Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top 5 ways anti-immigrant hate makes its way into media and policy

DSA Activist on Trial in NYC for Occupy Protest

The Crime of Peaceful Protest
NEW YORK—Cecily McMillan, wearing a red dress and high heels, her dark, shoulder-length hair stylishly curled, sat behind a table with her two lawyers Friday morning facing Judge Ronald A. Zweibel in Room 1116 at the Manhattan Criminal Court. The judge seems to have alternated between boredom and rage throughout the trial, now three weeks old. He has repeatedly thrown caustic barbs at her lawyers and arbitrarily shut down many of the avenues of defense. Friday was no exception.
The trial of McMillan, 25, is one of the last criminal cases originating from the Occupy protest movement. It is also one of the most emblematic. The state, after the coordinated nationwide eradication of Occupy encampments, has relentlessly used the courts to harass and neutralize Occupy activists, often handing out long probation terms that come with activists’ forced acceptance of felony charges. A felony charge makes it harder to find employment and bars those with such convictions from serving on juries or working for law enforcement. Most important, the long probation terms effectively prohibit further activism.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Earth Day and the Case for Eco Socialism

By Colin Kinniburgh 
In her editorial in the last issue of Jacobin, Alyssa Battistoni makes an eloquent case for a more ecologically-minded left politics.  “It’s ridiculous that we still bracket climate change and water supplies as specifically environmental issues,” she writes: “the questions at hand are ones of political economy and collective action . . . things the Left has plenty to say about.” It’s an obvious point but one that remains under-acknowledged on the Left, especially among socialists; “Environmental leftism,” as Battistoni notes, “tends to have an anarchist bent.”
Still, an increasingly coherent left environmentalism is beginning to take form under the banner of “ecosocialism,” a school of thought that has advanced critiques not unlike Battistoni’s own for some three decades now. But Battistoni herself rejects the label in favor of the provocative “cyborg socialism.” The notion of ecosocialism, she complains, is “too earth-toned."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Revolt of the Cities

During the past 20 years, immigrants and young people have transformed the demographics of urban America. Now, they’re transforming its politics and mapping the future of liberalism. Harold Meyerson 
Pittsburgh and Seattle faced the crisis by moving left. When will Sacramento?
Pittsburgh is the perfect urban laboratory,” says Bill Peduto, the city’s new mayor. “We’re small enough to be able to do things and large enough for people to take notice.” More than its size, however, it’s Pittsburgh’s new government—Peduto and the five like-minded progressives who now constitute a majority on its city council—that is turning the city into a laboratory of democracy. In his first hundred days as mayor, Peduto has sought funding to establish universal pre-K education and partnered with a Swedish sustainable-technology fund to build four major developments with low carbon footprints and abundant affordable housing. Even before he became mayor, while still a council member, he steered to passage ordinances that mandated prevailing wages for employees on any project that received city funding and required local hiring for the jobs in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ new arena. He authored the city’s responsible-banking law, which directed government funds to those banks that lent in poor neighborhoods and away from those that didn’t.

Reclaim the University- Administration and Faculty...

antiracismdsa: Reclaim the University- Administration and Faculty...: I just returned from a panel discussion at Sac State by faculty and students on Reclaim the University.   The event was sponsored by Stu...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Campus Progressive Alliance 
The Progressive Speaker Series Presents
Steve Early
Labor Journalist, Organizer & Author of...
"This book shows what it takes to defend democracy, workers rights and social justice unionism." — DOLORES HUERTA, Co-founder, United Farm Workers

With Special Guest Nichole Trujillo
Co-Founder, Young Workers of California
& Legislative Representative, United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 8

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 3pm
Folsom Hall #1063
Sacramento State University
(across the street from campus on Folsom Blvd., kitty corner from Home Depot)
Co-Sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America, Sacramento Chapter

Friday, April 11, 2014

How can we save our unions?

 How Can We Save Our Unions? Find out at a book talk and discussion of progressive labor initiatives in California and other states. with Steve Early. 
Date: Thursday, April 17
Time: 3  P.M.  Folsom Hall, 1063.
Sac State.  Sacramento, CA
“This book shows what it takes to defend democracy, workers rights, and social justice unionism.”
co-founder, United Farm Workers Union
Meet labor journalist and former CWA organizer Steve Early, author of Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress
Sponsored by: Sacramento Progressive Alliance, Democratic Socialists of America (Sacramento).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Senate Committee passes fracking moratorium

California Progress Report : California Senate Committee passes fracking moratorium bill

Earth Day Films

         Two days of programs presenting approaches to and tools for "Guardianship for Future Generations" begin with a film showing and discussion of environmental and water issues.  The presentation on Friday, April 11, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm, is at Southside Park Cohousing, 434 T Street, in Sacramento.  The workshop the following day, from  9:30 am to 2:00 pm, is at the same location. 
          Both programs are sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Sacramento-Sierra Foothills Branch and are designed to be accessible to everyone, based on a sliding-scale donation for admission, with no one turned away for lack of funds.
         The Friday program features chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu tribe, Caleen Sisk, and Sacramento journalist, Dan Bacher.  Sisk will present the film, “Standing on Sacred Ground,” and talk about the Winnemem Wintu connection to water, Native American tribal wisdom and guardianship of Mother Earth, and why we must restore natural water systems at their source and stop the raising of Shasta dam.  Joining her, a national WILPF activist and Bacher, an investigative journalist and editor of the Fish Sniffer magazine, will share in this discussion. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Job's Report and the Supreme Court's McCutcheon Debacle

Robert Reich

Today’s Jobs Report and the Supreme Court’s “McCutcheon” Debacle

What does the Supreme Court’s “McCutcheon” decision this week have to do with today’s jobs report, showing 192,000 new jobs for March?

Connect the dots. More than five years after Wall Street’s near meltdown the number of full-time workers is still less than it was in December 2007, yet the working-age population of the U.S. has increased by 13 million since then.

This explains why so many people are still getting nowhere. Unemployment among those 18 to 29 is 11.4 percent, nearly double the national rate.

Most companies continue to shed workers, cut wages, and horde their cash because they don’t have enough customers to warrant expansion. Why? The vast middle class and poor don’t have enough purchasing power, as 95 percent of the economy’s gains go to the top 1 percent.

That’s why we need to (1) cut taxes on average people (say, exempting the first $15,000 of income from Social Security taxes and making up the shortfall by taking the cap off income subject to it), (2) raise the minimum wage, (3) create jobs by repairing roads, bridges, ports, and much of the rest of our crumbling infrastructure, (4) add teachers and teacher’s aides to now over-crowded classrooms, and (5) create “green” jobs and a new WPA for the long-term unemployed.

And pay for much of this by raising taxes on the top, closing tax loopholes for the rich, and ending corporate welfare.

But none of this can be done because some wealthy people and big corporations have a strangle-hold on our politics. “McCutcheon” makes that strangle-hold even tighter.

Connect the dots and you see how the big-money takeover of our democracy has lead to an economy that’s barely functioning for most Americans.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Oil Lobby Spent $56.3 Million on Sacramento Lobbying

Oil lobby spent $56.3 million in Sacramento over past five years

by Dan Bacher 

A new chart released by Stop Fooling California reveals that the oil industry, including the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron, BP and other oil companies, spent $56.63 million on lobbying at the State Capitol in the five years from 2009 through 2013. 

"It’s enough to spend $471,000 on each California Senator and Assemblymember," according to http://www.stopfoolingca.org, an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies’ efforts to mislead and confuse Californians. "It’s enough to buy a gallon of $4 gas for every household in California. It’s a lot of lobster dinners." 

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), headed by President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, is the most powerful corporate lobbying organization in Sacramento.