An African-American woman who expressed to President Obama her fears of the nation’s current economic climate has lost her job.
Velma Hart was laid off from her position as chief financial officer for Am Vets, a non-profit veteran services organization based in Maryland. She lost her job two months after she told the President about losing her footing in her current financial standing.
The Washington Post reported that Hart’s job loss was just another example of talent being chewed away by the recession.
“It’s not anything she did,” Jim King, the national executive director of Am Vets, told The Post. “She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of people. It was a move to cut our bottom line. Most not-for-profits are seeing their money pinched.”
King said that Hart’s layoff was a result of budget reductions.
“Velma was a good employee,” he said in an interview with The Post. “It was just a matter of looking at the bottom line and where could we make the best cuts and survive.”
However, Hart is remaining upbeat about her situation.
“I want to focus on the positive and be optimistic,” Hart said, “and assume that somehow things will work out, that there’s an opportunity out there with Velma’s name on it that’s right around the corner.”
In the town-hall meeting that was broadcast by CNBC, Hart asked Obama a vital question:
“My husband and I joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot-dogs-and-beans era of our lives. But, quite frankly, it’s starting to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we’re headed again. And, quite frankly, Mr. President, I need you to answer this honestly: Is this my new reality?”
The President’s response? “As I said before, times are tough for everybody right now. So I understand your frustration.”
Hart claims that she is still a supporter of Obama an that she knws that the economy is slowly bouncing back, however she found the idea of being unemployed quite “scary.” Two months later, that fear became a reality.
Hart’s job loss is not only an example of tough economic times, but also a predictor of the waning support that could arise from African-Americans voters who are suffering at the thresholds of unemployment.