23 Jul 2014

New Blueprint for US Workplace: Ellen Bravo on the Fight for Paid Family Leave

When American workers finally get paid family leave, it’s no exaggeration to say that they’ll have Ellen Bravo to thank. Bravo, director of Family Values @Work, a 21-state coalition that is working to pass paid leave legislation at both the state and national level, has worked to organize women and men with this one policy goal for several decades. Bravo, who both wears her working-class identity proudly and can deliver data-driven talking points like a seasoned policy wonk, says that although the majority of employees are women working outside the home, most workplaces are still designed for men with wives at home.

29 Jun 2014

People Make Up Our City: Why Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Is a Sign of Things to Come

First published at Truthout. For 100,000 working people in Seattle, a newly passed citywide minimum wage of $15 per hour will mean an increased standard of living – and recognition of their contributions to the local economy. “It’s going to help me and a lot of other people,” said Crystal Thompson,

04 Jun 2014

Why Does the Obama Administration Keep Getting It Wrong on Education Policy?

Originally published at Truthout. Albert Shanker Institute executive director Leo Casey talks about community schools, public education, teacher evaluation, standardized testing, Common Core, the political dimension of corporate education “reform” and what policies are needed to revitalize public education. Maintaining and directing the federal bureaucracy is one of the most important

18 May 2014

Will the Next Labor Movement Come from the South?

Published originally at Truthout. Corporate America — especially in the American South — doesn’t seem to know the proper way to treat a guest. Guest workers have long been one of the most easily exploited segments of the American workforce. Employers frequently take advantage of their legal vulnerabilities to ignore

23 Apr 2014

Protecting Classrooms From Corporate Takeover

What Families Can Learn from Teachers’ Unions Teachers have always held a cherished role in our society—recognized as professionals who know how to inculcate a love of learning in our children. But the “education reform” movement represented by No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top blames teachers for

31 Mar 2014

Beyond the Minimum Wage: Interview With Jobs With Justice’s Sarita Gupta

Published originally at Truthout. Raising the minimum wage is an idea whose time has come. Long an important grass-roots demand, campaigns to raise the wage are taking place throughout the country. Even the national Democratic Party has recognized it as it winning issue that its candidates should embrace. Yet, although

17 Mar 2014

Can We Make Progressive Mayors Work for the People?

This article originally appeared at Truthout. It has become a cliché for progressives to vow that they’ll hold politicians accountable after they help get them elected. But if everyone knows the fight doesn’t end on Election Day, fewer people grasp what it actually means for social movements to push politicians

24 Feb 2014

We Want to Have a Common Language: Carolina Jews for Justice Stand Out in the Moral Mondays Crowd

It can be isolating to be a progressive Jew in North Carolina. In a state where just 1% of the population identifies as Jewish, it can be tough just to find a religious community, let alone a politically active one. Although older Jews who may have been activists in the

27 Jan 2014

“Our Food Is Dishonestly Priced”: Michael Pollan on Justice for Food Workers

Take a stroll through most grocery stores, and many of the products claim to be organically grown or locally sourced. The foodie movement has swept America in the last decade, thanks in no small part to the work of journalists and intellectuals who have championed the cause online, in print

21 Dec 2013

Setback for Scalia in Attempt to Curtail Labor Rights

Last week the Supreme Court decided against ruling on a legal decision from a lower court which, if broadly applied, could have undermined some of the few remaining effective union organizing techniques: neutrality and card checkagreements. These standards allow employees to organize in relative peace, without the threat of employer intimidation