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Immigration, Immigrant Communities and the 2016 Elections

NNIRR - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 2:37pm
Story Type:  Blog Story Publisher:  NNIRR

Since last summer, we have been monitoring aspiring presidential candidates and their positions on immigration related issues, in particular.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Xicanx: Black Lives Matter

SWOP - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 12:50pm

SWOP was formed by young organizers of color in the 80’s following heavy political and police repression of social movements during the previous decade. Our organization was founded in part by former members of the Black Berets de Nuevo Mexico. The Berets legacy of exposing police violence and corruption, offering breakfast programs and neighborhood patrols in barrios across the city, and community organizing is part of our origin story – it’s who we are. This blend of methodologies – direct action, community services, and advocacy alongside community members – is our tribute to a deep history of liberation movements inside New Mexico, their leaders, and our own history and legacy of organizing.

Via Frontera NorteSur:

The most well-known case is the police killings of Beret members Antonio Cordova and Rito Canales at an isolated site near Albuquerque in January 1972. More

New Mexico’s political, media and policing systems are rooted in a long history of colonialism – controlling the local population partly through an outsider, colonial media system and direct repression by a police force designed to do the same.

Albuquerque, the state’s largest city with a majority people of color population, still boasts one of the most violent, racist police departments in the country.

Via PBS

Even before protests in cities such as Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, drew national attention to use of force by police departments, officers in Albuquerque came under scrutiny for the city’s rate of fatal police shootings. Between 2010 and October 2014, 23 people died in 37 shootings involving officers.

We know our history quite well. We have all lived under constant fear of what police might do to our children and families.  

It’s one reason we fought for fair treatment of Gordon House. It’s one reason we continue to fight against youth criminalization. It’s one reason we fought to keep armed police out of our schools. And it’s why we continue to fight to this day.

It’s also why we stand against the scapegoating of black and brown young men for recent protests where police clashed with Albuquerque residents following Trump’s divisive rally.

The most recent two murders caught on camera in Louisiana and Minnesota this week have shocked and saddened us. While these killings have also strengthened our resolve to keep fighting to hold police systems accountable to our communities, we also understand our communities need to heal. We send our love and respect to the families and communities who have senselessly and tragically lost their loved ones. We stand in solidarity with working class Black, Native, Brown and Asian communities all across the country. We say it loud: Black Lives Matter.

We want to take the time to invite all our friends and families to shared healing space tomorrow (Friday) at 10:30 at Tiguex Park.

#AltonSterling #PhilandoCastille

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

East, West, 7 Central! We are all Harlem!

CVH - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 4:37pm
July 9th, Saturday, there will be a workshop on how members can create their own media, specifically stop motion animation videos. It'll be centered on making a video for the opportunities on public land in east Harlem but very practical skills to use outside of this workshop.
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NYC Housing Ventures to Set Out a Welcome Mat for LGBT Seniors

CVH - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:18am

By HANNAH FURFARO

June 29, 2016 

A new initiative to build affordable housing that is friendly for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors is beginning to take shape.

Senior-housing basics, like hot meals, fitness and language classes will be available at the Ingersoll Senior Residences in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, and the Crotona Senior Residences in Crotona Park North in the Bronx.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NYC Housing Ventures to Set Out a Welcome Mat for LGBT Seniors

CVH - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 11:16am

By HANNAH FURFARO

June 29, 2016 

A new initiative to build affordable housing that is friendly for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender seniors is beginning to take shape.

Senior-housing basics, like hot meals, fitness and language classes will be available at the Ingersoll Senior Residences in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, and the Crotona Senior Residences in Crotona Park North in the Bronx.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Immigration reformers eye Gang of 8 revival

NNIRR - Tue, 07/05/2016 - 3:00am
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  SEUNG MIN KIM and BURGESS EVERETT Story Publisher:  Politico.com

Lindsey Graham doesn't sugarcoat his prediction: Republicans are going to get thrashed in the November election, especially among Latinos. And it’s going to trigger another run at immigration reform in Congress next year, the South Carolina senator says.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Local 610 Stops Givebacks, Wins Gains in Tough Negotiations

UE - Fri, 07/01/2016 - 5:16pm
01 July, 2016Local 610 members get report on bargaining from their committee. Wilmerding, PA

After a tough round of negotiations, UE Local 610 members on May 4 approved a new three-year agreement with their employer, Wabtec.  Wages will increase 50 cents each year, and there is a slight increase in the night shift differential, from 85 cents to 90 cents. For workers at the rubber plant in Greensburg, the union won an increase in the set-up rate from $17.84 to $18, before the general wage increases were added.

The most contentious issues in negotiations were overtime pay, mandatory overtime, shift schedules and drug testing. The union stopped the company’s attempt to eliminate language requiring time-and-a-half after eight hours in any workday. The union also prevented the company from adding mandatory overtime language, and stopped changes to the shift schedule. The union eventually agreed to a drug testing policy that will go into effect in November, but it is “a far cry from what the company was proposing, and definitely eliminating random drug testing,” says UE International Representative Marion Washington, who assisted the local in negotiations. A worker’s first two positive tests will send him or her into rehabilitation.

On healthcare, the company wanted to move everyone into a 70-30 plan, eliminating the 80-20 plan in which most members were enrolled. The union managed to keep the 80-20 plan and make some improvements to the 70-30. There will be no increase in employee contributions to the 80-20 plan in the first year, and small increases in the second and third years. On the 70-30 plan there are some slight increases in contributions, but also improvements in coverage.

For those workers still covered by the defined benefit pension plan, the company wanted to  freeze the plan. The union fought back and stopped that. Newer employees are covered by a 401(k) plan.

Wage increases were also a big fight. The company started offering 10 cents, slowly moving to 16 cents and then 26 cents. The union didn’t get the company to 50 cents per year until three days after the old contract expired, around midnight, after the corporate CEO had joined the negotiating table.

There are improvements in the severance allowance formula. This became an issue because just before negotiations, the company had announced that it would move some work from Wilmerding to Mexico. As a result, the union pushed for severance improvements, and also got the company to provide a letter stating that it has no intention of moving work to Mexico at this time.

The new contact improves the allowance for safety shoes to provide up to $450 over the term of the contract, and as much as $300 in a single year. Previously the allowance was $150 over the term of the agreement. The hearing aid allowance was increased to $6,000 over the life of the agreement. The parties negotiated and reached mutual agreement on some realignment of sections of the main Wilmerding plant.

The contract also improves the language on union leaders getting permission to leave work on union business. This has been a big issue of contention in the past, and the union has successfully fought the firing of union officers over this issue.

RALLY AROUND THE FLAGPOLE

President Antwon Gibson says membership support was the union’s strength.  “We had a plan to get word back to the plant every day, gathering at the flagpole in the mornings. For about eight weeks prior to and during negotiations, once a week we all wear our union shirts or orange inmate shirts, and we march to the flagpole in front of the corporate building, say the pledge of allegiance, and show the company we’re united.”

Gibson adds, “Once we got to bargaining table we had members wear union shirts and orange shirts the whole time, and march out to the flagpole. We had people in the shop getting back reports on negotiations.  In the midst of negotiations we had a membership meeting that was a turning point for negotiations. We got people fired up about the issues that the company was proposing. That led to a turn for the better in negotiations, for us. From that moment, everyone was on board, all the membership, and we were back and forth to keep the members informed and fired up.”

The new contract will expire May 1, 2019. Local 610 is one of UE’s oldest locals. Its members manufacture airbrake systems for the railroad industry.

The union bargaining committee consisted of President Antwon Gibson, Business Agent Jim Naser, Vice President Ray Shash, Chief Steward Simeon DiFlorio, Assistant Chief Steward Dan Adams, Salary Divisional Steward Jim Chandler, and Rubber Plant Divisional Steward Ian Glasgow. They were assisted by International Rep. Marion Washington

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Field Organizer Omar el-Malah Dies at Age 39

UE - Fri, 07/01/2016 - 5:00pm
01 July, 2016Philadelphia

Field Organizer Omar el-Malah died in his sleep on June 26 at age 39. Doctors gave the cause of death as acid reflux.

He joined the UE staff in 2003, with previous experience working for several other labor unions. His primary assignments in UE were in New England and the Mid-Atlantic area, although he frequently worked in other parts of the country to assist UE campaigns.

“Omar was not only a dear friend, but a comrade and co-worker for many of us in the UE and the broader progressive movement,” said UE General President Peter Knowlton. “Fighting for militant democratic unionism and working class ideals were paramount for him, and he had true compassion for UE members. He possessed all the tools it takes to be an exemplary trade union organizer. His intellectual wit, directness, and level-headed approach to political or international issues will be missed. None of us is irreplaceable but there was no one quite like Omar, and we grieve for him and his family.”

El-Malah worked with Local 279 at Weir Valve on their 2014 negotiations and three-week strike. "The news of Omar’s passing really shook our local,” said Chief Steward Jason Gallant. “He was the embodiment of everything a union brother should be. He taught us to stand and fight against the status quo. Omar inspired us to be the local we are today, and he'll never know how much he truly meant to us. It's not every day you meet someone as passionate about their work as Omar was. He was doing the job he was born to do. He was brilliant at the bargaining table, a virtuoso of contract language, and a true warrior for the labor movement.”

“But more importantly, he was our friend,” continued Gallant. “I can't express how much of an honor that was. His unapologetic nature, his energetic and sometimes inappropriately timed laugh, and contempt for authority are what made Omar amazing. I've never met a more genuine person in my life. Words can't convey how much he will be missed. Sleep well, brother. You've left your mark on this world for so many of us, and we're eternally grateful for it. "

UE Director of Organization Gene Elk said, “Omar loved UE and cherished our principles of rank-and-file unionism and aggressive struggle.  He was a tireless fighter for the working class.  It was an incredible tragedy that Omar passed away at the young age of 39.  UE will miss Omar, his dedication, and the hard work he contributed to building our union.”

Former Director of Organization Bob Kingsley, who hired el-Malah and under whom he worked for most of his time with UE, says: “Omar's passing is a loss to UE and to the labor movement at large. He was one of those special organizers the union called upon for the most challenging of assignments, often crisscrossing the country to aid organizing campaigns or assist members in need. Omar was a true militant who understood rank-and-file unionism and appreciated labor's role in the broader fight for social justice. He was as tough as the picket lines on which he marched with our members during difficult strikes at Weir Valve in Massachusetts and Tinius Olsen in Pennsylvania. He was an activist. He was a fighter.  He will be missed."

A memorial service will be held later this summer, and details will be announced on the UE website.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Submit a Comment on Rate Filings for 2017 VT Health Connect Plans

VWC - Wed, 06/29/2016 - 12:14pm

The Green Mountain Care Board is taking public comment on rate filings for 2017 Vermont Health Connect plans until Tuesday, July 26th.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is proposing an average annual increase of 8.2% over 2016 premiums, with per-plan increases ranging from 5.2%-10.9%. MVP Health Care is proposing an average annual increase of 8.8% over 2016 premiums, with per-plan increases ranging from 3.5%-13.5%. Meanwhile, MVP Health Care is suing the state of Vermont in order to remove sections of Act 48 allowing government to regulate health insurance rates based on affordability, quality of care, and access to care.

Can you afford an 8% rise in your health insurance costs next year? Do you think that healthcare should be afforded as a public good and a right?

Share your story below, especially how the health insurance rate hikes will affect you and your family.

First and Last Name * Address * Telephone Number Email Address Comment * Can the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign submit this comment to the Green Mountain Care Board? * Yes No I give the VWC permission to submit my story to the Green Mountain Care Board for public comment and use for the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign. * Yes No Leave this field blank
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Check out our End of the Year Report

USAS - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 7:19pm

USAS is another year older and another year stronger. As we wrap up the 2015-2016 school year, we have so much important work to reflect on. We’ve won victories with workers on our campuses and around the world, launched 3 new national campaigns, and significantly increased our membership and online presence. Check out the entire 2015-2016 report here.

For more information on how to get involved in our movement, contact a member of USAS National Staff at email hidden; JavaScript is required /* */ .

    

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

New York Tenants Win Historic Rent Freeze for Second Year

CAAAV - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 2:38pm

Yesterday, New York won a historic rent freeze for the second year in a row, protecting over one million rent-stabilized tenants from weighty rent increases. Shout out to our Chinatown Tenants Union leaders for mobilizing in large numbers, testifying at hearings, and training new tenants to share their stories.

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) voted 7-0, plus two abstensions, for the Rent Freeze. Our city-wide Rent Justice Coalition showed when low-income New York tenants come together rent justice can be a reality.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Presenting CVH's Next Executive Director / Presentando la próxima Directora Ejecutiva de CVH

CVH - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 10:00am
Oprime para español aqui

Dear Community Voices Heard Members and Friends,

The Board of Directors of Community Voices Heard and CVH Power, want to thank you for all you do to make CVH a powerful force for low-income people across New York State. 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Presentando la próxima Directora Ejecutiva de CVH

CVH - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 9:59am

Estimados miembros y amigos de Community Voices Heard:

Nosotros - la junta directiva de Community Voices Heard y CVH Power - queremos expresar nuestro agradecimiento a todos ustedes por su continuo trabajo, convirtiendo a CVH en una fuerza poderosa para la gente de bajos ingresos en la ciudad y el estado de Nueva York. 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

NNIRR Deplores Supreme Court Immigration Ruling, Calls on Obama to Suspend Detentions and Deportations

NNIRR - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 6:49pm
Story Type:  Press Release Story Publisher:  NNIRR

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Supreme Court Deadlocks On Immigration, Leaving Obama’s Deportation Relief Plan In Limbo

NNIRR - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:19am
Story Type:  Article Story Author:  Cristian Farias Story Publisher:  Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court couldn’t reach a majority for or against President Barack Obama’s plan to defer deportation for millions  Thursday, effectively leaving his executive actions on hold and undocumented immigrants in limbo.

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Categories: Grassroots Newswire

RELEASE: Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign denounces insurance industry lawsuit

VWC - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:03am

For Immediate Release: June 23 2016

Contact: Keith Brunner, 802-363-9615

Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign denounces insurance industry lawsuit

The Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign is condemning a lawsuit against the State of Vermont as an insurance industry attack on government’s ability to regulate health insurance rates to protect the public good. The campaign warns that the lawsuit is an attempt to undermine confidence in government and to pave the way for a continued rise in healthcare costs and corporate profits.

MVP Healthcare, a New York-based health insurance corporation, is suing the Green Mountain Care Board, stating that the board’s charge to regulate insurance prices based on what is “affordable,” “promotes quality care” or “promotes access to health care” is based on vague and unconstitutional language. Along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP has annually proposed rate hikes, with one recent request topping 26%.

“This is essentially an assault on the authority of government to regulate the private sector,” said Ellen Schwartz, president of the Vermont Workers’ Center. “It’s completely unethical and would undercut the ability of the Green Mountain Care Board to consider what matters most to the public: cost, quality, and access.”

Schwartz added, “I’d also like to see MVP’s CEO Denise Gonick, who made $1.1 million last year, explain to a struggling Vermont family how the concept of ‘affordability’ is an ‘empty platitude’.” [1, 2]

Supporters of the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign are encouraging Vermont residents to attend public hearings on July 21 where the Green Mountain Care Board will consider MVP's request for an average 8.8% rate increase for 2017 plans. A similar hearing will take place on July 20 for Blue Cross Blue Shield's proposed 8.2% rate increase. Both hearings take place in the GMCB Board Room, 89 Main St., Montpelier. [3]

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. MVP’s lawyer Gary Karnedy referred to the concepts of quality care and affordability as “empty platitudes,” quoted in VTDigger. http://vtdigger.org/2016/06/22/insurer-lawsuit-accuses-green-mountain-care-board-of-overreach/

  2. http://www.dfr.vermont.gov/sites/default/files/MVP%20-%20S200%20Form%202015%20VT%20ACT%20150.pdf

  3. http://ratereview.vermont.gov/2016_VHC_rate_review
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

RELEASE: Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign denounces insurance industry lawsuit

VWC - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:03am

For Immediate Release: June 23 2016

Contact: Keith Brunner, 802-363-9615

Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign denounces insurance industry lawsuit

The Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign is condemning a lawsuit against the State of Vermont as an insurance industry attack on government’s ability to regulate health insurance rates to protect the public good. The campaign warns that the lawsuit is an attempt to undermine confidence in government and to pave the way for a continued rise in healthcare costs and corporate profits.

MVP Healthcare, a New York-based health insurance corporation, is suing the Green Mountain Care Board, stating that the board’s charge to regulate insurance prices based on what is “affordable,” “promotes quality care” or “promotes access to health care” is based on vague and unconstitutional language. Along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP has annually proposed rate hikes, in some cases as high as 27%.

“This is essentially an assault on the authority of government to regulate the private sector,” said Ellen Schwartz, president of the Vermont Workers’ Center. “It’s completely unethical and would undercut the ability of the Green Mountain Care Board to consider what matters most to the public: cost, quality, and access.”

Schwartz added, “I’d also like to see MVP’s CEO Denise Gonick, who made $1.1 million last year, explain to a struggling Vermont family how the concept of ‘affordability’ is an ‘empty platitude’.” [1, 2]

Supporters of the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign are encouraging Vermont residents to attend public hearings on July 21 where the Green Mountain Care Board will consider MVP's request for an average 8.8% rate increase for 2017 plans. A similar hearing will take place on July 20 for Blue Cross Blue Shield's proposed 8.2% rate increase. Both hearings take place in the GMCB Board Room, 89 Main St., Montpelier. [3]

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. MVP’s lawyer Gary Karnedy referred to the concepts of quality care and affordability as “empty platitudes,” quoted in VTDigger. http://vtdigger.org/2016/06/22/insurer-lawsuit-accuses-green-mountain-care-board-of-overreach/

  2. http://www.dfr.vermont.gov/sites/default/files/MVP%20-%20S200%20Form%202015%20VT%20ACT%20150.pdf

  3. http://ratereview.vermont.gov/2016_VHC_rate_review
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Children in NYCHA housing test positive for high lead levels in blood from lead paint

CVH - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 2:23pm

Story By: 

Updated on: Tuesday, June 14/New York Daily News 

Dozens of children living in NYCHA apartments where the city found lead paint have tested positive for dangerously high levels of the chemical in their blood in the last five years, city records show.

And in most cases, the Housing Authority had the same response: Do nothing.

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Re-Cap of Member Congress Event/Resumen del evento de Congreso de Miembros

CVH - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:49pm

Click below for the full Newsletter! 

Categories: Grassroots Newswire

Join us to celebrate NNIRR's 30th Anniversary

NNIRR - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 12:43am
Subtitle:  Reception and Program - July 29, 2016 in Oakland! Link Path:  http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/NNIRR-30th-anniversary Sort Order:  1
Categories: Grassroots Newswire

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