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An organizers experience in Ferguson

This piece is part 1 of a 3 part series. The first installment of this series will focus on the things and people I saw during my time in ferguson. The second part will focus on the struggles and challenges I saw around organizing during a period of crisis. While part 3 will focus on what I believe organizers around the country can do to build a stronger movement capable of taking action in solidarity with communities who experience a tragedy or find themselves the focal point of national attention and organizers.

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Celebrate Labor Day

Labor Day is much more than hot dogs and picnics

Let’s make Labor Day a Moral Monday!

Join our friends at the NC AFL-CIO on September 1 for Moral Monday Labor Day: The #TalkUnion Tour! Workers are finding hope in difficult times by taking collective action through unions and through Moral Monday. Come out to a tour stop to show your solidarity!

The #TalkUnion Tour kickoff is at 9 AM in Raleigh, followed by a noon stop in Greensboro, and ending at 5:30 PM in Charlotte with a massive Moral Monday rally in Marshall Park!

Follow the links for more info and to RSVP:

Raleigh event: https://www.facebook.com/events/713298988719294/

Greensboro event: https://www.facebook.com/events/472838886186700/

Charlotte event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1511455049089626/

Seamos El Cambio

Como muchos en nuestra comunidad, se me partió el corazón cuando escuché de que un policía mató a un joven Afroamericano en Ferguson, Missouri. Me afectó, no solo por el hecho de que se le robó la vida a un joven inocente. Esta tragedia me hizo sentir un conflicto emocional interno por varias razones.

Cuando vi como el país se unió y tanta gente fue a Ferguson para apoyar a la familia y exigir justicia, me dio una gran alegría. Se vio que en los peores momentos, el ser humano tiene la gran capacidad de sentir un amor tan profundo que dejaría su vida cotidiana y viajaría lejos por el simple hecho de apoyar a otros, no solo emocionalmente, pero en busca de justicia.

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Women's Equality Day

Tuesday, August 26th   is Women’s Equality Day, which marks the 94th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1920. This amendment finally granted the right to vote to women throughout the nation after 131 years without a guarantee of this most basic civil right under federal law. 

While state-sanctioned gender discrimination in voting rights is unimaginable today, winning passage of the 19th amendment required a fight that spanned eight decades, and was met with fierce opposition.  Over 40,000 marched in a suffrage parade in New York in 1915, with many of the women dressed in white.  A highly publicized hunger strike later that year by jailed picketers from the National Women’s Party gave the movement added momentum. The final suffrage bill passed by Congress contained the exact same language as the first women’s suffrage bill introduced there in 1878.

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Why I’m going to Ferguson

image from slate.com

This moment is a call to action for every American. We must expose abuse, challenge injustice, stand up and fight back!

Like many of you, I have been watching the events of Ferguson, Missouri unfold from afar. I’ve watched, in horror, as a small suburban community has been terrorized by those sworn to protect it. Military vehicles have been deployed on neighborhood streets, tear gas has become a daily occurrence and individuals, posing no threat, have been apprehended without cause or explanation. I watched on my computer screen and couldn’t help but see how stories and headlines only a week ago describing the West Bank were being used to describe this small town in middle-America. Police have acted with impunity, and the public has watched much of it from laptops and cell phones. We have become incredible at documenting events and terrible at doing anything about them. I sat and watched as Ferguson, Missouri became a war zone.

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ACA Update

You may have heard some confusing news this week when two U.S. appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on a subject that’s important to millions of people:  the availability of subsidies to help purchase coverage under the health-care law.  Don't worry - we have you covered. Here are some frequently asked questions about those court decisions and how they impact consumers.

Q: What did the courts decide?

A:  In a blow to the health law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the health law’s subsidies are available only to individuals in the 14 states and the District of Columbia now operating their own health insurance exchanges.  The federal government now runs the exchanges in 36 states.  Judge Thomas Griffith, writing the majority opinion in the 2-1 decision, said they concluded "that the ACA unambiguously restricts" the subsidies to "exchanges 'established by the state.' "

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Working parents need help

Working parents have been ignored by lawmakers for quite some time.  For two-parent households it is now more common for both parents rather than just one to work outside the home. Nearly half of all American mothers work full time, a full 30 percent increase since the Reagan administration, and more than 70 percent of mothers with young children are working outside the home.  

Our policies have not kept pace with this reality. This neglect poses tremendous challenges for families who are operating under workplace rules devised with Ozzie and Harriet in mind. Thankfully, it seems that politicians are finally starting to take notice.

 

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