern urban development planning and provided Congressman Burgess, who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, with some ideas to take back to Washington, D. C.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The East and Southeast Forth Worth Economic Development Summit convened on June 3, 2005, organized by the Public Forum Institute and hosted by honorary chairman U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess (District 26). Keynote speaker for the event was Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce David Sampson. About 225 community and business representatives convened with local, state, and national leaders to develop plans on how to attract investment, encourage entrepreneurship, change perceptions and prepare the work force in some of Fort Worth's most blighted neighborhoods…

Congressman Michael Burgess called for a unified vision that addresses economic development from the inside out. "Growth and economic prosperity flourish all around this section of Fort Worth, and we must find a way to end the cycle of neglect," he stated, citing the area's trouble in attracting private investment. "As we look at our urban communities, we must work cooperatively together to turn our words into actions. It will require putting community interest ahead of self interest."

Summit Workshops

· Attracting Investment

· Preparing the Workforce of the Future

· Building Communities & Changing Perceptions

· Encouraging Entrepreneurship

Summit Objective:

  • To Stimulate Economic Growth In East And Southeast Fort Worth
  • To Help The Region Define A Vision And Plan For Its Economic Future
  • To Seek To Identify A Champion Who Would Promote And Advocate For The Area With Their Words And Their Wallet
  • To Examine Approaches To Strengthen Educational Achievement Of Local Students
  • To Remove Barriers To Employment For An Aging Labor Force
  • To Improve Quality Of Life For Are Residents
  • To Change The Negative Perceptions Held By Others Outside The Community
  • To Help Reduce Crime And Promote A More Positive Image Of The Area
  • To Examine How Entrepreneurs Bring Innovation To The Area And Develop Businesses That Can Serve As A Catalyst For New Growth

ACTION PLANS for Workforce of the Future

Eddie Griffin, a member of the Workforce of the Future Task Force, helped identify areas of priority and helped build the framework for developing the future local workforce. By working together with constituents across boundaries, we formed lifelong bonds and working relationships and alliances between local institutions and our community.

I championed the cause for a “livable wage” at the low-end wage scale and advocated raising the Minimum Wage. An unfair distribution of profit is the formula for the rich getting rich and the poor racing to keep up with inflation. Through inflation and stagnate wages, the purchasing power of low-end wage earners continues to erode. 

An Action Plan to raise the minimum wage reached outside the state of Texas to other states that eventually enacted new minimum wage rates and forced Congress to do the same.

Interdiction through the School System

Since the future workforce must come through the public school system, the taskforce identified local high schools as the ideal point of interdiction to upgrade workforce training and development.

We confronted the high school dropout problem head on, and formed various work groups and committees to study the issue, and worked in conjunction with FWISD Community Action Teams (CAT) to find viable solutions. Members of the congressman’s Workforce Advisory also worked on CAT teams. To date, this is what has been accomplished:

GO Centers were created by a business and social service collaborative to provide computer resources, internet access, and guidance that would help students in high risk areas to navigate their way to and through college. These were first placed into all the high schools, and later expanded to middle schools and into faith-based community centers and churches, to form a community support network for education at the grassroots level. The Centers would later also provide tutorial services to struggling students and other parental assistance programs.

Vocational and Technical Certification programs were introduced into the high schools for students who wanted or needed to get straight into the job market. These programs allowed students to become viable earn wages before high school completion, and provided a powerful incentive against having to drop out of school in order to go to work because of family needs. Some students gained certified skills as technicians, medical assistants, and tax preparers.

The programs have since evolved into the FWISD Gold Seals Programs that teach skill sets in other vocational fields like culinary arts.

Virtual Education, a cause for which we lobbied, was championed by State Rep. Jerry Madden, who helped pass of a bill that allowed school districts to use online curriculum and materials, and set the state for the use modern technology like whiteboards in the classrooms. Thus, FWISD became the first digital school district of its size in the stage, which is now poised for a new round of education technology.

More recently, new FWISD Supt. Walter Dansby invited Eddie Griffin to assist in developing a strategic 5-year vision for the public school system.


All of the old frontiers are conquered. The current state of the workforce, that once spearheaded the growth industries of yesterday, is now aging and old skill sets are becoming antiquated. We are moving into a world of Nano-Technology, at a time when our school children are lagging behind in their academic understanding in math.

The workforce of the future is now engineering at a sub-atomic particle level, creating new composite materials in bio-medicine, and connecting new wave theories to voice recognition programs and receptors that execute voice commands.

Heretofore, the greatest challenge between the students in poor districts versus those in richer districts was the digital divide. But new cost-effective technology is bridging the gap, and bringing a whole new experience and medium into the classroom.

The Workforce of the Future for the next generation will depend on putting the right tools into the hands of our children and teaching them early on how to use and master them. The higher the educational skill sets, the more competitive the labor force in the global economic environment.

Parity in Educational Resources

There is still structural disparity between the districts that give favor to students in the richer schools. This advantage provides for unequal competition in the job market. The Federal Equal Opportunity Employment laws can protect again discrimination, but it cannot equalize and protect the lesser educated. Therefore, inner city unemployment is higher, without recourse to Civil Rights protections.

This is a problem that we can solve by first utilizing best what we have now-- more wisely, more efficiently, and more purposefully- and secondly, continuing to fight for parity in education resources and equality in employment opportunities.

This has been and remains my greatest mission.


One factor in the Workforce of the Future scenario is healthcare- infant, child, mother and worker healthcare, in general.

A vibrant workforce begins with healthy babies. And, the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as Obama Care, eliminated certain preexisting conditions like “Blue Babies” syndromes, where babies are born into the world with breathing problems.

Women’s healthcare provisions allow expectant mothers to receive early prenatal care and disease prevention strategies for unborn children. Obama Care allows women to get early diagnosis, medical advice and care, and services that enable unborn children to come into the world with healthier prognoses.

And, worker healthcare provides protection against medical insurance overcharges, by forcing insurance companies to refund excess profits.

These protections, benefits, and safeguards should not be taken away, now that the law is enacted.


I always disagreed with compulsive subscription to insurance policies. And, I believe also that President Barack Obama would not have capitulated to the Insurance Industry, if the government had been allowed the power to sell cheaper insurance coverage, as the original bill first proposed.

As you know, the government insurance option was designed to give the public an alternative to high rate private insurance providers. It did not eliminate a patient’s choice, as propagandists claimed.

But having the government in the insurance business, and its ability to uncut the rate of private insurers, was something repulsive to Congress at the time. Thus, the congressional rejection of the public option forced the Obama administration to make a deal with the devil, so to speak. Mandatory insurance coverage for all then became the only way to get the Insurance Industry to support Universal Healthcare Coverage.

All other partisan claims are distortions.

Eddie G. Griffin (BASG) will continue to support the right of the unborn child to come into the world with full healthcare provisions and coverage, and a mother’s right to medical services of her choice and according to her needs, at the advisement of her own medical doctor, and not doctors chosen for her by the government, whether federal or state.

I will continue to support healthy working conditions through industry regulations, and covered medical service for workers injured on the job. I will oppose exploitation of undocumented laborers who have no protection or medical coverage.


Of course, we will continue to disagree on much legislation, particularly those immediately identified above. But you are and will always be my friend.

I have hereby officially adopted you as my FACEBOOK FRIEND, in hopes of continuing to win your support and your vote on issues key to the concerns of our new U.S. Congressional District 33.

Eddie Griffin

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