Thousands gather to say “Kill The Bill” to Senate Bill 5 on March 8 in Columbus, OH. (Photo: Ohio AFL-CIO) Last week, the labor movement and its allies scored a major victory with the repeal of Ohio Senate Bill 5 (SB5), a piece of anti-union legislation signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich. In a referendum that gave voters a chance to speak on the issue, Ohioans resoundingly rejected the law, which would have gutted the bargaining rights of 350,000 public-sector workers. In a landmark defeat for Republicans, voters turned out in large numbers and voted 61 percent to 39 percent to strike down SB5.
Business and liberal elites have long invested in developing collaborative leadership. In Occupy Wall Street and beyond, grassroots progressives are now getting into the game of working together. Something huge is happening in this country. It's been a long time since we've seen this level of populist activity directed at the right targets: the big banks and the corporate elites that dominate our political system. But there's something else going on, behind the scenes. Though largely obscured by the Occupy Wall Street story, we are seeing a rare and welcome level of unity: progressive groups are maintaining a better level of coordination than at any time in recent memory. It's a trend toward cooperation that should be recognized and celebrated.
President Barack Obama holds a copy of the American Jobs Act while delivering remarks at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, September 14, 2011. (Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times) President Obama's speech about jobs last week was a step forward. But we need to do better. We need to do better on policy, and better on politics. Here's what that means: On policy, Obama's jobs proposal is a lot like his administration's health care reform.
After Ohio Governor Kasich and Republicans in the legislature passed Senate Bill 5, which strips public workers of their collective bargaining rights, a broad coalition came together under the We Are Ohio banner to fight back and put a recall of the repressive legislation on the ballot. They delivered nearly 1.3 million signatures to the secretary of state's office in support of the initiative. (Photo: ProgressOhio) While many would say there is little for working people to celebrate as we approach this Labor Day, I see new hope in the rising number of working people standing up to fight back for themselves and all working-class families. Despite an unprecedented wave of attacks on our country's workers, or maybe because of them, working people across the country have begun to come together and fight back to reclaim their rights and voice in our economic and political debates. If given the chance to truly flourish, this rising fight
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation Teachers, testifies at a hearing about supporting America’s educators on May 4, 2010. (Photo: House Committee on Education and the Workforce Dem / Flickr) Parents, teachers and students across the country are busy preparing for the return to school in the fall. For teachers, anticipating the needs their students will have in the new school year goes beyond the text books and the syllabus. They are preparing to meet a new wave of attacks on public education and on themselves personally.
(Photo: Matt Baran / Flickr) Despite coming up short of retaking control of the Wisconsin Senate, Tuesday's recall elections sent a clear signal to conservative politicians who are using false pretenses to slash social safety nets, scapegoat public employees and immigrants and take away the rights of working people. The message: Beware. The public will no longer accept your abuses of power.
President Barack Obama speaks about the debt compromise, August 2, 2011. (Photo: Lawrence Jackson / White House) A couple of days ago, a friend was telling me about two competing rallies that took place in Washington, DC, last weekend. In the first, about 50 people attended a Tea Party rally calling for drastic cuts to the government. Meanwhile, a progressive rally against a sell-out debt deal that would slash services and endanger programs such as Medicare and Social Security drew a larger crowd, made up of 450 to 500 people. My friend, like other progressives, complained that the Tea Party rally got more press coverage, despite being far smaller. I understood her frustration.
Deepak Bhargava speaks about public education and civil rights. (Photo: Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights) “Staying true to progressive traditions means always asking the question, 'Who is really getting the most screwed in our society?' and always having a commitment to going there.” That's how Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change (CCC), explained his vision for honoring the distinguished past of his prominent, decades-old progressive organization while also