Pay workers $15 an hour with consistent, full time hoursMy name is Jaffet Alamilla. I work as an overnight stocker at a Walmart in Riverside, California. I just signed OUR Walmart’s "Call for Change” because I love my job at Walmart but I still struggle to provide for my family on Walmart pay. After years of calling on Walmart to raise pay, I was so excited when I heard Walmart would be giving a raise to all of its store associates earlier this year. That excitement didn’t stick once I realized they were only raising base pay to $10 an hour, and even less for long term associates. Ten dollars an hour is better than what most associates were getting but it’s still not enough to put food on the table for my family. As a father of five, nothing in the world is more important to me than my kids. In fact, I work overnights just so I can try and spend more time with them during the day. But if it weren’t for the breakfasts and lunches that their schools provide, I honestly don’t know how my children would get three meals a day. Our country is at a crossroads. Although our economy has started to improve – especially for those on Wall Street – many of us are still left without jobs or scrambling to survive. Fortunately, thanks to the activism of Walmart workers and fast-food workers, there is incredible momentum for the fight for $15. Cities all over the country are raising the local minimum wage. And, less than two months ago, California and New York passed historic legislation setting two of the most populous states in the country on the path. We are not alone. Recent polls have showed that a majority of Americans support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Hundreds of respected economists, and progressive champions in Congress have come out in support of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. I just still can’t imagine why a company where the CEO makes over $8,500 per hour refuses to change things and instead seeks to keep people like me in such hard situations. It’s time for Walmart to publicly commit to paying a decent wage. It’s time for Walmart to publicly commit to pay all of its workers $15 per hour with consistent, full-time hours. If you sign my petition, you can send Walmart a message that you're with us in our fight. I love my job at Walmart. I love my coworkers. But I also know Walmart can do better. That’s why I’m calling on them to change. Thanks for letting me share. References: 1. Tung, Irene, Yannet Lathrop, and Paul Sonn. The Growing Movement For $15. National Employment Law Project, 2015. Web. 6 May 2016.
Walmart executives shouldn’t be above the law.After 8 years of working at Walmart, that company fired me for doing something my manager asked me to do: take a longer lunch break off the clock so I would not qualify for overtime pay. I know firsthand that when things go wrong at Walmart, it’s workers like me who take the fall. Now I’m fighting for Walmart’s top executives to be held accountable for their international bribery and lies. Walmart has spent over $700 million in in legal fees and an internal investigation into the bribery scandal and implemented a major turnover in high level management, but four years later, neither the Department of Justice (DOJ) nor the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has held a single Walmart executive publicly accountable. Both entities have been investigating Walmart’s alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for years since 2012. Enough is enough. It’s time for the DOJ and SEC to prosecute Walmart executives to the fullest extent of the law. A Pulitzer Prize winning expose in the New York Times alleged that Walmart spent over $20 million in bribes to build stores in Mexico, with executives covering up the wrongdoing. The DOJ and the SEC are also investigating possible bribery by Walmart in India and China.[4,5] It’s time to see the results of the investigation. Given the amount of money that Walmart and the Waltons spend on political donations and lobbying, the American people deserve to see that they are not above the law, and that justice will be served. If you sign my petition, you can send these agencies a strong message that you're with us in our fight. Will you join me and add your name to my petition to the DOJ and to the SEC to prosecute Walmart executives to the fullest extent of the law? References: 1. http://gawker.com/a-walmart-manager-describes-walmarts-mismanagement-1625530679 2. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-walmart-probe-0b6bd45c-8be4-11e6-8cdc-4fbb1973b506-20161006-story.html 3. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/business/at-wal-mart-in-mexico-a-bribe-inquiry-silenced.html) 4. http://www.economist.com/news/business/21650557-enforcement-laws-against-corporate-bribery-increases-there-are-risks-it-may-go 5. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-walmart-probe-0b6bd45c-8be4-11e6-8cdc-4fbb1973b506-20161006-story.html
Tell the Boston Globe: Respect transgender peopleLast year a wave of over 100 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation swept across 22 states. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and allies pushed back across the country to say: We won’t stand for bigotry and hate in our communities. But being on the defensive is not enough – we also have to proactively work to make systemic and cultural changes that support and affirm LGBTQ people. A crucial way for our communities to be more inclusive is to acknowledge and affirm that every person has the right to define their own gender and to be referred to using their correct gender pronouns. Referring to someone using incorrect gender pronouns — misgendering them — contributes to the violence and oppression that people in the transgender community face every day. That’s why I’m asking the Boston Globe to implement a policy that requires reporters to confirm gender pronouns with every source and subject as part of basic fact-checking procedures. Across the country, local media sources are some of the worst offenders when it comes to misgendering of subjects and sources, and we can hold our local media to a higher standard. Referring to someone by an incorrect gender pronoun not only perpetuates anti-trans bigotry and hate, it’s bad journalism. Journalists should report facts, not assumptions. Misgendering doesn’t just happen to transgender people; it happens to people whose names are unfamiliar, gender-neutral, or derived from a language other than English, and people whose voices or facial features are not immediately identifiable as male or female. Using a person’s correct gender pronoun is basic to journalistic accuracy and is simple to make part of standard fact-checking procedures. And for transgender and gender nonconforming people, it is a basic facet of respect that is too often denied. In the case of smaller media outlets, it most often happens in the most heartbreaking and sensitive situation: when a transgender woman is murdered. Every person has the right to define their own gender, and media outlets have a responsibility to use people’s correct pronouns. CITATIONS: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/police-need-work-their-approach-homicides-transgender-people
Start impeachment proceedings against Gov. Paul LePageUgly and racist rhetoric is nothing new from Maine’s Governor Paul LePage. Almost from the start of his first term, he has spewed vindictive language aimed at people of color, immigrants, and elected officials who disagree with him. But his recent calls for violence against people of color and a Democratic state representative represent a new low, even for LePage. Two weeks ago, Gov. LePage claimed that “Black people come up the highway and they kill Mainers,” and then, a few days later, doubled down on those racist comments, saying, “You shoot at the enemy. You try to identify the enemy. And the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in are people of color or people of Hispanic origin.” When he believed that Democratic State Rep. Drew Gattine had called him a racist for those comments, Gov. LePage left Gattine an obscene voicemail full of anti-gay insults. Then he publicly threatened to shoot Gattine in between the eyes. Governor Paul LePage’s racist and violent rhetoric doesn’t reflect the views of Mainers. His hateful characterizations of people of color and immigrants have damaged Maine’s reputation and show he’s not fit to lead the state. My letter stating that the governor should resign was printed in last Sunday's Maine Sunday Telegram. While the governor says he has "moved on" from the outrage expressed by Maine people over his recent verbal attacks, he hasn't really gone anywhere. He continues to be an explosive liability damaging the state we love. In fact, Governor LePage's most recent comments have spurred calls for a boycott of tourism to Maine, which could have a negative impact on Maine's economy and the nearly 100,000 people who work in the tourism industry. In the face of intense backlash, LePage hinted that he might resign, but now he's backed away from it. If LePage won’t resign, it's time for the Maine Legislature to step in and start impeachment proceedings. The Legislature does not come back into session until January, but it’s clear that LePage needs to go now. The Legislature can convene a special session to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. LePage right away, but only if the majority of both parties, including Republicans in the House and the Senate, agree to it. While Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Thibodeau, has acknowledged the need for “corrective action,” nothing has come of it. Republican House Minority Leader, Kenneth Fredette is standing behind LePage. Both of these leaders have refused to help mobilize a special session. Maine Republicans have a long history of refusing to rein in Gov. LePage and allowing him to avoid any repercussions for his hateful outbursts— from the attack on the Maine NAACP early in his time as governor, to attacks on immigrants and people of color, and repeated threats of violence. Now more than ever, Republicans in Maine have a choice— they can continue to enable Gov. LePage’s racism and violence or they can stand up for the values, the people and the reputation of Maine. They must act by supporting a special session to consider and approve impeachment of Gov. LePage. If we stand-up and demand that Maine Legislative leaders proceed with impeachment, we can finally hold LePage accountable for his actions. Please sign my petition and demand Maine’s legislative leaders show their commitment to their state, not their party, by proceeding with impeachment against Paul LePage. And if your district sends a Republican to the Maine State House, please contact him or her and urge them to support a special session. References: https://www.yahoo.com/news/maine-hopes-save-vacationland-image-amid-boycott-call-192455870.html http://www.pressherald.com/2016/09/02/people-of-color-sense-danger-in-lepages-words/ http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/26/politics/paul-lepage-explicit-voicemail-duel-lawmaker/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/09/01/legislative-leaders-will-meet-to-review-action-on-lepage/ http://www.seacoastonline.com/news/20160902/gov-lepages-actions-spur-call-to-boycott-maine http://www.pressherald.com/2016/09/04/letter-to-the-editor-voice-mail-shows-lepage-is-not-fit-for-office/ http://www.pressherald.com/2016/09/06/maine-lawmakers-getting-polled-on-special-session-to-discuss-gov-lepage/
End the NFL's "charity" tax breakDid you know that the National Football League is a nonprofit, and hasn't paid a dime in taxes since 1966? As a lifelong football fan, I was shocked to discover that I haven't just paid to watch games and bought NFL merchandise since I was 6 years old -- I've been paying higher taxes as an adult to make-up for the NFL's share. Some of my best memories are football related. I remember standing in line in 1987 to get John Elway's autograph, and the famous playoff drive. I love the parity of the NFL, and I believe the league provides an important service by ensuring that the league remains strong and that competitive games are well-organized. But that service doesn't justify the NFL being granted nonprofit status -- like soup kitchens and charities have -- that allows it to avoid paying taxes, especially as top executives are paid up to $29 million per year. I was shocked to learn that the last time the NFL paid taxes was 1966, when lobbyists convinced Congress to pass an obscure provision that expanded the definition of 501(c)6 not-for-profit organizations in the Internal Revenue Code to include "professional football leagues." The 1966 law gave the NFL a way to skirt taxes, while also granting it an uncommon antitrust exemption allowing it to create a monopoly to negotiate TV rights at the same time! Since then, the NFL has shelled out big money to keep its sweetheart deal. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NFL has spent $2 million in campaign contributions since 1992 and spent $12.7 million on lobbying efforts since 1998, knowing that its fair share of taxes would be many millions more. As Republicans in Congress vote to cut food stamps and obstruct the extension of unemployment benefits, it's time to highlight the hypocrisy of letting a multi-billion operation like the NFL get away with paying no taxes while they stick us with the bill. Though the NFL has successfully held back efforts to make it pay its fair share for nearly 50 years, Congress has the opportunity to change that by updating the Internal Revenue Code. Legislation to do just that was introduced last fall, but we need Congress to get behind it. With 111.5 million viewers, Sunday's Super Bowl was the most watched television event in U.S. history. Now is the perfect time to put pressure on Congress to revoke the NFL's nonprofit status. REFERENCES: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/nfl-tax-exempt-status-rootstrikers-roger-goodell http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/18/nfl-tax-exemption-debate-congress-tom-coburn/4110381/ http://www.ibtimes.com/nfl-nonprofit-flap-outraged-petitioners-tackle-tax-exempt-status-national-football-league-1410272 http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/how-the-nfl-fleeces-taxpayers/309448/ https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/900195-nfl-2012-990.html http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2013/story/_/id/10398603/super-bowl-xlviii-telecast-most-watched-tv-event-us-history PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules (http://profootballschedules.com/falcons-vs-broncos-photos)
Tell Fox News: Respect transgender peopleLast year a wave of over 100 pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation swept across 22 states. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and allies pushed back across the country to say: We won’t stand for bigotry and hate in our communities. But being on the defensive is not enough – we also have to proactively work to make systemic and cultural changes that support and affirm LGBTQ people. A crucial way for our communities to be more inclusive is to acknowledge and affirm that every person has the right to define their own gender and to be referred to using their correct gender pronouns. Referring to someone using incorrect gender pronouns — misgendering them — contributes to the violence and oppression that people in the transgender community face every day. That’s why I’m asking Fox News to implement a policy that requires reporters to confirm gender pronouns with every source and subject as part of basic fact-checking procedures. Across the country, local media sources are some of the worst offenders when it comes to misgendering of subjects and sources, and we can hold our local media to a higher standard. Referring to someone by an incorrect gender pronoun not only perpetuates anti-trans bigotry and hate, it’s bad journalism. Journalists should report facts, not assumptions. Misgendering doesn’t just happen to transgender people; it happens to people whose names are unfamiliar, gender-neutral, or derived from a language other than English, and people whose voices or facial features are not immediately identifiable as male or female. Using a person’s correct gender pronoun is basic to journalistic accuracy and is simple to make part of standard fact-checking procedures. And for transgender and gender nonconforming people, it is a basic facet of respect that is too often denied. In the case of smaller media outlets, it most often happens in the most heartbreaking and sensitive situation: when a transgender woman is murdered. Every person has the right to define their own gender, and media outlets have a responsibility to use people’s correct pronouns. CITATIONS: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/police-need-work-their-approach-homicides-transgender-people
Allow Public Campaign Financing in California!Big contributions and expenditures by millionaires and special interests are dominating elections. The voices of regular voters are drowned out, and most Americans believe money has far too much influence in politics. That's why we need public financing of campaigns to make elected officials accountable to voters, not Big Money. Unfortunately, public financing of campaigns in California is banned in all counties, most cities, and in state races due to a 1988 initiative, Proposition 73, that had virtually all of its other provisions invalidated in federal court. California can take the lead in this powerful alternative to politicians dialing for dollars. SB 1107, authored by Senator Ben Allen, co-authored by Senator Loni Hancock, and sponsored by California Clean Money Campaign and California Common Cause will amend the ban to allow for public financing of campaigns that are paid for by dedicated campaign finance trust funds. Sign the petition asking the legislature to pass SB 1107 now!
Give us back our right to vote to overturn Citizens United!California's Supreme Court ruled that Californians have the right to vote to tell Congress and the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and saying that corporations aren't people and money isn't speech. But they wouldn't put Prop 49 back on the ballot. It's outrageous! So now it's up to the legislature to put the Overturn Citizens United Act back on the ballot by passing SB 254, authored by Senators Ben Allen and Mark Leno, sponsored by Money Out Voters In, and supported by California Clean Money Campaign and many other reform organizations. Please sign our petition for SB 254 now and share it with your friends!
Close the Carried Interest Loophole"The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than all the kindergarten teachers in the country," said President Obama.  If you think it's unfair for hedge funds to be taxed less than working class families sign this petition now. Financiers charge a fee for investing other peoples’ money – and call it “carried interest” to get a lower tax rate than kindergarten teachers and truck drivers.  Across the country, states are losing billions of dollars in revenue thanks to the carried interest loophole. By making sure New York State taxes hedge funds, we could raise & invest $3.7B for schools & jobs. Add your signature to this petition now and tell the New York State Legislature that our state needs to make sure Hedge Funds pay their fair share!  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-poverty-obama-idUSKBN0NX2JR20150512  http://billmoyers.com/2015/09/17/why-do-kindergarten-teachers-pay-more-taxes-than-hedge-fund-managers/
Tell Sen. Marco Rubio: Stop obstructing and allow a vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nomineeSince the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Republicans, including Sen. Rubio, have been promising to block President Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court. President Obama — twice elected by the American people — has the constitutional duty under Article II to nominate a new Supreme Court justice with the advice and consent of the Senate. If Sen. Rubio obstructs the president’s nominee from receiving fair hearings or an up-or-down vote, it would be an unprecedented abdication of constitutional responsibility. Every Supreme Court nominee since 1980 has been given an up-or-down vote within 125 days of nomination. It’s outrageous that with over 300 days left in President Obama’s term, Republicans in the Senate are refusing to consider the president’s nominee before one is even named. It’s pure partisan obstruction. Senate Republicans, including Sen. Rubio, are making it clear that they are willing to subvert the Constitution in order to have a chance to appoint a justice who opposes women’s health care, sides with corporations over workers, will allow big money to continue to hijack our elections, and more.
Tell the Cleveland Federal Reserve: We Need an Economy That Works for ALL of us in ClevelandThe Fed wants to stop the economy, because they think we’ve recovered from the financial crash, but for people like me, there hasn’t been a recovery. My name is Maria Sapia. I am a Latina woman with a Bachelor’s Degree and I’m struggling to find a full time job. I have taken numerous temporary and part-time jobs to make ends meet. I am currently only working less than 20 hours a week to just to survive but the Federal Reserve doesn’t consider me nor millions like me that are underemployed across the country when making interest rate decisions. I have not been able to find full-time work but I have not given up. It is hard enough to find any type of work now, just think how much more difficult it would be for me and many others in our communities if the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates before everyone has a job that provides them with a living wage. Raising interest rates now means less opportunity for employment, and will obviously affect women and families of color like mine that are trying so hard just to get by. I am a hard worker who just wants a job that can provide me with the security of a roof over my head and food on my table. My story is just one of many in here in Cleveland and across Ohio. The black unemployment rate is almost 3 times the white rate here in Ohio and while the unemployment rate is around 4%, this doesn’t take into account those of us who are underemployed or those who have been searching for so long that they have given up hope of finding a job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the real unemployment rate is close to 10%. According to the New York Times, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo are 3 of the top 10 most economically distressed cities in the country. When President Mester says our economy is "solid", I disagree. This is an unacceptable time for the Fed to stall our economy. When the Fed raises interest rates the economy slows down so employment and wages freeze or start to fall again. When the Fed says they want to raise interest rates, they’re telling us to get used to the economy as it is: twice as many people as before the recession working part-time because they can’t find full time work, double-digit unemployment in black communities, and decades of flat wages. If the Fed continues to raise interest rates, then they’ll be stopping the economy before giving us a chance to get back on our feet. The Fed has a dual mandate: to maximize employment and to maintain stable prices. The only reason to raise interest rates would be to stop inflation. But there isn’t any inflation in the economy – we are still below all the Fed’s target rates. The Fed is sacrificing all the jobs that we could be getting and all the wage gains we could win if we kept interest rates low, all for the sake of an inflation threat that doesn’t even exist. Most of those unnecessary sacrifices of jobs and wages will be losses borne by Black communities and communities of color. The work of the Fed isn’t done: we need a recovery that works for everyone, including communities of color. We need to keep interest rates low so working people and families like mine have a chance for better jobs and better wages.
Walmart's Employee Discount needs to cover ALL food!Across the country we are struggling to feed our families. As Walmart associates, we work every day surrounded by groceries, but many of them are too expensive for us to actually buy. Walmart could decide to alleviate some of our burden, by joining the ranks of Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Target in offering an employee discount across ALL food items. The current Walmart discount (10%) does not cover "most grocery items other than fresh produce". We don't get any discount on basic groceries like milk, eggs, and bread. The policy is vaguely written, but I and other associates have noticed that we can get a discount on candy and chips, but not other basics that would help us eat healthier. My name is Nancy Reynolds and I know that to many, a 10% employee discount may not seem like a lot. But we know as Walmart associates, it could mean the difference between putting food on the table and going hungry. I have diabetes, and the food I’m eligible to receive a discount on isn’t good for me. I need to eat healthy food multiple times throughout the day and simply put: that is hard on Walmart pay and hours. If Walmart would extend its employee discount to cover ALL food items it would help associates and our families across the country-- and we know Walmart can afford it. This is a win – win. Walmart is one of the only large grocers in the United States that doesn’t have an across the board employee discount for food. A ten percent discount would allow Walmart associates to spend more money on food at Walmart. The company would get more money and we would be able to be healthier workers. I've even talked to Walmart associates in Canada who said that they receive discounts on all of their food, so why not here in the United States too?” With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, we want to be able to relax and celebrate with our families. A 10% discount on all food items could mean that Walmart workers across the country won’t be going hungry this holiday season. Tell Walmart: We need it NOW. Thanks, Nancy Reynolds Walmart store 771 Merritt Island, FL  http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/which-retail-chains-have-the-best-employee-discoun#.ggyzDxyR  https://corporate.target.com/careers/benefits/financial-benefits  http://www.united4respect.org/walmart_employee_discount_information_as_of_oct_2015
Don't Let States Undermine the Clean Power PlanHi, my name is Sandy Lindsey. I’ve lived in Cincinnati, Ohio my whole life, where I’m a leader with Communities United For Action (CUFA). Together with our allies at National People’s Action, we’re fighting for healthier and fairer communities. I’m also the proud mother of three beautiful children: Destiny, D'Aijha and Dyson. I’m writing to you today because of them. My youngest daughter, D’Aijha, suffers from acute asthma. She couldn't participate in outdoor sports until she was 7 and missed weeks of school to go to the hospital. It’s still tough to let her go out and play without worrying that she’s going to have an attack. I know I’m not alone. It sometimes seems like every other kid in our neighborhood suffers from something like asthma or severe allergies. President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, if implemented the right way, can continue the progress we are starting to make. By limiting carbon emissions for the first time, the Clean Power Plan will continue slowing climate change pollution, reduce the air pollution that causes asthma, and can bring green jobs to the communities that need them most. In some states, like Ohio, state governments are putting corporate profits before people and the planet. They're refusing to create strong state Clean Power Plans and refusing to protect communities like mine from air pollution. We deserve better. We deserve a clean energy future that puts people and planet first. I’ve always blamed our bad health on the environment. You see, in 2012 Cincinnati had the 8th worst air quality in the country. It’s not hard to see why. Cincinnati is surrounded by dirty, coal fired power plants that pump pollution into our air. That pollution ends up concentrated in neighborhoods like mine, where people are mostly black and mostly low-income. People here can’t always afford air filters or the health care we need to cope. At the same time that these coal-burning power plants steal years from our lives and sicken our kids, they spew out greenhouse gases, which cause climate change. Climate change, like air pollution, hits communities of color and low-income people first and worst. We all deserve clean air, a stable climate and an economy that creates good jobs, not pollution. That’s why we need the EPA to create a strong federal implementation plan for states that refuse to create powerful Clean Power Plans. The federal implementation plan will also serve as a gold standard for other states to look to as they build their own plans. Sign my petition and tell the EPA to make sure that all kids are protected from pollution and climate change, no matter where they live.  State of the Air 2015. American Lung Association. http://www.stateoftheair.org/2015/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Stop selling troubled mortgages to Wall Street SpeculatorsWall Street speculators are buying up neighborhoods across New York and the United States. Their goal? Make a profit off of struggling homeowners. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which are overseen by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA) have refused to offer principal reduction to struggling homeowners, and yet they turn around and sell troubled mortgages to Wall Street speculators at a deep discount. These speculators then turn the properties into rentals, often bundling them into securities for investors, like they did with mortgages. This drives up rents and contributes to the growing displacement of poor and working families – particularly African Americans and Latinos.  This is absolutely outrageous. Join me in telling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to stop selling these troubled mortgages to Wall Street speculators. Hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed mortgage notes to 200,000 homes in communities around the country. We cannot let this continue to happen. You have an opportunity to add your voice to those of thousands of homeowners. We will be delivering the petition signatures on Wednesday, Sept. 30th with a strong message that our homes are NOT for sale. Our government agencies are supposed to work for American families – not for the biggest financial institutions. They should be doing more to work with non-profits to help families stay in their homes. We’ve lost too many homes to foreclosure. Too many families are being pushed out of their homes and their communities. We need Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD to establish a system that gives priority in the sales process to purchasers with strong neighborhood stabilization programs.  Mark Kurlyandchik, "Feds accused of selling out neighborhoods to Wall St. firms," Al Jazeera America, September 9, 2014. http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/fault-lines/FaultLinesBlog/2014/9/9/feds-accused-of-sellingoutneighborhoodstowallst.html  Jared Bennett, "The Government Is Selling Thousands of Homes to Hedge Funds Without Their Owners' Knowledge", The Atlantic, September, 23rd 2015: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/09/the-government-is-selling-thousands-of-homes-to-hedge-funds-without-their-owners-knowledge/406771/
Put an End to WAGE THEFT at LA and Long Beach PortsHumberto Canales is a a port and rail yard truck driver for XPO Logistics. At ports across America, truck drivers haul everything we rely on – from the shoes on our kids’ feet, to the smart phones we depend on, to the parts for the cars and trucks we drive – from our nation’s marine terminals to rail yards, warehouses and distribution centers. This is where our economy starts. Yet in a scheme to avoid paying taxes and taking responsibility for expensive trucks, employers illegally misclassify port drivers as “independent contractors.” Port drivers are victims of an illegal business scheme that allows companies to deduct their business expenses from employees' paychecks at their convenience. Humberto's company charges him thousands of dollars a month to drive their truck, maintain and insure their truck, and even to park their truck on their property. This is wage theft and it is a crime. By boldly addressing this problem at America’s largest port complex, you will send an important message to other ports – and to other industries profiting off of similar scams – that America will no longer tolerate lawbreaking for profit. It’s bad for workers, bad for communities, and it is unfair for those businesses that are playing by the rules.
Urge the SEC to Demand Full Disclosure of Walmart's Offshore Subsidiaries in Tax HavensWalmart has built a vast, undisclosed network of 78 subsidiaries and branches in 15 overseas tax havens. These may be used to minimize foreign taxes where Walmart has retail operations and to avoid U.S. taxes on those foreign earnings. These tax-haven subsidiaries have remained largely invisible, in part because Walmart does not list them in its annual 10-K filings with the SEC.
Don't Let the Sun Set on MA SolarWe have just one month to get Massachusetts solar back on track before lawmakers leave Boston for more than a month of summer break ... or risk slamming the brakes on the state’s clean energy success story. To see action this quickly, it will take leadership from the top. Tell the Commonwealth's leaders Governor Charlie Baker, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stan Rosenberg that the time for solar action is now! Massachusetts is one of our nation’s solar leaders with enough installed to power more than 120,000 homes and support the second largest solar workforce in the U.S. Now that’s at risk, due to an unnecessary cap on net metering. Net metering is a successful policy that makes sure solar customers get full credit on their utility bills for the valuable clean electricity they deliver to the grid, after subtracting the energy they use. Many parts of the state have already hit the program cap, bringing planned solar projects in more than 170 communities to a standstill – and the rest of the state is not far behind. We need action from state leaders now so that Massachusetts solar can keep shining. Governor Baker says he supports solar power, but so far his Administration has been repeating the electric utilities' anti-solar claims and has opposed immediate action to address this arbitrary barrier to continued solar growth. We need to change his mind, and we need to do it fast.
No more tax cuts that put our future at riskMy name is Amber Moodie-Dyer and I work at the Budget & Tax Center to advocate for a North Carolina where each child can have a quality learning experience, every senior can stay in their home and every community can offer families and businesses a high quality of life. Over the past two years, I have watched as state policymakers in Raleigh have put at risk the very foundations that help us build a stronger state. State legislators have pushed through corporate and personal income tax cuts that have primarily benefitted those at the very top, while weakening the building blocks of a strong economy like schools, community colleges and courts. The race to the bottom on taxes that North Carolina would continue with more tax cuts this year is a race to the bottom in quality of life. Our state Senate and House leaders are in the final days of putting together a budget for the state. Their decision should have been made by June 30th, but they had to extend the timeline into July. The proposed tax changes they are considering include lowering the corporate tax rate from its current rate of 5% to 3% and building in other advantages for large multi-state corporations. All told, when combined with a small reduction in the personal income tax rate and an expansion of the sales tax rate, we could lose over $1 billion each year! That’s $1 billion less for our schools, child care programs, higher education, economic development efforts, the list goes on. Let’s make sure they hear from us before they send their final budget to the Governor (it could be as early as the next few weeks!). We need them to know North Carolinians don’t want any more tax cuts for big companies and wealthy taxpayers at the expense of our state’s well-being. Sign our petition to tell legislators and the Governor to reject proposals to cut taxes for the few and further put core public services at risk. North Carolina’s exceptionalism in the South and the country has always come from our commitment to each other, a commitment that meant asking each of us to contribute to building something bigger than ourselves. Whether a public university system, a universal K-12 education, a nationally recognized early childhood education system, or protection of our state’s natural resources, our pooled investments have made great things possible for the people of our state. This is how we remain competitive in the global marketplace, attractive to business investment and a place of opportunity. Now is the time to make smart public investments that will put North Carolina on solid ground for the future, not give more corporate tax cuts. Sign the petition today!
COSTCO PLEASE Remove Round-Up Weed Killer From Your ShelvesOur town is progressive and strives for ecological restoration. People move here from all over the United States because of the beautiful and clean environment. We should work together to keep it that way. There are numerous reasons why you should take the initiative and remove Round Up Herbicide from your shelves. First, because it is applied as a spray, the potential for drifting can and does occur. Non-target plants nearby can be killed when wind carries the herbicide. The plants that are affected are native to our area and are already facing a struggle placed on them by the amount of invasive plants we have introduced. Second, Roundup has been found to contaminate our water systems, which in Bend is very important to the local citizens. Studies have found a connection to Roundup and the decline of amphibians. The problem appears to be the detergents used to disperse the glyphosate. This surfactant --polyoxyethylene amine (POEA)--has a lethal effect on frogs and their tadpoles. It has proved to kill certain water insects as well. This reduces food sources for fish and other inhabitants in our rivers. Roundup has also been linked to higher than normal amounts of algae which reduce the oxygen level of the water. In water it takes Roundup 2 to 60 days to disappear but studies have found that Roundup persists in wetland sediment for up to 400 days. Trace amounts have also been found in surface drinking water which may not have effects in small dosages but can be quite harmful in large quantities. Third, Roundup has a devastating impact on our soil systems. Studies around the world have shown that on average, Roundup stayed in soils for 250-350 days. The most detrimental soil findings were the negative effect it has on michorizial fungi. This fungi is found in connection with the roots of most plants and is a very important symbiotic relationship. The fungi feeds off of the plant sugars and in turn the fungi supplies the plant with nutrients and water. Earthworms found in soils laced with Roundup also have been affected. In these areas they appear to be softer and slower acting. Earthworms are important to our soil systems as they work to break down organic material and chemicals, as well as loosen the soil particles. Lastly, although Roundup is less toxic than some herbicides, it has been found to have effects on human beings. The most common reactions that occur from contact with the herbicide are skin-related irritations such as dermatitis and eczema but there have been more disturbing findings. One finding was reported by scientists at the University of Caen in France in December 2008. The article stated that in low doses, a component of Roundup (POEA) can kill human embryonic cells. It was proven in lab tests and linked to higher numbers of miscarriages and premature births to farm women who were regularly exposed to the compound. Another study and possibly even more disturbing was the study performed by Senior Research Scientists at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Dr. Stephanie Seneff. She states that her studies have found her to believe that autism isn't just genetic but is almost surely due to environmental factors including the exposure to Monsanto's RoundUp (glyphosate). Glyphosate has been shown to interrupt the workings of the pineal gland which leads to high levels of autism. It has also been linked to the cause of the increase in gut related problems. In her article she states, “The way glyphosate works is that it interrupts the shikimate pathway, a metabolic function in plants that allows them to create essential amino acids. When this path is interrupted, the plants die. Scientists and researchers beleived that human cells don’t have a shikimate pathway so that exposure to glyphosate would be harmless. The problem is that bacteria DO have a shikimate pathway and we have millions of good bacteria in our guts – our ‘gut flora.’ These bacteria are essential to our health. Our gut isn’t just responsible for digestion, but also for our immune system. When glyphosate gets in our systems, it wrecks our gut and as a result our immune system.” I can continue to write down facts about the negative effects from Roundup but I feel that I have already made my point on why you should take the initiative and remove it from your shelves. There are numerous other natural, organic herbicides that you can replace it with that do not have such devastating consequences. If you think about it, Roundup has only one benefit, the easy removal of weeds, but the negative effects of numerous. An action which may seem to you a poor financial decision at first, will actually benefit you in the long run as our society as a whole turns to making better ecological decisions and you find yourselves as one of the leaders.
Pres. Obama and Congress: Enact a Basic Income for all AmericansIncome inequality in the United States has risen sharply in recent years and continues to get worse. Widespread unemployment is becoming imminent, as more and more traditional jobs are replaced by technology and automation. Without serious intervention, we could face massive increases in poverty and civil unrest in the years ahead. A guaranteed Basic Income, which would directly provide all Americans with enough money each month to live on, would both end poverty in the US and shift our economy to one that doesn't require full employment. It's a simple program that could save us from the looming economic crises. It's time for the federal government to create a social safety net designed for the 21st-century. We're calling on President Obama and members of the United States Congress to enact a Basic Income for all Americans. MORE ABOUT BASIC INCOME: https://medium.com/basic-income/it-s-time-to-start-talking-seriously-about-basic-income-bb9763e1859d
Stop New York from giving coal a bailout!Earlier this year, another polluting coal plant asked Governor Cuomo for a bailout worth hundreds of millions of dollars -- a huge step in the wrong direction. New York ratepayers shouldn't have to pay to prop up outdated and unprofitable coal plants. Instead we should be investing in a renewable energy transition that not only cleans up our air and water but also creates thousands of homegrown jobs. Coal is a losing bet for New York: it's uneconomical, it pollutes our climate, and it poisons out air and water. Bailing out coal plants is environmentally and fiscally irresponsible, and it sets a dangerous precedent. Last year, Governor Cuomo's Public Service Commission approved an over $200 million bailout deal for the unprofitable Dunkirk coal plant, despite the fact that local utilities claimed the plant wasn't needed at all. Now the Cayuga coal plant is lining up at the trough, vying for a bailout that would cost at least $100 million more than transmission efficiency upgrades that would solve all reliability issues and render the plant unnecessary. Governor Cuomo is sending the message that it's ok to subsidize these dirty plants by taking money from the pockets of taxpayers and electricity customers, even while the power companies reap the profits. For the Public Service Commission to put an end to this trend of ratepayer-subsidized polluter payoffs, it is crucial that Governor Cuomo voice his opposition, and commit publicly to ending dirty coal bailouts Keeping these obsolete coal-fired power plants on life support will continue to undermine federal and state efforts to combat climate disruption. Responsibly retiring them, on the other hand, can set us on the path to achieving New York's ambitious goal to reduce carbon pollution 80% by 2050. If Governor Cuomo wants to be a true environmental leader, he needs to stop wasting utility customer money on an industry that is taking us backward on climate.
McDonald's: It's time to do the right thing and pay people enough to LIVE!My name is Connie Bennett, and I can't live on the $8.30/hr poverty wages I am paid by McDonald’s. I’ve worked at McDonald’s for eight years and have received only one raise. I still just make one nickel more than the minimum wag. That's not fair and it's not right. I make so little, I've never seen my grandchildren because I can't afford to travel to Virginia, where they live. I need to work 6 days a week and pick up every shift I can to get close to full-time hours - and it's still not enough. My take-home pay averages $206 per week - and over half of that goes to rent alone. This is not the American dream. As a grandmother, it’s especially disheartening that I have so many obstacles blocking me from making a decent wage. Women in our country are paid just 77% of what men are paid, and that gap widens as we age. Organizing into a union is one of the best ways women have to advocate for equal pay. Women workers in a union make on average 14% more than women without the protections of a union. And we’re 26% more likely to have health insurance.You don’t have to look further than other countries to see the union difference. In Denmark, fast food workers make $21 an hour. Why? Because they have a union. Workers from Denmark, France, Finland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Germany and Norway have all joined together to fight for a living wage, and they won. So that’s what I am doing. I'm calling on McDonald’s to pay a fair wage and respect my right to organize without interference. Let McDonald’s know that you stand with me, and with all women. Help me make history. Connie Bennett, McDonald's Striker, Chicago -- References: --"Fact Sheet: The Wage Gap for Women," Center for American Progress, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2012/08/16/12029/fact-sheet-the-wage-gap-for-women/ --"The Benefits of Unions for Women Workers," Center for Economic and Policy Research, http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/benefits-unions-women.pdf --"McDonald's Workers in Denmark Make $21 An Hour," KCET, http://www.kcet.org/living/food/food-rant/mcdonalds-workers-in-denmark-make-21-an-hour.html
Support Basic Labor Protections for Domestic Workers in Illinois!I met domestic worker Myrla Baldonado three years ago when I first began working with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. From the beginning, I was struck by how calm and caring she was to me, and to everyone she met. Those are the qualities that have made her such a skilled and sought-after domestic worker. Because of her skill, Myrla has cared for more than 30 families over the years. There are thousands of domestic workers like Myrla in Illinois. Many of them are paid below the minimum wage. Many others experience harassment and discrimination at work, but they have no recourse. Domestic workers in Illinois have no right to a day off or protection from discrimination and harassment at work. Domestic care workers like Myrla have no right to earn minimum wage or overtime pay. At many of her jobs, Myrla was expected to work from 6:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. That’s 16 hours without a break to rest or sleep. As a result, she often worked 90 hours a week. Some weeks, she has had to work 112 hours. Despite her hard work and dedication, she was rarely paid for all the hours she worked. She would often take home just $4.94 an hour, well-below minimum wage and not nearly enough money to provide for her basic needs or the needs of her four children. I know that we can do better for Myrla and the tens of thousands of other domestic workers in Illinois. That’s why I support the domestic workers organizing to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Illinois. The Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights would guarantee one day off a week for domestic workers. It would guarantee domestic workers the right to be paid for all the hours they work and to earn minimum wage for those hours. And it would provide protections against harassment and discrimination at work for domestic workers. In the past four years, domestic workers have won Bill of Rights legislation in four states: New York, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. Now it’s Illinois’ turn to protect domestic workers! Together, we can ensure that domestic workers like Myrla have access to basic workplace protections in Illinois. Thank you for standing up Myrla and the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights!
Nubia's plea: No one should die like Randy. Sign her petition to DarigoldMy name is Nubia Guajardo and on February 25th I lost the love of my life, and the father of my children. Recently the UFW shared with all of you the story of the tragic death of my love Randy Vasquez, who died drowned in a manure pond at Riverview Dairy, which provides milk to Darigold, located in Mabton, (eastern) WA. I've lived in Sunnyside, WA for almost all my life, a place surrounded by dairies. At this point in my life I have gotten used to the potent smell of manure and the flies; I just can't get used to being without Randy. Through this email I want to thank you for your support. However, we still need to do more. Neither Darigold, nor the farm owner have reached out to me or the UFW after Randy drowned. Can you imagine how awful it was to explain Randy’s death to my children? All of the people who loved Randy want to know what Darigold and the farm have done to ensure worker safety. I want to make sure that no other family has to endure the pain of losing their loved one and also that no other dairy worker has to endure the harsh working conditions Randy experienced as a dairy worker. He, like many other dairy workers around here, worked in an unsafe workplace. He told me he got his wages shorted. He got injured on the job before. He told me that he brought his own drinking water to work and he described having to eat his meal as he milked cows. I know he never thought that he would lose his life drowning in a manure pit. Darigold and their farms claim to take pride nurturing families around the world with the milk and dairy products they produce. I would like for them to take the same pride to secure the safe and healthy working conditions of those who make their products possible. Please help me ask Jim Wegner, Darigold CEO for a meeting by signing this petition today!
No Corporate Welfare for Skeffington and the PawSoxJames Skeffington is the major proponent of moving the PawSox to Providence at the expense of the Rhode Island tax payer. This is a deal that will become the 38 Studios of the Raimondo administration. A brief review of the facts shall prove illuminating. -Attorney Skeffington previously represented the founders of the RI Convention Center. As part of that deal, he worked it out that taxpayers would subsidize costs for the Convention Center until they turned a profit. As of 2015, the taxpayer is still subsidizing the Convention Center. -The traffic will be disastrous and cause other business ventures to reconsider establishment in Providence. The construction of the ball park will require a substantial level of highway reconfiguration, both in Providence and on I-195, which will be of further cost to the taxpayers. -38 Studios was a complete debacle, but it's very easy to re-purpose a failed video game designer office into an office park to to recover lost monies for the state. It's not so easy to do that with a baseball diamond. Prof. Victor Matheson of Holy Cross had this to say to John Kostrzewa of the Providence Journal: “It’s an absolutely silly economic idea… A good rule of thumb that economists use is to take what stadium boosters are telling you and move that decimal point one place to the left, and that’s usually a good estimate of what you’re going to get.” Matheson's white paper, co-authored with Robert A. Baade, FINANCING PROFESSIONAL SPORTS FACILITIES, is available for free at (http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/Matheson-Baade_FinancingSports.pdf) and includes important insights, such as the following: "Unfortunately, the methodology used to formulate estimates of economic impact [from sporting venue construction] is fatally flawed, resulting in a consistent bias toward large, but unrealized, impacts… Researchers who have gone back and looked at economic data for localities that have hosted mega-events, attracted new franchises, or built new sports facilities have almost invariably found little or no economic benefits from spectator sports… [A] portion of the blame for the poor, long-term benefits of spectator sports is the fact that the capital used in staging sporting contests is not easily convertible to other uses. While the construction of general infrastructure, such as modern airports, highways, and mass transit systems, provides economy-wide benefits, such architectural and technological marvels as Beijing‟s “Water Cube,” the 17,000 seat state-of-the-art swimming facility built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, has little use following the Games… While the long-run benefits of sporting events and stadium construction may never arrive, the debts that localities incur in hosting professional sports must still be paid. Montreal was still paying off its debts from the 1976 Olympics three decades later, and the Astrodome in Houston still carried millions of dollars of debt despite being vacant for a nearly a decade."
Tell President Obama: Sign a “Model Employer” Executive Order for Low-wage Federal Contract WorkersHi, my name is Sonia Chavez. My husband and I are federal contract workers who clean the office of the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Each of us only earns $9.50 an hour – even though federal contract wage laws say we should be making at least $15 an hour each in wages and benefits. We are wage theft victims. Our family is owed $40,000 in back pay. According to the Washington Post (1) federal contract wage laws are poorly enforced. These contract wage laws were designed to ensure that the federal government used its purchasing power to do business with model employers, not ones that undercut good jobs by racing to the bottom on wages. The Secretary of Education likes to speak about a “Race to the Top” on education. But the truth is we also need a “Race to the Top” on wages. If we made $15 and had a union, we wouldn't have to rely on public aid and charity to feed and clothe our three kids. If we were paid a living wage, we could move to a better neighborhood with good schools, buy school supplies, and save to send our kids to college. But right now, the American Dream isn’t possible for our kids. It’s wrong that our taxpayer dollars are being spent to pay contract CEOs huge salaries and bonuses while leaving workers struggling to reach the middle class. According to a report by Demos (2), the U.S. Government is America’s largest low-wage job creator, funding over 2 million poverty jobs through contracts, loans, and grants with private companies. To add insult to injury, many of us are forced to rely on public assistance programs to supplement our meager incomes. That means taxpayers are double-billed – once for the cost of the contract and then again for the cost of public programs like food stamps, Medicaid and Section 8. That’s why we’re calling on the President to use his executive powers to help low-wage federal contract workers. He can do so by signing a “Model Employer” Executive Order that gives a preference to contractors that pay a living wage of at least $15 an hour, offer decent benefits like paid leave, and respect our right to collectively bargain so we don’t have to go on strike. The President has demonstrated that executive action can help workers. After low-wage federal contract workers went on strike in Washington, D.C., the President used the 2014 State of the Union to announce that he would sign the $10.10 Minimum Wage Executive Order. The President’s bold leadership set-off a chain reaction. In the following year, the CEOs of major companies – such as The Gap, IKEA, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s – boosted starting pay, mayors issued executive orders to raise wages, and state and local governments passed minimum wage hikes. In addition, the President also signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order which encouraged cities and states to adopt similar measures to end wage theft. When the President leads, America follows. President Obama has said that income inequality is the defining challenge of our time, and that he would take executive action to help the middle class.(3) Here is his opportunity to lead by example and lift millions of low-wage federal contract workers into the middle class. Here is his opportunity to lead the nation once again before he leave office. Sign the petition and let the workers know you have our backs. REFERENCES 1. Lydia DePillis, "Why the federal government still sometimes doesn’t obey its own minimum wage laws," (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/10/why-the-federal-government-still-sometimes-doesnt-obey-its-own-minimum-wage-laws/) Washington Post, April 10, 2015. 2. Amy Traub & Robert Hiltonsmith, "Underwriting Bad Jobs: How Our Tax Dollars Are Funding Low-Wage Work and Fueling Inequality," (http://www.demos.org/sites/default/files/publications/UnderwritingBadJobs-Final-2.pdf) Demos, May, 2013. 3. Philip J. Victor , "Obama calls income inequality ‘defining challenge of our time,'" (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/4/obama-calls-incomeinequalitydefiningchallengeofourtime.html) Al Jazeera, December 4, 2013
Support the ERA in North CarolinaOver half this nation identifies as female. Yet, our lives, our liberties and our pursuits of happiness are still not equally revered. We bear the brunt of that inequality every time we enter a court room to challenge sex discrimination. In cases charging discrimination, unlike race, sex is not specified as a suspect class invoking the highest level of scrutiny under the 14th Amendment. As our country struggles for racial justice, women of every race fight for justice without comparable constitutional recourse on account of sex. It's time to write women into the U.S. Constitution. On March 5, 2015 Representative Carla “Fearless” Cunningham was joined by Rep. Mickey Michaux, Rep. Susan Fisher and Rep. Beverly Earle introducing H166 to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The bill is in Judiciary 1 Committee. These 10 men and 1 woman listed below hold the history of women in their hands in NC. Let them hear you. The time for an Equal Rights Amendment is now. Click on their names to e-mail them or call them (use Campaign page link) and urge them to pass H166, the ERA Bill out of committee favorably.
Sign the petition to support striking Baja California farm workersFor the past 7 days, farm workers in Baja Norte’s San Quintín Valley have been on strike denouncing abysmally low wages, 12-hour days with no overtime, obligatory 7-day work weeks, and maltreatment. Worker Ana López says, “It is time for us to stand up… There are people who think that because we come from pueblos, we are ignorant about our rights.” The United Farm Workers of America is standing in solidarity with the workers from San Quintín and we ask that our supporters do the same. Ana works for Driscoll supplier Berrymex, whom workers claim that in addition to violating wage and hour laws, also fails to pay into workers’ social security (which is supposed to give workers access to healthcare and a pension), leaving them with nothing when they go to make a claim. Demand that the grocery retail industry hold powerful agribusiness companies such as Driscoll accountable. Please sign this petition. We will be turning this in to top grocery retailers around the country, including Target, Walmart, Krogers, and Albertsons/Safeway.
Stop the eviction of 100,000 Detroit residentsMy name is Linda Campbell and I'm working with the Detroit Tax Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce to stop foreclosures in Detroit because I believe that Detroiters are what makes this city worth fighting for. The Detroit Tax Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce is a collection of local organizations and impacted residents that have united to protect the heart and soul of Detroit—our residents—from needlessly aggressive and often unjust tax foreclosures. We have talked to hundreds of residents—our families, constituents, and friends—who want and deserve to continue to call Detroit their home. Wayne County Treasurer-elect Wojtowicz is reportedly preparing to foreclose on 37,000 occupied homes for overdue property taxes on March 31, affecting nearly 100,000 people. This represents the largest mass tax foreclosure in U.S. history in one city at one time – and Treasurer Wojtowicz has the power to stop it. One of the Detroiters I've worked with is Emma Cook. Emma moved to the city in 1981, and her husband fixed their house up with his bare hands. Her street used to be home to 20 families – but now there are just five households remaining due to foreclosures. Her neighborhood now lacks streetlights and most city services – and Emma has told me that she feels abandoned by the City of Detroit and Wayne County. Many Detroiters, including Mrs. Cook, are now at risk of being foreclosed upon due to incorrect tax bills with exaggerated property assessments and disputed water bill liens. Long-time residents are the heart and soul of Detroit. Ongoing displacement of our families from mortgage and tax foreclosures has been devastating. Public services are being cut and privatized, and Detroiters are being pushed out of their generational homes. Since the 1950s, Detroit’s population has already declined from 1.8 million to less than 700,000. To now lose another 100,000 residents would cut the city’s total population by nearly 1/6 and tear a hole in the city’s cultural and economic fabric that can never be replaced. Please sign my petition to help build pressure on Treasurer-elect Wojtowicz not to foreclose on 37,000 occupied homes in the Detroit area. See this LA Times article for more information: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-detroit-foreclosures-20150308-story.html#page=1 What is the Detroit Tax Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce The Detroit Tax Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce is a collection of local organizations and impacted residents that have united to protect the heart and soul of Detroit—our residents—from needlessly aggressive and often unjust tax foreclosures. We have talked to hundreds of residents—our families, constituents, and friends—who want and deserve to continue to call Detroit their home. We are committed prevailing on the Wayne County Treasurer to stop the largest tax foreclosure on a single day in US history and building power with residents around a larger movement for residents’ rights to stay in their homes, receive better city services, and enjoy vibrant neighborhoods without displacement. Member organizations include: Detroit People’s Platform, Moratorium NOW!, Detroit Eviction Defense, Historic Russell Woods Association, Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.
Support the Connecticut Domestic Workers Bill of Rights!My name is Bekah and I work with domestic workers around the country to help win rights and recognition at work. There are more than 40,000 domestic workers in the State of Connecticut. Domestic workers care for our homes and children and support the independence of seniors and people with disabilities. Domestic workers make it possible for thousands of Connecticut families to get to work and school every day. Yet this vital workforce lacks access to some of the basic labor protections that other workers enjoy including protection from harassment and discrimination on the job. That’s why domestic workers in Connecticut are are organizing to pass a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights this year. Thanks to the testimony of domestic workers and employers, the Bill has passed out of the Assembly Labor Committee and is now headed to the Senate. The Connecticut Domestic Workers Bill of Rights will give domestic workers the right to be free from sexual harassment at work and establish clear written expectations about hours and wages. This Bill is the first step to ensure that the more than 40,000 women who make all other work possible across our state receive the protections that they deserve. In the past four years, domestic workers have won Bill of Rights legislation in four states: New York, California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. Now it’s Connecticut’s turn to protect domestic workers! Together, we can ensure that domestic workers in Connecticut have access to basic workplace protections. Thank you for standing up for the women who make all other work possible!
Pass the California DISCLOSE Act!$772 million was spent on California ballot measures and independent expenditures in 2012-2014 alone, most of it hiding behind misleading names. It’s corrupting our democracy. We must stop secret money in political ads ― which AB 700, the California DISCLOSE Act, will do. Authored by Assemblymembers Jimmy Gomez and Marc Levine and sponsored by the California Clean Money Campaign, AB 700 will strike the biggest blow yet against Dark Money by requiring ballot measure ads and ads by PACs supporting or opposing candidates to clearly show their real funders on the ads themselves. Television ads will be required to display their top 3 true funders on a solid black background on the bottom third of the screen, one per line, in a large clear font, for a full 5 seconds. Similar tough rules apply to ads in print, online, and radio, plus robocalls. AB 700 passed the Assembly in an overwhelming 60-15 bipartisan vote ― after tens of thousands of people signed petitions and thousands more emailed and called. AB 700 is now in the Senate, and we must create even more pressure than before. We can stop special interests from anonymously buying elections with deceptive ads. Sign the petition to pressure the Senate to pass AB 700 now!
Let Californians Vote to Overturn Citizens United!The onslaught of money unleashed by the Supreme Court with Citizens United is destroying our democracy. That's why 45,000 Clean Money supporters joined Money Out Voters In and other Californians demanding California’s legislature put a measure on the ballot letting voters tell Congress to overturn Citizens United. The legislature listened and put Prop 49 on the ballot. Unfortunately, California’s Supreme Court silenced voters by removing it from the ballot. Now the Court is taking up the case again, so we must demand they restore Prop 49 to next year’s ballot. Please sign our petition now and share it with your friends!
Protect NM Local Governments' Health/Safety Powers from State/Corporate Pre-emptionNM's state regulations on oil and gas date from the 1930s, and have not been updated for fracking, directional drilling, or other modern developments. They offer minimal protection of groundwater, air, and surface-owner rights. Fines have never been adjusted even for inflation, and are less than a slap on the wrist. Enforcement is chronically underfunded and politicized. Because of these weaknesses, at least 25 NM counties and towns have found it necessary to pass health and safety protection that the State fails to safeguard. Every year, corporate lobbyists attempt to take away the right of local self-governance, claiming that regulations hurt their profits. But the costs are real, and it is local taxpayers who bear them: for example, roads in Lea and Eddy Counties have deteriorated so badly because that they require $300 million in repairs, due to heavy oil tankers. Meanwhile fatalities are up as much as 70%, with the biggest increase being truck/auto accidents. Officers report that 90% of stops and citations involve oil tankers, their drivers pressured to beat the clock for profitability. http://krqe.com/2014/11/26/oil-patch-highways-some-of-new-mexicos-most-deadly/ This is just one of the costs - both in money and lives -- that the industry expects local citizens to bear. And it is regulations aimed at making industry pay its fair share for these costs of operation that are targeted by per-emption and defunding bills. Industry claims they pay severance tax, and that infrastructure and restoration costs should be taken out of that. But severance is a fee to the State for removing irreplaceable resources, not a license to abuse infrastructure or to pollute. There are many equitable and fair ways to end subsidies and exemptions to an important but very profitable industry. Taking away local government authority to protect its citizens, and leaving NM with only antiquated rubberstamp State rules is neither equitable nor fair, and in fact costs the State and its counties and towns money over the long term. from all parts of the state of New Mexico, we call on our lawmakers to reject weakening local powers in favor of Big Oil.
Fight Climate Science DenialClimate change is impacting Montana, threatening our environment, economy, and the health of our communities. From longer fire seasons, to forests killed by pine beetles, to trout streams suffering from reduced flow caused by melting snow packs, the effects of climate change are already being felt by thousands of Montanans. Yet some of our elected leaders refuse to even acknowledge there is a problem. U.S. Senator Steve Daines is the highest-profile climate change denier in Montana politics, and it’s due to politicians like him that we haven’t seen more progress in the fight against climate change. Scientists warn that at least 80% of existing fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if we are to avoid the worst consequences of a warming global climate. But Steve Daines is actively pushing to expand coal and oil extraction, and to build new pieces of fossil fuel infrastructure like coal export terminals and the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Steve Daines publicly denies that human-caused climate change exists, and has refused to engage in a dialogue with constituents about how to address the issue. It’s time to hold Steve Daines accountable for his backward position on the scientific reality of climate change. Fortunately, ordinary Montanans are coming together to support climate solutions, such as increased generation of solar and wind energy. This March, grassroots organizations will hold a nonviolent demonstration at Daines’ office to call out his climate change denial. Sign this petition urging Daines to take the threat of climate change seriously, and your signature will be delivered with hundreds of others on the day of the action.
Tell the UN: End Child SlaveryThe Sustainable Development Goals, now under discussion, represent the international community’s crucial recognition that child labor and contemporary slavery hinder the efforts of people to work their way out of poverty. We’ve made great strides toward reducing child labor, but we still have far more work to do. Right now, child labor remains at an all-time high: One in 10 of the world’s children work, many in forced labor.(1) Children toil in carpet factories, leather tanneries and street markets. Clearly our work is not over. And that’s why each one of us needs to stand up. Right now, because the United Nations is holding discussions on the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals, now under discussion, must represent the international community’s crucial recognition that child labor and contemporary slavery hinder the efforts of people to work their way out of a vicious circle poverty and deprivation. We have a small window of opportunity to get the UN to add strong language in the goals that would make it clear that countries must take measures to eradicate forced labor, secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor and end child labor by 2025. In the United States, some 400,000 children toil in tobacco fields, fruit farms and other agribusiness,(2) where they often labor up to 60 hours a week in extreme heat, use dangerous tools and machinery and are exposed to toxic pesticides. The long-term effects of pesticide exposure during childhood can include cancer and problems with learning and cognition. Yanamaria W., 14, who worked on farms in central Kentucky in 2013 with her parents and 13-year-old brother, describes her experience. “I was in the field when they started spraying…. I can stand the heat for a long time, but when they spray, then I start to feel woozy and tired. Sometimes it looks like everything is spinning.”(3) All told, 5.5 million children are forced to work.(4) Most child laborers cannot get the education they need to lift them out of poverty and so the chances are high that their children, too, will be forced to work to help support their families. REFERENCES 1 ILO: “Marking Progress against Child Labour: Global Estimates and Trends,” 2000-2012. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---ipec/documents/publication/wcms_221513.pdf 2 “The Child Labor Coalition Welcomes the Reintroduction of the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment,” June 17, 2013. http://stopchildlabor.org/?tag=care-act 3 Human Rights Watch: “Tobacco’s Hidden Children,” May 14, 2014.http://www.hrw.org/node/125315/section/3 4 ILO: “Global Estimate of Forced Labour,” 2012. file:///C:/Users/TConnell/Downloads/ILO%20global%20estimate%20of%20forced%20labour.pdf
TELL THE PENTAGON: FAST FOOD STRIKER NEEDS HER JOB BACK!My name is Rosa Velasquez. I'm a fast-food worker who went on strike because the President said “no one who serves our troops meals should live in poverty.” Even though Pentagon contractors make millions in profit, fast food workers like me only earn $8.75 an hour and zero benefits. I want the President to know that $8.75 an hour isn't enough for me to support my 3 children, 4 grandchildren and my husband, an unemployed seasonal construction worker. All 9 of us live together in a single apartment. I overcame my fear to take a public stand against low-wages by striking. But the day after our protest, my worst fears came true – within minutes of returning to work, the manager jerked the security badge off my shirt and yelled “You’re fired!” To add insult to injury, he called the Pentagon police to escort me out of the building like I was a common criminal. I really need my job back quickly. Christmas is coming, and with my husband out of a job, I'm not sure how I can help my family survive into the New Year. I am not alone. Fast-food workers like me at the Pentagon have suffered a lot to fight for better pay and working conditions during the past year. The Pentagon contractor I work for – Seven Hills, Inc. which operates under name-brands like Burger King, Starbucks, Sbarro, and Qdoba – has responded to us with illegal threats, intimidation and retaliation. Even though the National Labor Relations Board agreed with us and got Seven Hills to promise to stop its bullying and retaliation against worker leaders – Seven Hills continues to break the law. Sign my petition demanding that the Pentagon make its contractor follow the law by reinstating me immediately, pay my lost wages, and respect worker rights.
Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture in DC: Theft by the Police is Still TheftImagine having your car seized by police without even being charged with a crime. That nightmare scenario is a reality for many District of Columbia residents as a result of the local civil asset forfeiture laws, which give law enforcement agencies broad authority to seize private property in the pursuit of criminal investigations. But these laws ultimately result in a disproportionate number of civil cases where the property itself is presumed guilty. Cars aren’t the only property seized. The Washington Post reported that since 2009, the Metropolitan Police Department has made more than 12,000 seizures and that half of the cash seizures were for $141 or less – with more than 1,000 for less than $20. Such amounts don’t reflect the cashflow of a criminal mastermind – instead, that’s the money you might be carrying to buy groceries or pay a bill. After seizing the property, the government tries to keep it – or sell it – often without a criminal conviction and without providing owners actual notice and an opportunity to be heard. Incredibly, no person is permitted to challenge the seizure of property in court unless he or she pays to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) a “penal sum.” If a property owner cannot afford to pay for this neutral judicial review of police conduct, the person can apply for a waiver, but in practice these are rarely granted, and the person loses his or her property. Even if a property owner is able to pay the penal sum, he or she still does not receive the property back; instead, MPD holds the property until the forfeiture proceeding is completed, which can take years. At that proceeding, the property is presumed guilty, and the burden is on the owner to prove otherwise. In addition, because forfeiture is a civil proceeding, property owners are not constitutionally entitled to court-appointed representation. As a result, a property owner must represent him or herself if he or she cannot afford to hire a lawyer to help navigate the complex civil court system. Bill 20-48 would reform the District’s civil forfeiture laws and provide protections to residents before the government can forfeit the property. It would also deposit all proceeds from forfeiture in the District’s General Fund, eliminating any conflict of interest that may arise when an agency that decides when to seize assets for forfeiture directly receives the financial benefits of those forfeitures. As other jurisdictions consider reforms to their civil asset forfeiture programs, Bill 20-48 could serve as a model to lawmakers across the nation by providing clear due process for owners caught up in seizure. Activist Kymone Freeman laid out the case against civil asset forfeiture on an interview with The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow: www.youtube.com/embed/hdeYV8A3GIE Another great explanation of the corrosive and unAmerican policy of civil asset forfeiture comes from John Oliver on Last Week Tonight: www.youtube.com/embed/3kEpZWGgJks
Show Solidarity with Illinois Women - Press for a YES vote on ERA Thursday!The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in a proposed United States Constitutional amendment that would provide a path to economic security for both women and men by guaranteeing that equal pay for equal work is enshrined in the United States Constitution. Women, their families and children need the ERA to be able to lift themselves out of poverty. We need the ERA to promote household stability. This is an economic issue! Without the ERA laws like the Lily Ledbetter Act and the Pay Equity Act have no teeth, because there is nothing in the US Constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. In fact, every constitution written since the end of World War II includes a provision that men and women are equal citizen. America is one of the few industrialized nations that has not yet recognized women as equals. This is a civil rights issue! We need the ERA. Federal and state laws do not and cannot fully protect equal rights for women and girls, and in some cases men and boys. This is because discrimination on account of sex is not barred by the US Constitution. Antonin Scalia, Betty Ford, Patricia Ireland, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter have all asserted that the ERA is necessary for the protection of equal rights. This is a human rights issue! While there is an ERA clause in the Illinois Constitution, many states do not have similar protections. Therefore, Illinois is holding equality for the American people hostage by not voting YES to ratify the ERA. With only three more states needed, Illinois can lead the charge to complete the work on this important amendment. This is a fairness issue! Join us as we call on Illinois General Assembly members to show up on Thursday, November 20, 2014 and vote YES to ratify the ERA. This is the time to address this issue!
President Obama must do more to lift federal contract workers out of povertyToday, my coworkers and I walked off the job at the U.S. Capitol to highlight the plight of low-wage workers under federal contracts. We were joined by low-wage federal contract workers from other federal buildings in the D.C. area, representing 2 million working across the nation. I work at the Capitol Visitor's Center making $12.46 an hour. My coworkers and I are the ones who labor invisibly in the basement of this great landmark. We welcome the tourists, serve them food, clean the tables and empty the trash bins. Because I make so little, I qualify for government food stamps. Even though I was hired as a full-time worker, my hours were cut without warning. I don’t get any sort of benefits such as health care insurance or retirement savings from my employer. I'm fifty years old and I won't be able to retire, because I can't save money when I'm struggling to afford basic needs like paying rent and putting food on the table. As a father, I want to help my kid out, because college tuition is expensive. My ex-wife and I are trying to help our daughter graduate from college, but I’m afraid the tuition checks will bounce. We are grateful to President Obama for signing executive orders to raise the minimum wage and stop wage theft on federal contracts. But workers like me need more than the minimum to survive.1 President Obama must do more to help federal contract workers who are struggling to live a modest comfortable life in the middle class. We need him to issue an executive order to make sure federal contractors create jobs that pay living wages and allow us to have a voice, so we can bargain for paid time-off, paid sick-days, decent healthcare and benefits. That’s why I joined my co-workers to strike against poverty wages. I live paycheck to paycheck. It's wrong that our government awards lucrative government contracts to profitable corporations while people employed under federal contracts are paid poverty wages. A report by Demos estimated that if the President awarded contracts to model employers that create good jobs that pay at least $15 an hour, provide benefits and the right to form a union, we could place millions of Americans on the path to the middle class. It’s as simple as a stroke of a pen.2 The President has the power to make life better for millions of federal contract workers like me. Our President can guarantee that we are paid what we are worth. He said he is willing to take executive action to help the middle class. Well, here is his opportunity to fulfill his legacy. Sign our petition to let the President know that you have our backs. By showing solidarity with workers, President Obama can make sure we don’t have to keep striking to take care of our families basic needs and have a chance to succeed in today’s economy. 1.Obama’s wage promise answers calls of growing movement. Washington Post, 1-29-2014 http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obamas-wage-promise-answers-calls-of-growing-movement/2014/01/29/a16c82de-8904-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html 2.Underwriting Good Jobs: How to Place Over 20 Million Americans on a Pathway to the Middle Class Using Federal Purchasing Power. Demos, 6-18-2014 http://www.demos.org/sites/default/files/publications/UnderwritingGoodJobs_2.pdf
Wage Theft Protection -- US Workers Need PaystubsMaybe you thought workers already got paystubs? You’d think so – since employers already save the data for 3 years to show the Department of Labor. Everyone has access to how a worker's pay was calculated – except the worker. Without paystubs, workers can’t see how their pay was calculated, what hours they were paid for, or what deductions were taken. Without documentation, it’s hard to prove wage theft. In any given week, 57% of low-income workers aren’t paid for all the time they work, have illegal deductions taken, or aren’t paid overtime as required. Over 20 million low-wage workers don’t get paystubs. One signature from US Secretary of Labor Tom Perez will make it a federal violation if employers don’t give employees paystubs. The DOL can issue a simple rule that could help address this problem. Please ask Labor Secretary Perez to take action now. This rule costs the government nothing (and will help with wage theft enforcement) and is easy for employers – it’s information they already have. Every day, workers come into the Northwest Arkansas Workers' Justice Center who are getting their pay stolen, but can’t prove it without a paystub. With your help, we can change that.
Stand with the children and Social Workers of Butler CountyThe Butler County Children Services Independent Union (BCCSIU), which represents a majority of the employees in the Butler County Children Services Agency, formally filed a notice with Ohio’s State Employment Relations Board that the employees intend to strike. The notice was filed on 8/6/14 and the strike will begin on 8/18/14 unless the BCCSIU and the Butler County Commissioners reach an agreement before the strike is scheduled to begin. The BCCSIU and the County Commissioners have been negotiating for 14 months without reaching an agreement for a new labor contract. The workers represented by the BCCSIU have not received any wage increase since 2010. In June 2014, the BCCSIU and the County Commissioners submitted their unresolved negotiation issues to a neutral arbitrator, or “Fact Finder”, who was mutually selected by the two parties. After conducting a hearing and receiving evidence on the unresolved negotiation issues, the Fact Finder determined that the worker ins in the Children’s Services Agency are underpaid relative to other similar employees in the market. The Fact Finder then found that continuing the current pay step structure over a period of three years with “modest across the board cost of living increases” of 1.5% in the first year, 1.75% in the second year, and a possible 2% increase in the third year would be the appropriate resolution to the unresolved issues. The BCCSIU voted to accept the Fact Finder’s decision. However, the Butler County Commissioners rejected the recommendation of the Fact Finder, even though they previously granted wage increases to most of the management employees in the Children Services Agency that range between 2.5% and 16.7% in 2014. Concessions have been made, wages frozen and Butler County no longer provides a competitive wage to retain employees. Caseload sizes are higher than what is recommended by the Child Welfare League of America. The CWLA recommends a caseload size of 12 families. Butler County Social Workers have anywhere from 6 to 20 cases, most workers carrying between 15 to 20 high-risk cases where abuse or neglect allegations have been substantiated. Subsequently, since 2011, BCCS has lost 50% of its social work staff. Every time a social worker leaves the agency the families that were working with that social worker have to start over with a new contact at BCCS. Most importantly, the loss of a social worker is another loss to the child. That child has been separated from their parents already and now has to start re-building trust with someone else. Currently there are 455 children in Butler County's foster care, group homes and residential centers. There are 352 children placed with relatives, family friends and neighbors. There are 40 children in the agency's legal custody. These are our children and will not be reunited with their families. There are 145 children in the agency's permanent custody waiting for a forever home. These children cannot lose one more person in their lives. The change for them is devastating. These are also OUR children. Every time a social worker leaves the agency they take with them the skills to do the job effectively, the connection with the community and all it offers, the experience of the fight for the children, the strength of watching a parent succeed, the hope that CHANGE can happen, and the witness of despair that is replaced by a child's smile. It is not okay to continue to allow our children and families of this community to be neglected by those in charge of its investment. Please Stand with the children and Social Workers of Butler County! http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/butler-county-social-workers-strike-is-on/ng2g3/
Walgreens: Stand with us and stay in AmericaMy name is Eugene Yong Lim and I live in Chicago, where I’m a leader with ONE Northside. Together with local allies, we’re working to hold big corporations accountable to our community. Last week, we gathered outside Walgreens’ flagship store in downtown Chicago to demand that Walgreens support the communities that have made it prosper. You see, although Walgreens was founded in Chicago and has grown into America’s largest pharmacy chain, the Financial Times recently reported that the company is considering a change of corporate address from Illinois to Switzerland. But you won’t need to learn French or German to fill your prescription. The majority of the company's $72 billion in sales last year were made in the United States and nearly a quarter of them came from taxpayer funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid. So don’t expect your local store to move anytime soon. Instead, a fancy gimmick called “tax inversion” could allow Walgreens to continue cashing in on U.S. profits, while dodging an estimated $4 billion in taxes over the next five years. It’s just one of a number of tricks wealthy corporations are using to stash cash and profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. This kind of bad behavior has a real cost on our communities. According to a recent study from Americans for Tax Fairness, $4 billion is enough to pay for one-and-a-half years of prescriptions for the entire U.S. veterans population, cover 3.5 million children under the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or provide Medicaid to over 639,000 people. That last figure really hits home with me. If it weren’t for Medicaid a costly medical emergency last year would have left me more than $11,000 in debt. But corporate tax dodging endangers funding for vital programs that help working class Americans like me, just to line the pockets of corporate shareholders and CEOs. The good news is that our action last week generated significant media coverage, but we need to keep the momentum going. Walgreens relies on sales to U.S. customers. By signing my petition, you can increase the pressure on Walgreens not to dodge taxes and to do right by our communities. http://www.americansfortaxfairness.org/files/OffshoringAmericasDrugstore.pdf http://www.progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2014/06/11/tax-justice-groups-rally-against-potential-4-billion-tax-dodge-walgree
New Seasons in Portland: Stand up for women's health, stop carrying Eden FoodsEden Foods, a pioneer of the organic food movement, has joined the right-wing legal campaign against the Affordable Care Act's historic expansion of coverage for contraception. The company's desire to use its CEO's religious beliefs to block female employees from accessing contraception through their employer-provided heath plan brings Eden Foods onto the front lines of the Republican War on Women. More than 160,000 CREDO activists nationwide have pledged not to buy Eden products until it stops its attacks on women's health. Now we're taking the next step by pressuring local stores that sell Eden Foods products to take them off the shelves. While progressives may have limited leverage against a company like Hobby Lobby, our power to go up against Eden is strong. Beyond our personal consumer power, we can also ramp up pressure in other ways, and targeting grocery stores is a perfect next step. Stores that carry Eden Foods' products -- like canned organic beans and Edensoy soy milk -- are endorsing Eden's attacks on women's health, especially co-ops and independent stores which can determine their own inventory. They need to get the message loud and clear that as long as Eden is working to block access to birth control, they shouldn't stock their shelves with Eden Foods' products. http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/07/14/whole-foods-shoppers-can-vote-with-their-dollars-on-pro-life-eden-foods/ http://www.salon.com/2013/04/11/organic_eden_foods_quiet_right_wing_agenda/
Extell Development: ‘Poor Doors’ have no place in NYCIncome inequality has made New York more divided than ever, and a development company called Extell wants to make this divide even more literal by requiring low-income residents at its One Riverside Park development in Manhattan to enter the building through a separate door. My family has lived in Manhattan for over 40 years and we are appalled that Extell plans to have a separate door for low-income tenants. My community benefits from affordable housing that developers are required to offer to the overwhelming majority of New York residents who are ‘not-so-wealthy’ – but forcing people like me to enter through a separate door is just wrong. As New York City rents skyrocket, with the median apartment in Manhattan now an incredible $3,247 per month, longtime residents are being pushed out of the City. Without a serious intervention, more and more New Yorkers will continue to be priced out of their neighborhoods as massive displacement sweeps through the City. New housing developments should maximize economic diversity. As we trade denser buildings for much greater and deeper affordability, we need to ensure that we are creating truly mixed-income communities for low-, moderate-, middle-, and high-income New Yorkers who not only live together, but freely enter and exit their buildings through the same doors. Economic diversity makes our city better, and provides a brighter future for low-income and middle-income families. Extell, and all developers, should not only treat their residents equally, but work with City officials to offer greater affordability -- not ‘poor doors’. While Mayor Bill de Blasio has already vowed to end the ‘poor door’, the bill that will protect tenants from discrimination would not come into effect until next year. That’s why we need to fight back now and make sure Extell Development knows income segregation is unacceptable. Please sign my petition now and spread the word.
Tell Westerly Natural Food Market: Stand up for women's health and stop carrying Eden FoodsEden Foods, a pioneer of the organic food movement, has joined the right-wing legal campaign against the Affordable Care Act's historic expansion of coverage for contraception. The company's desire to use its CEO's religious beliefs to block female employees from accessing contraception through their employer-provided heath plan brings Eden Foods onto the front lines of the Republican War on Women. More than 160,000 CREDO activists nationwide have pledged not to buy Eden products until it stops its attacks on women's health. Now we're taking the next step by pressuring local stores that sell Eden Foods products to take them off the shelves. While progressives may have limited leverage against a company like Hobby Lobby, our power to go up against Eden is strong. Beyond our personal consumer power, we can also ramp up pressure in other ways, and targeting grocery stores is a perfect next step. Stores that carry Eden Foods' products -- like canned organic beans and Edensoy soy milk -- are endorsing Eden's attacks on women's health, especially co-ops and independent stores which can determine their own inventory. They need to get the message loud and clear that as long as Eden is working to block access to birth control, they shouldn't stock their shelves with Eden Foods' products. http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/07/14/whole-foods-shoppers-can-vote-with-their-dollars-on-pro-life-eden-foods/ http://www.salon.com/2013/04/11/organic_eden_foods_quiet_right_wing_agenda/
Tell Sprouts: Stand up for women's health, stop carrying Eden FoodsEden Foods, a pioneer of the organic food movement, has joined the right-wing legal campaign against the Affordable Care Act's historic expansion of coverage for contraception. The company's desire to use its CEO's religious beliefs to block female employees from accessing contraception through their employer-provided heath plan brings Eden Foods onto the front lines of the Republican War on Women. More than 160,000 CREDO activists nationwide have pledged not to buy Eden products until it stops its attacks on women's health. Now we're taking the next step by pressuring local stores that sell Eden Foods products to take them off the shelves. While progressives may have limited leverage against a company like Hobby Lobby, our power to go up against Eden is strong. Beyond our personal consumer power, we can also ramp up pressure in other ways, and targeting grocery stores is a perfect next step. Stores that carry Eden Foods' products -- like canned organic beans and Edensoy soy milk -- are endorsing Eden's attacks on women's health, especially co-ops and independent stores which can determine their own inventory. They need to get the message loud and clear that as long as Eden is working to block access to birth control, they shouldn't stock their shelves with Eden Foods' products. http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/07/14/whole-foods-shoppers-can-vote-with-their-dollars-on-pro-life-eden-foods/ http://www.salon.com/2013/04/11/organic_eden_foods_quiet_right_wing_agenda/
Tell Sprouts: Stand up for women's health, stop carrying Eden Foods
Tell Governor Deal: Help child refugees who are fleeing violenceThere’s a growing humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border as tens of thousands of children flee gang violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and brave a dangerous border crossing in search of safety. It's time that governors across the U.S. step up to help care for them. As the White House ramps up its efforts to address this humanitarian crisis, we need to make sure our state leaders are doing their part to ensure that child refugees are treated in a humane way and not rushed back to extremely dangerous situations in their countries of origin. Fortunately, Governors Martin O'Malley of Maryland and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, have stepped up and are offering locations in their states to temporarily house these children But with thousands of child refugees still in need, we need more governors to step up and protect the children. Conservative politicians, pundits, and extreme anti-immigration activists advocate sending these children back to certain death. Texas Governor Rick Perry has even deployed National Guard troops to secure the border rather than provide humanitarian aid. Sending soldiers to face off with children is unacceptable. These children are not criminals. They deserve humane treatment, shelter, and appropriate legal protections. Members of Congress and the United Nations have made it clear that these children are in fact refugees who are "deserving of protection under international and domestic law." Sheltering children who are fleeing violence is something that all states should support. This is about our obligation to protect children in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis.
Contraception Saves LivesEden Foods, a pioneer of the organic food movement, has joined the right-wing legal campaign against the Affordable Care Act's historic expansion of coverage for contraception. The company's desire to use its CEO's religious beliefs to interfere with the medical needs of its female employees is unacceptable. More than 160,000 CREDO activists nationwide have pledged not to buy Eden products until it stops its attacks on women's health. Now we're taking the next step by pressuring local stores that sell Eden Foods products to take them off the shelves. While progressives may have limited leverage against a company like Hobby Lobby, our power to go up against Eden is strong. Beyond our personal consumer power, we can also ramp up pressure in other ways, and targeting grocery stores is a perfect next step. Stores that carry Eden Foods' products -- like canned organic beans and Edensoy soy milk -- are endorsing Eden's attacks on women's health, especially co-ops and independent stores that can determine their own inventory. They need to get the message loud and clear that as long as Eden is working to block access to medications that are used for both birth control and other medical conditions, they shouldn't stock their shelves with Eden Foods' products. http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/07/14/whole-foods-shoppers-can-vote-with-their-dollars-on-pro-life-eden-foods/ http://www.salon.com/2013/04/11/organic_eden_foods_quiet_right_wing_agenda/
Tell Detroit to turn the taps back on: Water is a human right!The city of Detroit provides water at wholesale price to the wealthy suburbs; however city residents pay retail price for the water they receive. Golf courses, high rises and commercial buildings currently owe millions in overdue water bills, yet they continue to have water. The State of Michigan owed $4.5 million in unpaid water bills and Emergency Manager, Kevin Orr, forgave everything except $113,000; so far the State of Michigan has paid $19,000. Residents who owe as little as $40 are having their water shut off with no warning. People are given no warning and no time to fill buckets, sinks or tubs. Families, seniors, sick and injured people and those with special needs are left without running water and working toilets, including vulnerable populations, sick people and others with special needs. People recovering from surgery cannot wash and change bandages. Children cannot bathe and parents cannot cook. If parents cannot afford to restore water service within 60 days, they are at risk of having Social Services remove their children from the home. If water bills remain unpaid a lien can be placed on the home and the home can be sold. This must stop NOW! The plan to cut off water to 150,000 households by the end of the summer is part of the plan to sell off and privatize Detroit’s water system. In order to make the utility attractive to investors, lower-income households are being forced to pay exorbitant rates for their water and sewer services or see their access cut. Water rates have risen in Detroit by 119 per cent in the last decade. With unemployment rates at a record high, and the poverty rate at about 40 per cent, Detroit water bills are unaffordable to a significant portion of the population. Detroit also plans to reduce the African American population from 83% to 53% by seizing homes, separating children from their parents and creating serious health risks to entire neighborhoods. By allowing thousands of people to be denied access to water and sanitation services, the U.S. government is violating its international obligation to respect and protect the human right to water and sanitation. Show your solidarity with the people in Detroit. Tell U.S. President Barack and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to uphold the human right to water and stop the water cut-offs, restore water to those who have been cut off and implement the People's Water Affordability Plan. Monica Lewis Patrick, founder of We The People of Detroit and former Vermont Senator Ben Ptashnik were guests on PDA Radio today; listen to the show to hear the complete story of what is happening in Detroit: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/svs/2014/07/11/detroit-water-shutoffs If this can happen to the city of Detroit, it can happen anywhere. Join PDA, National Nurses United, NetRoots attendees and local Detroit activists for a rally at Hart Plaza at 1pm on Friday, July 18th.