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Working America

Our country needs a working family agenda, not a corporate agenda.

You Should Know: The End of Same Day Registration in North Carolina

 

votes

By: Burt Montgomery, Working America member

Same-day voting registration laws help improve and equalize the democracy process, but did you know that it’s now illegal to register and vote on the same day in NC?  The republican controlled legislature eliminated same day registration last year, a backwards step for our voting process.  Under the new law, voter registration must occur at least 25 days prior to an election.

In 2007 the state general assembly passed a law that made same-day registration legal and voter participation increased immediately.   More than 100,000 North Carolina residents registered and voted simultaneously in the 2008 and 2012 general elections (http://ift.tt/1mFNr4M).  Demos, an organization dedicated to public policy, conducted research comparing same day vs. non same day registration states.  The findings illustrated that same day registration states had higher voter participation than those without same a day policy (http://ift.tt/WFbPyg -same-day-registration-where-it-available).

The law,even  showed increased voter participation, especially for certain social groups.  Although youths (18-25) comprised 12% of voters in 2012, they were 33% of same day registration voters; Blacks made up 34% of same day registrants/voters (http://ift.tt/1mFNrll).  Illustrating even greater racial ramifications to the current law, Blacks utilized same day registration/voting more than Whites in 2012, according to Dr. Michael Herron and Dr. Daniel Smith, two political science professors (http://ift.tt/1mFNrln).

This law is important to me. I don’t believe that my parents participated in the civil rights movement to have their offspring jump through voter suppression hoops similar to the ones that existed in the 1950’s and 60’s.  Things should progress, not be repeated under less obtrusive schemes.

Remember, same day registration is now illegal.  Get registered to vote today…the right you save may be your own!!!

Photo courtesy of Theresa Thompson via Flickr.

1 hour ago 33 notes

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What The Today Show Totally Missed With Its Coverage of Michael Moore’s Wealth

blog_lauer-moore

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, the director of films like Roger and Me and Bowling for Columbine, and his wife Kathleen Glynn are separating after 22 years. The proceedings have revealed to the public the extent of Michael Moore’s finances, including a large mansion in Michigan.

This morning, The Today Show seized on this news to portray Moore as a hypocrite: how could someone with a “blue collar” image, they ask, have this much money?

Let’s be absolutely clear: that question is ridiculous.

First of all, someone with a blue collar upbringing can most certainly attain great wealth over the course of their life and still maintain the composure, sensibility, and ideals they were raised with. That’s common sense. It’s called economic mobility, and it is something that Americans have felt great pride in throughout our history.

But let’s make something else abundantly clear: Michael Moore and other critics of our economic system do not oppose wealth.

Seriously. This has been a libel against all economic progressives, displayed prominently during the 2012 election when Mitt Romney and others accused President Obama of opposing the very idea of wealth and success (thus the obsession with taking “you didn’t build that” out of context). It’s the insult hurled at anyone who criticizes big money in politics: we are told that we are “jealous” of the Koch Brothers’ massive wealth, because why else would we say mean things about them?

And The Today Show bought completely into this frame, calling Moore’s politics “contradictory” with his big house and his full bank account.

But it’s not contradictory, because Michael Moore doesn’t oppose wealth. Senator Elizabeth Warren, another target of these claims, doesn’t oppose wealth. The millions of Working America members who take action to address income inequality don’t oppose wealth, pursuing wealth, or accruing wealth.

What we oppose, and will continue to fight against, is the following:

The use of massive wealth to rig our democracy in your favor. We respect the right of Charles and David Koch to grow their business, to hire workers and put out a product. But in addition to running a business, they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbyists, think tanks, and a constellation of political organizations to insure their company’s success at the expense of others.

For instance, there’s nothing “free market” about the Kochs’ efforts to tax consumers of solar energy in an effort to keep them addicted to the petroleum they produce. If Apple lobbied for a law that would add extra taxes for Android users, there would be an enormous outcry. This isn’t different.

The use of massive wealth to destroy the ladder of economic mobility that helped create that wealth in the first place. Anyone who runs a business has the right to manage their workforce as they see fit, within the bounds of the law. But businessmen like the Koch Brothers, Art Pope, Rex Sinquefield, and Dick DeVos don’t stop there. Through campaign donations, TV advertisements, lobbyists, and other tactics, they have tried (and often succeeded) in changing laws that protect workers’ rights, wages, and retirement. The DeVos family’s near single-handed funding of the “right to work” effort in Michigan is exhibit A.

Knocking rungs off of the ladder of economic mobility doesn’t create wealth, it destroys it.

The use of massive wealth to deceive consumers. Elizabeth Warren didn’t set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) because of a hate of Wall Street and the people who work there. Yet, Wall Street banks spent a fortune lobbying against the creation of the CFPB, and they continue to make weakening the agency and broader Wall Street reform a key priority.

Warren understood that when information was presented clearly to consumers–without tricks, traps, and hidden fees–they would be better able to select the products that worked for them. That understanding would allow Wall Street companies to compete on a level playing field, with the best plans and products winning. If that’s not capitalism, what is?

So can Michael Moore criticize inequality while enjoying economic success? Absolutely. Moore just happens to be one of those wealthy people who doesn’t feel the need to use his wealth to destroy others’ ability to become wealthy as well.

That’s not being contradictory, that’s being decent.

4 hours ago 24 notes

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union

What’s going on with Obamacare: Punching In

One court said no to the subsidies, another says yes.

Populism for the win?

A new report concludes that Democrats need to take on an “in your shoes” message in order to maintain control of the Senate.

Unions win, again

Across the country workers have voted to unionize three Hostess Cake factories.

Hey employers: you don’t pay, you still pay

Check out the bad boss tax.

7 hours ago 5 notes

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union

Union Plus Sponsors $20,000 Student Loan Contest

Union Plus Sponsors $20,000 Student Loan Contest

In its continuing mission to find new ways to serve union members and their families, Union Plus is sponsoring a contest to help three winners pay off a portion of their student loan debt. The Grand Prize winner will receive $10,000 toward their student loan obligations, while there also will be two $5,000 prizes for runners-up.  The contest also will give way other prizes, including courses, consultations and books provided by the Princeton Review.

Eligible entrants can sign up online and enter simply by signing up for program e-mails and mobile alerts. To be eligible to win, entrants must register by Aug. 15, 2014.

18 hours ago 5 notes

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Your Inspiration for Today: 11-Year-Old Asean Johnson

You may have seen a video of him before, but if 11-year-old Asean Johnson can stand up to Rahm Emanuel and school “reformers” like he does in this video from the AFT convention, you can stand up and fight the important battles in your community.

At the Los Angeles convention, he thanked his teachers, his family and his Chicago community for joining together not only to safeguard his schooling and opportunities in life, but also to win access for all students to art, music, libraries and vital school professionals like counselors and nurses. To the cheers of delegates, Asean said:

Now, we must take that fight to every city in America. If we come together, we will win. Let’s march together; let’s fight together; let’s work together. Let’s reclaim the promise of America’s schools together!

Reposted from AFL-CIO NOW

1 day ago 3 notes

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Hmm. Looks like opponents of our campaign to Raise The Minimum Wage are running out of arguments.

Text RAISE to 30644 and join our fight for fair wages. http://ift.tt/1A2tAHc

Hmm. Looks like opponents of our campaign to Raise The Minimum Wage are running out of arguments.

Text RAISE to 30644 and join our fight for fair wages. http://ift.tt/1A2tAHc

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics

Could Michigan Raise Its Minimum Wage Twice In One Year? Punching In

Michigan wage fight goes to the courts

Michigan Republicans raised the minimum wage in order to preempt a ballot initiative, but a court will decide if raising the wage appears on the November ballot.

The Art of buying a state government

Mainstream media finally recognizes the heinous influence of Art Pope, North Carolina’s own Koch-style mega-donor.

Whirlwind of accusations at Ohio charter school

It’s a mess: school officials implicated in alleged test-tampering and other misconduct at Columbus charter schools, and teachers could be disciplined for reporting it.

Organizing: Eat fresh!

Workers at Subway franchise in New Jersey vote to join RWDSU. There are a lot of Subway stores, who wants to be next?

1 day ago 26 notes

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Paul Wellstone would be 70 years old today. We continue to be inspired by his words, his work, and his legacy.

Thanks to Wellstone Action for the graphic. http://ift.tt/1zYA0XG

Paul Wellstone would be 70 years old today. We continue to be inspired by his words, his work, and his legacy.

Thanks to Wellstone Action for the graphic. http://ift.tt/1zYA0XG

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics

Water And The Minimum Wage: Punching In

On Friday, protestors gathered in Detroit to fight back against water shutoffs affecting those unable to pay their bill, many of whom have not received a raise in quite some time.

Key Quote: “The water rate goes up every year but income is not rising,” says Wanda Hill. “You can never catch up.”

A step towards LGBT worker equality

Today, Obama signs an executive order to stop federal contractors from discriminating workers based on gender or sexual orientation, minus any religious exemptions.

Teen unemployment

Undoubtedly bad for all teens, NPR reports that it affects African Americans the most.

2 days ago 3 notes

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Just days after we marched in Detroit with Netroots Nation, National Nurses United, and Mark Ruffalo, this happened.

More details here: http://on.freep.com/1wR0pSU

(Thanks to US Uncut for the graphic. Hover and like their page for more great stuff.) http://ift.tt/1u8bPWw

Just days after we marched in Detroit with Netroots Nation, National Nurses United, and Mark Ruffalo, this happened.

More details here: http://on.freep.com/1wR0pSU

(Thanks to US Uncut for the graphic. Hover and like their page for more great stuff.) http://ift.tt/1u8bPWw

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics
Sometimes you have to translate what the banks are saying. http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8

(Graphic via The Blue Street Journal) http://ift.tt/1qvE4g6

Sometimes you have to translate what the banks are saying. http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8

(Graphic via The Blue Street Journal) http://ift.tt/1qvE4g6

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics
You won’t like us when we’re angry! Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo joins us to protest the immoral #DetroitWater shutoffs. http://ift.tt/1nTLvuB

You won’t like us when we’re angry! Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo joins us to protest the immoral #DetroitWater shutoffs. http://ift.tt/1nTLvuB

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics
#TBT The labor movement took children out of factories and sweatshops, but that was the beginning, not the end. 

Every one of us, whether we work 9-to-5 or the night shift, whether we are retired or unemployed, we are part of the labor movement and part of the ongoing fight for dignity for all who work for a living.

If you aren’t yet a Working America member, join today: http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8

If you’re already a member, SHARE this graphic and this link to spread the word: http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8

(Quote by Utah Philips, beautiful graphic by The Other 98%) http://ift.tt/Wg89Tz

#TBT The labor movement took children out of factories and sweatshops, but that was the beginning, not the end.

Every one of us, whether we work 9-to-5 or the night shift, whether we are retired or unemployed, we are part of the labor movement and part of the ongoing fight for dignity for all who work for a living.

If you aren’t yet a Working America member, join today: http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8

If you’re already a member, SHARE this graphic and this link to spread the word: http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8

(Quote by Utah Philips, beautiful graphic by The Other 98%) http://ift.tt/Wg89Tz

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics
Working America organizers from across the country are gathered in beautiful Pittsburgh this week. Thanks to Mayor Bill Peduto and Unite Here Local 57 for making our stay a great one!

If you have a message for our incredible organizers while we’re gathered, leave it in the comments. http://ift.tt/1oOiM9F

Working America organizers from across the country are gathered in beautiful Pittsburgh this week. Thanks to Mayor Bill Peduto and Unite Here Local 57 for making our stay a great one!

If you have a message for our incredible organizers while we’re gathered, leave it in the comments. http://ift.tt/1oOiM9F

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics
If you find the idea that “corporations are people” a little ridiculous, you’re not alone. (via The Liberal Memeplex)

Working America builds real people-power. Join us today: http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8 http://ift.tt/1mhuIRs

If you find the idea that “corporations are people” a little ridiculous, you’re not alone. (via The Liberal Memeplex)

Working America builds real people-power. Join us today: http://bit.ly/1jFytQ8 http://ift.tt/1mhuIRs

Tagged with:  #1u  #p2  #labor  #union  #working america  #politics