Bringing Diversity to the Voting Population

June 29, 2012 -- Working Partnerships USA

“Diversity” in California’s Santa Clara County – where Working Partnerships USA is located – is not a lightly used term.

For starters, the 1.8 million people who live there at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay would say the word in more than 100 languages and dialects. Almost 60 percent of the county’s children have at least one parent who is an immigrant. Less than 40 percent are non-Hispanic whites.

Yet in a county so diverse, the voting population is still relatively homogenous, with young people and immigrant communities identified by the county’s Registrar of Voters as comprising a smaller proportion of voters than are eligible to vote.

Wisconsin Report: Rise Up Milwaukee

June 29, 2012 -- John Goldstein

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.

Leadership: The Power of Local Organizing

June 29, 2012 -- Leslie Moody

Across the country, affiliates of the Partnership for Working Families are answering the question: Is any job a good job?

Our affiliates are exposing unfair policies and challenging our leaders to do better. In Seattle, Puget Sound Sage is exposing the double subsidy that the hotel and tourism industry enjoys, at the expense of taxpayer dollars and worker health and safety. In Los Angeles, LAANE is challenging the region to step up and clean up both job quality and neighborhood impact of the waste and recycling industries. In Denver, the Twin Cities and Seattle, to name a few, we are calling for racial and economic equity from transportation related investments and major transit buildouts. And in San Jose, Long Beach, Milwaukee and New Haven, we are organizing for city-wide reform of wages and job creation programs to truly meet the needs of working families.

What it Really Costs When Walmart Comes to Town

April 24, 2012 -- Louisa Abada

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

As many as 30 or 40 percent of the short-haul truckers who normally move containers from docks to railcar terminals at the Port of Seattle have stopped working.  The work stoppage comes after one of the drivers was retaliated against for attending a hearing in Olympia last week on a proposal to improve their working conditions. They’re independent contractors, who are predominantly immigrants, and say the conditions they’re forced to contend with make the job unsafe.   Community groups are now rallying in their support.

Wal-Mart Battle Takes a Turn

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Wal-Mart's effort to open a 33,000-square-foot grocery store on Cesar Chavez Avenue near Chinatown has hit a speed bump, with a City Councilman surprising many with a recent introduction of a retail-related motion.

Although the motion authored March 16 by First District Councilman Ed Reyes does not specifically mention Wal-Mart or any retailer, local observers and even Wal-Mart representatives say it could impact the Bentonville-Ark.-based company's plan to open its first outpost in Downtown Los Angeles. Reyes denied that the motion, which is scheduled to go before the full City Council for a vote on Friday, March 23, is intended to target the proposed Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

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