I was walking down North 37th Street in Milwaukee, in the shadow of the abandoned AO Smith manufacturing plant (that once provided jobs to 10,000 people in this neighborhood). I came across a young couple carrying an infant. They asked if I could help them find their polling place. They had never voted before and had registration identification in hand. They had been walking for half an hour, but were unsure of the exact address. I could do better than point them in the right direction. Since they lived in the neighborhood we were canvassing, I knew exactly where they should vote. I helped them into our van and drove then to the polling place. When we got there, the lines were so long that it took them nearly an hour to vote. But nothing deterred them.
Blog & News
Lennise Vickers of Milwaukee was a first time volunteer for the Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund non-partisan voter mobilization program in the 2012 recall election.
“I wanted to volunteer because I wanted to make sure that people in my county and city were able to get out to vote. The experience taking the individuals to the different polling sites was interesting. Each polling site had different circumstances and things going on. I had one individual who needed curbside assistance because they were disabled and couldn’t get into the polling site. It took a while to get someone to come out and help them vote. At another site, there was difficulty parking. But we made it. They were able to vote.
Developing a transit system that serves all members of a community can transform the quality of life and spur renewal. FRESC is working to ensure that a huge investment in a development project will connect working people to good jobs, affordable housing, and healthy communities.
Mile High Connects, formerly the Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative, is a partnership of private, philanthropic, and nonprofit organizations committed to developing inclusive, affordable and livable communities within walking distance of public transit. In November 2004, taxpayers in the Denver Metro region voted to invest in a more environmentally friendly and better connected future by passing a sales tax to fund a mass transit expansion known as FasTracks.
Legal challenges to cities’ targeted hiring policies seem to be trending among some construction business groups.
These groups are out of touch.
Targeted hiring policies help those individuals and communities most hurt by the recession by creating new opportunities for real family-supporting careers. Washington DC has a city-wide unemployment rate of 9.9%, with much higher levels in areas of the city with concentrations of people of color. Cities facing similar situations have used these hiring policies to leverage their investment in construction into good jobs for folks who need an economic foothold. In Los Angeles, Oakland and Milwaukee, targeted hiring policies for public construction have meant hundreds of thousands of hours of prevailing wage construction work for disadvantaged residents of those cities.
I first met Maura when she was fifteen. Employees at the industrial laundry where her mother worked—and still works—wanted a stronger voice on the job. Maura went with her mother to visit coworkers in their homes, hear their stories, and show support for their efforts to form a union and make their jobs better. “I just told the people we visited that I believe in what she believes in. We talked about people’s rights and I learned a lot.”
In 2010, I asked for Maura's help on an initiative to sign up thousands of voters to vote by mail. Early voting by mail was still relatively new in Arizona, but we wanted to use it to increase voter participation and power among Latino working people.
What it Really Costs When Walmart Comes to Town
by David Mielach
It's more bad news for Wal-Mart . After a New York Times story alleged that Wal-Mart bribed officials in Mexico to allow the company to open stores in that country, another new report reveals exactly how much it costs a community in dollars and cents when Walmart comes to town.
Faith and Community Groups Rallying for Short Haul Truckers
by Bellamy Pailthorp
It’s hard to imagine or believe that in a region like New York City having access to quality food is challenging. However, millions of New Yorkers live in “food deserts,” neighborhoods in which the absence of full-service supermarkets denies residents access both to affordable healthy food and to quality jobs with decent wages and benefits.
Waging campaigns across the country on behalf of working families, we are keenly aware that connecting national outrage with broad-based local movements is the key to change. Already in 2012 we have seen major victories where civic leaders are standing up and changing the way our cities do business.
In recent years, New Haven has experienced a “renaissance” fueled by billions in public and private investment, aimed at attracting new affluent people and businesses, yielding high-end downtown development and the expansion of the education, research and medical sectors. This growth generates wealth for the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and defense industries. However, not enough of that wealth stays in New Haven, where neighborhoods have not recovered from the thirty-year exodus of manufacturing jobs.