Rep. Maxine Waters blasted the Tea Party over jobs and unemployment in front of a crowd of over 2,000 residents gathered at a town hall Saturday.
Waters, along with Laura Richardson and Karen Bass attended the "Kitchen Table Summit'' at Inglewood High School, listening to voters' frustrations over the lingering recession, losing their homes, and job searches that have gone on for over a year.
Waters blamed the Tea Party for helping the Republicans take the House and making things worse for working people.
"You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell," Waters said. "And I'm gonna tell them how to get there."
Refugio Mata with GoodJobsLA, the grassroots group that organized the gathering, called the event a "large-scale therapy session,'' allowing struggling residents of urban areas to come together and commiserate about how the economic crisis affects them.
The recession has slammed Los Angeles County, where 1 in 4 workers are jobless or underemployed. This summer, L.A. businesses announced 5,700 layoffs, the jobs advocacy group said.
At the same time, corporations are hoarding almost $2 trillion in cash but failing to invest in jobs, the advocacy group said. The group also cited skyrocketing bonuses for many chief executives and big tax breaks for some of the nation's largest companies.
As the jobless rate in California tops 12 percent, Rep. Waters called unemployment her "major focus and primary adversary."
Attendees urged politicians and corporate officials to sign a pledge to support a wide-ranging national jobs program.
"This is not a game for the weak," Waters said during an interview afterwards. "This is not for the intimidated, this means you have to stand up to the tea party. We know that they're going to resist. But let's have that fight. Unless you struggle and fight, you don't know whether you can win."
Many in the audience were angered by the in-action in Washington.
"All I see is more of the same. I see the two parties bickering like my grandchildren bickering," said one attendee. "Why can't they come together for the needs of the people in this country?"