Newsflash:
Issues Economic and Social Justice Voter Access 2014 Is a Critical Year of Elections -- Its Importance Cannot Be Overstated
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 01:33

2014 Is a Critical Year of Elections -- Its Importance Cannot Be Overstated

Written by  Pearl Korn | Huffington Post

While the midterm elections usually signify a time for the majority of the public to tune out -- an average of only about 40 percent of eligible voters even bother to vote -- this year must be different.

It is hard to imagine a more critical moment for an engaged citizenry to show up in great numbers and exercise one of our few remaining -- and rapidly eroding -- rights: the right to vote. According to a fundraising e-mail I received from the Democratic Governors Association, 90 voter-suppression bills were introduced in 2013 in just 33 states. Indeed, most voting rights battles are being waged in the states and not in Congress, so our attention must be directed to the numerous governors races this year, as well as those in the House and Senate. Twenty-two GOP and 14 Democratic governorships are in play this year, and if more right-wing extremists take over these seats -- and the Senate loses its six seat Democratic majority -- we can expect to see catastrophic consequences looming on the horizon in no time. Such a result would essentially hand our government over to the 1 percent of special corporate interests, which now drives most of the self-serving corruption polluting all houses of government on the federal and state level.

A glaring example of what could be coming down the road is the behavior of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has single handedly refused to allow the Senate to even vote on critical matters an astounding 400 times, according to his Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes. If she can retire Senator "Gridlock," it would have tremendous implications nationally and jolt the GOP to its core. Her campaign has been effectively informing supporters about specific legislation this Senator has blocked and how he has repeatedly tied the Senate up in knots of inaction on major issues. He is clearly serving only his wealthy and corporate donors with his endless filibusters and other obstructionist antics. This is one reason why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took the remarkable step of a implementing the so-called "nuclear option." The filibuster rule certainly needed an overhaul, and more must be done in this area so that a super-majority vote of 60 does not control every voting decision in the Senate. McConnell, however, remains undeterred, recently stating that "Congress won't make a lot of big, important things happen this year."

So we will continue to see a gridlocked Senate not doing the People's business, at least through the end of the year. And what has all of this inaction brought us so far? Since Christmas, those 1.7 million who lost their unemployment insurance has grown to over 2 million. The minimum wage still has not been raised to that paltry $10.10 per hour the President talked about in his last SOTU address. VP Joe Biden sent an e-mail on March 13th making a pitch for increasing the minimum wage, noting that "21 states have raised wages for working people, and business owners, from mom and pop shops to huge retailers like Costco and the Gap, have said they are ready to pay their employees more." This really is a must do for Congress this year. And then there is immigration reform -- which seems to have disappeared into the ether -- and gun control, which will continue to go nowhere until we get solid Progressive -- yes, I know that I did not say "Democratic" -- majorities in both Houses.

So it really isn't too early to think about all of those congressional elections coming up this November. A third of the seats in the Senate will be up for grabs, along with 435 House seats and those 36 governorships. Most are in play in this ever-changing political landscape, so this is a critical time for the People to speak out and change the direction of our country. We can't afford to have a disinterested, disheartened voting public -- that's what the GOP counts on.

The Democratic Governors Association ("DGA") is actively engaged in campaigns to throw out some of the worst of the worst in 2014, including:

  • Tea Party loon Rick Scott of Florida, who poured $73 million of his own money into his 2010 campaign. He is expected to spend $100 million or more on this year's race, and he'll likely need every penny, as his popularity is on the wane and constituents have become disenchanted with him in light of the state's poor economy, a lackluster housing market that continues to flounder, a rapidly growing population faced with fewer and fewer jobs, and his shameless purging of voters from the rolls. Nevertheless, his large checkbook will be a major obstacle for anyone trying to unseat him.
  • Then there is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who spent $63.5 million to defeat last year's recall challenge after he clamped down on collective bargaining for public employees. He has become fairly unpopular in his state as well, with more than half of his constituents disapproving of his unwillingness to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a "Obamacare"). If re-elected, you can be sure he will do even more to take away rights from working families. After all, he is clearly thinking about a presidential run in the next cycle, so he must boost his "conservative" credentials if he is going to be competitive in the primaries in 2016.
  • And let us not forget Ohio Governor John Kasich, who signed into law a bill de-funding Planned Parenthood and forcing women seeking abortions to get unnecessary ultrasounds. He, too, has his eyes on the presidency, and he will likely make his anti-choice stance a centerpiece of his campaign.
  • Nor should we overlook the ambitions of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, neither of whom are up for re-election this year. Even so, they both remain firmly on the radar of the DGA. Some good news did come on March 12th with the announcement that Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona will retire after her current term ends.

The strategy remains consistent across the board in the Republican governors' camp: eliminate unions, keep wages low, restrict women's choice and health rights, oppose marriage equality, destroy the environment and our health with fracking and mining, attack Obamacare, and suppress the right to vote with those harsh ID requirements that target the poor and minorities. It is worth noting at this point that the DGA raised only $28 million last year -- which was still a record for them in an off-year -- against the RGA's $50 million. Unfortunately, 2014 could prove to be tough sledding in the competitive fundraising department for the DGA, despite their goals of defeating potential 2016 presidential candidates like Scott Walker and John Kasich, effectively knocking them out of that race before it even begins.

Across the country, Republican governors -- in concert with their cronies in their Republican-dominated state legislatures -- are enacting outrageous voter suppression laws that do little more than ensure that the Republicans can steal election victories and take away a core principle of our constitutional democracy -- our right to vote. Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech at Georgetown University Law Center in which he called on the states to do away with laws that prohibit more than six million felons -- many of whom are people of color -- from voting. Currently, these people are deprived of their right to vote for the rest of their lives, which only serves to make it more difficult for them to re-enter society by denying them the right to participate in the political process. Holder noted that these policies were little more than remnants of the racist Jim Crow system that was the law of the land in the South from the end of the Civil War through the 1960s, and that "states enacted these laws to control and oppress people of color and keep them from voting."

One way to counter disenfranchisement of felons would be to pass the Democracy Restoration Act, re-introduced in Congress in 2011 by Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). This bill would restore the right to vote to American citizens who are released from prison or are on probation. This major piece of legislation has been languishing since 2009, so perhaps our President and Attorney General Holder should press for a Constitutional amendment addressing this and all other forms of voter disenfranchisement. More immediately, they should also publicly urge for the passage of the Cardin/Conyers bill. Unfortunately, both the President and AG Holder have been out to lunch on this issue. They should see that this is just another tactic in the extremist strategy of the GOP, supported by the Supreme Court decision several months ago that chipped away at the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by striking down Section 4 of the Act, which helped stop voter suppression laws from being implemented. It is no wonder that things have only worsened since then. I did learn some good news in an email from Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who notes that new legislation has been introduced in the Senate and House on a bipartisan basis to preserve and protect the right of all Americans to vote. Menendez also stated that the Supreme Court's decision set us back 50 years, and he is seeking in his petition support from the public to call on Congress to protect the right of every American to vote by modernizing the Voting Rights Act.

So while the GOP-led states are dismantling as many rights for workers and the middle class as possible, the Republicans in Congress are also working on a larger scale to turn back the clock on almost 80 years of Progressive achievements for the people of this country. Privatizing Social Security and Medicare are at the top of their list, so they can end what they perceive to be welfare handouts to an undeserving population who won't take responsibility for their own lot in life. On the other side of the coin, they adamantly oppose any tax hikes for the rich and corporations, while slashing earned benefits for the middle class and those who aspire to join it. Corporate loopholes continue to thrive under this Congress, enabling the GOP's corporate masters to squirrel away their undeclared millions -- if not billions -- in offshore tax havens, while the working class gets tax hikes and increases to their healthcare costs.

And let us not overlook those disastrous trade policies that continue to ship jobs overseas, add to our trade deficits and destroy our national sovereignty. The most frightening of this bunch is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement ("TPP"), which would establish a tribunal court system under the World Bank and UN that would force countries to "repay" any money corporations "lose" by doing business under the laws of those countries. Some of the side effects of this egregious corporate power-grab would be higher drug costs, giving foreign companies the "right to acquire land, natural resources, factories without government review," and severely impacting consumer rights, while doing little to improve the lives of workers in the countries that are foolish enough to sign onto this rotten deal.

As for the US, this would be a complete corporate takeover that makes NAFTA look like a game of Tiddlywinks. Twenty years after NAFTA, we are still running trade deficits and losing jobs, and its more recent Korea Free Trade Agreement sibling has only added to those deficits. Public Citizen reports that our trade exports to Korea have dropped 11 percent, while our trade deficit with Korea has soared 47 percent under this deal. That equates to more than 40,000 jobs lost. Yet this was the starting point used by the Obama administration for the TPP. Six hundred lobbyists and corporations have been writing the TPP proposals in secret, with Congress and the American people cut out of the process and left in the dark about what's going on. This is unacceptable, Mr. President. Where is the openness you promised? And what about candidate Obama's pledge to rewrite NAFTA? More broken promises, I'm afraid.

This is by no means the complete story of our government. There are some wonderful stories about true public servants who care about the future of our country and are doing things every day to make the lives of hard-working Americans better. Progressives in Congress have been taking on issues that matter, like raising Social Security benefits. Just last week, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) -- the People's champion -- held a hearing on the merits of going to a single payer healthcare system. Some facts brought up in the hearing included the insanity of 31% of healthcare revenue going to cover administration costs of the insurance industry, and most shocking of all, the fact that we are number 40 -- that is at the bottom -- on the list of industrialized nations with regard to our healthcare outcomes -- a national disgrace. This despite 17.6 percent of our GDP being spent on healthcare, at a per-person cost of $8,233, according to data from 2010. Meanwhile, nations with single payer pay half that, and in some cases even less. We certainly aren't getting much bang for the buck we're paying for healthcare, instead seeing too many poor results and too many of our fellow Americans left uninsured. Experts on healthcare from single payer nations testified at the hearing, and it was the first Congressional hearing on single payer in my memory that managed to separate facts from fiction. Pro and con points of view were offered, and it was certainly a great teach-in for Senators on the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that held the hearing. More such hearings must take place. Many thanks to Senator Sanders for finally opening this door.

So while this isn't a complete list of reasons why the 2014 elections need our particular attention, it is a good start. Unfortunately, we are still left with a two-party system that too often leaves us having to decide between the lesser of two evils. The Democratic party must come up with that overarching reason why we should vote for Dems on the federal and state level. The heritage of both parties seems to have been forgotten as their descendants move further and further away from the noble origins that made both parties great. The Democratic party was once a liberal workers party that achieved great things, and it must find that focus and purpose again to champion more programs like Social Security and Medicare that made us a great nation and an inspiration around the world. And the GOP, which was once proudly the party of Lincoln, is now at odds with its Tea Party roots and must decide where it can go from here, because right now there is no place to go but down on their current path for everyone except the 1 percent. The Republicans' debilitating branding as the party of "no" and the reactionary ideology they have used to hold America hostage will only lead to their ultimate demise as a national party. There can be no future for our nation with them in charge.

One way to loosen the grip of corruption in our federal and state governments is to pass an amendment overturning the Supreme Court's disgraceful Citizens United decision and go to public funding of political campaigns. It is the only way we will ever restore our democracy and return to our former greatness.

And so the ball is really in our court on this one. It is time for the People to decide on our future, or face the consequences. The clock is ticking.

- with Jonathan Stone


Original article on Huffington Post

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Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

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  • How Social Security Was Saved
    How Social Security Was Saved

    The release of the White House’s 2014 budget in April 2013 was a stomach-churning occasion for American seniors who depend on Social Security. In an effort to woo the austerity-now crowd, President Barack Obama included in his proposal a new formula to calculate Social Security cost-of-living adjustments: the chained consumer price index, or chained CPI. Presented as a harmless technocratic fix, chained CPI would have hit America’s retirees in the pocketbook by reducing their Social Security cost-of-living increases.

    Written on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:00 Read more...
  • 'Better Off' Budget Attacks Status Quo with Bold Progressive Vision
    'Better Off' Budget Attacks Status Quo with Bold Progressive Vision

    Economic blueprint by Congressional Progressive Caucus makes commanding argument for what's possible, but will it again be ignored by nation's powerful elite?

    Written on Thursday, 13 March 2014 22:09 Read more...
  • Why I Didn’t Make it to Gaza for International Women’s Day
    Why I Didn’t Make it to Gaza for International Women’s Day

    When I boarded the plane to Cairo, Egypt, to make sure everything was in place for the women’s delegation headed to Gaza, I had no reason to think I’d end up in a jail cell at the Cairo airport and then violently deported.

    Written on Thursday, 13 March 2014 18:51 Read more...
  • UDC Law School - Social Justice Law
    UDC Law School - Social Justice Law

    The public service-oriented UDC David A. Clarke School of Law (www.law.udc.edu) is the public law school of the nation’s capital. Unlike most other law schools in America, all UDC-DCSL students receive a high-quality, practical, hands-on program of legal study. In addition to the traditional law curriculum, each UDC-DCSL student, under the close supervision of attorney-professors, provides 700 hours of much-needed legal service to low-income Washington, DC residents in one of the School’s eight clinics.

    Written on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 19:20 Read more...
  • I was brutally attacked.
    I was brutally attacked.

    Just the other day I hopped on a plane to Egypt, eager to join the international delegation of 100 women headed to Gaza for International Women’s Day. Little did I know I would be stopped at the Cairo airport, detained, held overnight in a cell, then in the morning brutally assaulted by Egyptian authorities. 

    Written on Thursday, 06 March 2014 21:42 Read more...
  • Bernie Sanders: ‘I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States’
    Bernie Sanders: ‘I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States’

    Bernie Sanders says he is “prepared to run for president of the United States.” That’s not a formal announcement. A lot can change between now and 2016, and the populist senator from Vermont bristles at the whole notion of a permanent campaign.

    Written on Thursday, 06 March 2014 21:24 Read more...
  • 2 Million People Cut Off Unemployment Benefits
    2 Million People Cut Off Unemployment Benefits

    WASHINGTON – The number of people who have lost their unemployment benefits as a result of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program’s expiration has surpassed two million this week, according to a new analysis from Ways and Means Committee Democrats.

    Written on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 17:01 Read more...
  • Egyptian Police Detain, Assault, & Deport Peace Activist Medea Benjamin
    Egyptian Police Detain, Assault, & Deport Peace Activist Medea Benjamin

    On route to a women’s conference in Gaza, Code Pink founder and peace activist Medea Benjamin was detained by Egyptian police and held in an airport prison cell for several hours without being charged. During her detention, the petite Benjamin said she was “jumped on” by Egyptian police and “violently handcuffed” resulting in a  fractured my arm, dislocated my shoulder, torn ligaments.

    Written on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 21:20 Read more...
  • CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin Detained, Brutally Attacked and Deported from Egypt en route to Gaza with International Delegation of Women
    CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin Detained, Brutally Attacked and Deported from Egypt en route to Gaza with International Delegation of Women

    CODEPINK Co-founder Medea Benjamin Detained, Brutally Attacked and Deported from Egypt en route to Gaza with International Delegation of Women

    Written on Tuesday, 04 March 2014 16:45 Read more...
  • The Progressive Movement Continues to Mature and Grow
    The Progressive Movement Continues to Mature and Grow

    In case you hadn't noticed, the debt ceiling was raised several days ago, so quietly that it barely made a ripple in the press. No threats of shutting down the government or hostage-taking emanated from Senator Mitch McConnell -- or from his even more radical right-wing cronies in the House -- this recent go around.

    Written on Friday, 28 February 2014 02:55 Read more...
  • What a Victory: How a $40 Million Attack on the Middle Class Went Up in Smoke
    What a Victory: How a $40 Million Attack on the Middle Class Went Up in Smoke

    It’s debt ceiling time, and the United States economy is once again on the brink, held hostage by extremists hell-bent on forcing cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Oh, wait. That was last year. In 2014, for the first time in three years, the vote to extend the nation’s debt ceiling did not bring the United States to the brink of default in a high-stakes game of slash and burn.

    Written on Sunday, 23 February 2014 16:37 Read more...
  • The United States of Poverty and Inequality
    The United States of Poverty and Inequality

    New report shows that no matter which state you live in, the 1% are making even more gains as the rest fall back

    Over the last three decades the wealth of the nation's very richest 1% has grown ten times that of the average worker and over that time period that same tiny elite has captured more than half of the entire income increases, leaving the bottom 99% to divide the remaining gains.

    Written on Saturday, 22 February 2014 16:11 Read more...
  • Michael Sam stands tall
    Michael Sam stands tall

    “I’m a football player, and I’m gay.” With those words, Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end from the University of Missouri, demonstrated courage far beyond that demanded on the football field. And America may, for the first time, witness an openly gay man playing professional football.

    Written on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 03:20 Read more...
  • Preserve social programs that work
    Preserve social programs that work

    I started a chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America in Springfield a few years ago. Since then our chapter has grown to include the Greater Springfield Area. At an event last fall in front of U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin’s office we had 75 folks attend from various unions and organizations, many of them traveling from Normal, Bloomington, Peoria, Jacksonville, Morrisonville and Champaign.

    Written on Friday, 07 February 2014 03:25 Read more...
  • Conversations with Great Minds P1 - Rep Keith Ellison - My Country 'Tis of Thee
    Conversations with Great Minds P1 - Rep Keith Ellison - My Country 'Tis of Thee

    Congressman Keith Ellison(D-MN, 5th District) / Author of the new book, My Country 'Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future joins Thom Hartmann.

    Written on Thursday, 06 February 2014 22:36 Read more...
  • JESSE JACKSON: Response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address
    JESSE JACKSON: Response to President Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address

    The country seems turned off and tuned out to the Congress, politics generally and the federal government in particular. The good news is the emerging grass-roots movement exemplified by The Dreamers and the burgeoning campaign among low income workers around the nation, offering a clear challenge to the political gridlock, the inaction and non-work by Congress. Seeking to respond to this grassroots energy and to combat the frustration many people are feeling around the country, President Obama presented an optimistic tone, an uplifting message and a new plan of action to move America forward.

    Written on Thursday, 30 January 2014 20:01 Read more...
  • State of the Union: Right on Wages, Wrong on Trade
    State of the Union: Right on Wages, Wrong on Trade

    President Obama wants 2014 to be a “year of action” in which the country finally begins to address a wealth gap that has made the term “income inequality” the catchphrase of the moment. And he framed the crisis well in his fifth State of the Union address:

    Written on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 17:32 Read more...
  • House passes $956B farm bill
    House passes $956B farm bill

    The House on Wednesday approved a mammoth, $956 billion farm bill in a bipartisan vote.

    Members approved the House-Senate agreement on farm policy in a 251-166 vote. A majority of Republicans backed the bill, with 63 GOP no votes. But a majority of Democrats opposed it, with 103 voting no.

    Written on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:45 Read more...
  • Pete Seeger: This Man Surrounded Hate and Forced it to Surrender
     Pete Seeger: This Man Surrounded Hate and Forced it to Surrender

    When some of the greatest musicians in the world gathered five years ago to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of the musician who inspired them all, Bruce Springsteen told Pete Seeger: “You outlasted the bastards, man.”

    And so he did.

    Written on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:30 Read more...
  • State of the Union: It doesn’t have to be this way
    State of the Union: It doesn’t have to be this way

    President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night will focus on inequality, on the reality that this economy does not work for working people. Given the obstruction of House and Senate Republicans, the president faces the reality that little of what he proposes can pass this Congress. He has vowed to use his “pen” and “phone” to act unilaterally where he can. But the real challenge is to explain to the American people what the reality is, what must be done and who is standing in the way.

    Written on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:56 Read more...
  • Ellison’s Steps to Income Equality: More Powerful Unions and Weaker Trade
    Ellison’s Steps to Income Equality: More Powerful Unions and Weaker Trade

    Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairman Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said that increasing the power of unions is key to addressing income inequality in America.

    “We need a comprehensive plan, but let’s start with increasing the right to collective bargaining,” Ellison said on MSNBC. “We’ve got to get workers on the job in a position to demand that the wealth that they create be shared by the company. That’s a key thing. If you look at how wages has stagnated in the United States and you look at how union did something that has gone down, the lines track right together. You got to get power in the hands of the workers. That’s key.”

    Written on Thursday, 23 January 2014 18:18 Read more...
  • Celebrating MLK: A drum major for justice
    Celebrating MLK: A drum major for justice

    As I went from event to event Monday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King, I was struck by both the tribute and the distortion.

    The tribute is remarkable. Martin Luther King held no public office. He amassed no great fortune. He led no victorious armies

    Written on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 16:03 Read more...
  • Keith Ellison Blasts Inaction on Government-Backed Poverty: “The Most Remarkable Dodge I’ve Ever Seen”
    Keith Ellison Blasts Inaction on Government-Backed Poverty: “The Most Remarkable Dodge I’ve Ever Seen”

    One day after a top Obama administration official deflected a congressman’s call for executive action to raise labor standards for contractors, activists Wednesday announced the filing of a new Department of Labor complaint over alleged wage theft in a government building. The complaint alleges that dozens of workers in D.C.’s government-owned Union Station are owed over $3 million in back pay and damages for rampant failure to pay minimum wage or overtime.

    Written on Saturday, 18 January 2014 16:26 Read more...
  • King’s evolving Dream
    King’s evolving Dream

    It is that time to pause and think about the incredible life and contributions of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., oftentimes referred to as MLK. He was named Michael King Jr. after his father ­ who later changed both their names to Martin Luther, in honor of the religious reformer.

    Written on Saturday, 18 January 2014 15:37 Read more...
  • Moral Monday Movement Spreads Through the South
    Moral Monday Movement Spreads Through the South

    After drawing thousands of protesters to the state legislature and inspiring the arrests of more than 900 people for nonviolent civil disobedience, North Carolina's Moral Monday movement challenging the extreme conservative agenda of the state's Republican-controlled legislature and administration is gearing up for more actions in 2014.

    Written on Monday, 13 January 2014 13:30 Read more...
  • On 50th anniversary of 'War on Poverty' speech, Worcester Rep. Jim McGovern says cuts to SNAP are 'war on poor people'
    On 50th anniversary of 'War on Poverty' speech, Worcester Rep. Jim McGovern says cuts to SNAP are 'war on poor people'

    U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern says the "War on Poverty" has shifted from helping the poor to fighting them.

    McGovern, a Democrat who represents the 2nd district, spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday about hunger in America and potential cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) in the proposed Farm Bill.

    Written on Saturday, 11 January 2014 15:37 Read more...
  • War on Poverty wages on
    War on Poverty wages on

    Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson, lamenting that too many Americans “live on the outskirts of hope,” declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” This will not be “a short or easy struggle,” he stated in his State of the Union address to the Congress, “no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we will not rest until that war is won. The richest nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”

    Written on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 18:11 Read more...
  • Will New York City Lead the Way on Pre-K?
    Will New York City Lead the Way on Pre-K?

    At the Future of America Learning Center in the West Bronx, the pre-K curriculum is built around adult jobs—visiting real workplaces and then learning about the vocabulary and skills that grown-ups use every day.

    Written on Tuesday, 07 January 2014 01:24 Read more...
  • Advice for Young Women: Get a Union Job
    Advice for Young Women: Get a Union Job

    Back in the days before modern feminism, a young woman looking for work might typically be advised, politely, to “learn a trade,” with the implication that she wasn't bound for college or an elite career, but a humbler job as, say, a secretary or seamstress. Such a phrase might sound condescending today. Yet working in a trade might still be sound career goal for a woman, if she gets the right kind of job—in a union.

    Written on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 21:30 Read more...
  • Walmart Workers Will Make History on Friday As America Confronts Growing Inequality
    Walmart Workers Will Make History on Friday As America Confronts Growing Inequality

    This Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, tens of millions of Americans will travel to Walmart stores to look for holiday discounts on computers, toys, and cell phones as well as to buy groceries and basic household items.

    Written on Saturday, 30 November 2013 15:20 Read more...
  • McDonald's: Low-Paid Workers, High-Flying Execs
    McDonald's: Low-Paid Workers, High-Flying Execs

    He was CEO of the hamburger behemoth, McDonald's, pulling down a hefty $8.8 million in pay. Last year, though, Skinner retired, and, rather than getting a gold watch, he was given a load of gold — so large that even a Brink's armored truck would have been too small to haul it all away. His salary of $753,000 was the least of it.

    Written on Thursday, 21 November 2013 13:44 Read more...
  • Growing Movement: Expand Social Security or 'Pay a Price'
    Growing Movement: Expand Social Security or 'Pay a Price'

    Sen. Warren: 'Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.'

    With Social Security cuts once again on the table in closed-door congressional budget negotiations, a growing movement has taken the offensive, demanding that lawmakers strengthen, rather than stranglehold, our social safety net.

    Written on Thursday, 21 November 2013 13:36 Read more...
  • Paul Ryan Gets 700,000 ‘No’ Votes on Social Security Cuts
    Paul Ryan Gets 700,000 ‘No’ Votes on Social Security Cuts

    Ryan’s office on Wednesday received a petition signed by more than 700,000 people that said there should be “no grand bargain” in the budget negotiations being led by Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., “in exchange for cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.”

    Written on Saturday, 16 November 2013 03:10 Read more...
  • House Dems Can Block GOP Food Stamp Cuts—By Killing the Farm Bill
    House Dems Can Block GOP Food Stamp Cuts—By Killing the Farm Bill

    The farm bill will almost inevitably include deep cuts to the food stamps program—unless House Democrats join with conservatives to kill the bill. The food stamps program—which helps feed one in seven Americans—is in peril. Republicans in the House have proposed a farm bill—the five-year bill that funds agriculture and nutrition programs—that would slash food stamps by $40 billion. But by taking advantage of House Republicans' desire to cut food stamps as much as possible, Democrats might be able to prevent cuts from happening at all.

    Written on Tuesday, 12 November 2013 15:28 Read more...
  • Food Stamps, Yes!
    Food Stamps, Yes!

    If you’re reading this column, you probably don’t participate in a government program such as SNAP, to help provide food for your family. If you can afford to have a newspaper delivered to your home, or if you have a computer and an internet connection so you can read online, you may have more than enough money for food.

    Written on Friday, 04 October 2013 01:50 Read more...

Does Your Legislator Support the Robin Hood Tax?

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries.

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Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Email Your Senators and Rep - Say No On Fast Track and TPP

Send an email directly to your Senators and Representatives courtesy of our partners at CWA. Enter your zip code and your members are automatically selected.

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Hand Deliver a Letter to your Rep on Jobs

If your Representative is not currently a cosponsor of HR 1000 they may not completely understand how important full employment is to your community; click on your state at the bottom of this page to see all the cosponsors in your state. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

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Report on your TPP Contact

Please let us know your legislator's stance on Fast Track Authorization for the Trans Pacific Partnership as well as their stance on the TPP in General. Click here to report the response.

The Robin Hood Tax

Robin Hood Tax: John Nichols and Keith Ellison and Michael Lighty

Why The Robin Hood Tax

Rep. Jim McGovern on Protecting SNAP

Workers Speak Out on the TPP

PDA Labor Panel - Progressive Central III

Main Street NOT Wall Street

The Trans Pacific Partnership: Corporate Global Domination

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

Lori Wallach Leaked TPP Documents (Democracy NOW)

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of

Lori Wallach on Thom Hartmann (Great Minds) - The TPP

TPP Downloads

The following documents are available from the Oppose TPP Downloads Folder

June 29th TPP Powerpoint

CWA TPP Jobs Report

Endorse HR 1000

Read the bill text and endorse HR 1000 as an individual or an organization