Welcome to the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's weekly newsletter! Here is the latest on the news and developments worth knowing.
Spotlight On Progressive Leaders
Economic Security Working Group
This week, Progressive States Network is formally launching our 2014 legislative agenda for the PSN Economic Security Working Group. For legislators, membership includes a platform for strategizing and sharing best practices with colleagues, access to national and local resources, including messaging, research, and polling, and opportunities to collaborate in state legislative campaigns as well as national messaging and action campaigns.
The action is increasingly shifting to the states -- and economic security is among the top priorities of progressive leaders, advocates, and working families. To join our Working Group dedicated to this issue, legislators can click here. Included in the agenda is fighting back against the legislative attacks on American workers, a disturbing, coordinated effort that we outline in this new blog post.
Don't Miss It
If $80 million per year was available to advance a corporate right-wing agenda in the states, the IKEA model is one compelling way to do it. Operating as a network of 64 state-based think tank organizations, the State Policy Network is doing just that, with its state affiliates reproducing the same policies across the states. There is at least one such think tank in every state, pushing proposals on behalf of donors like the Koch brothers to slash public investments while creating more corporate tax giveaways.
Rachel Maddow explained on her show how this shadowy state network is even involved in the anti-Affordable Care Act campaign to discourage Americans from signing up for health insurance. More information about the SPN and what stinks in the states is available at http://stinktanks.org/.
Pulse Of The Community
Immigration Reform. Aiming to spur on Congressional action on immigration reform with citizenship, leaders in the civic, labor, immigrant, and faith communities began the National Fast for Families campaign on November 12.
Protesters beyond the Beltway, such as in Bellevue, Washington and Bakersfield, California, have also been taking to the streets to demand further action on immigration reform legislation, which is currently stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration announced a new policy to keep military families together rather than splitting them apart via deportation, if a member happens to be an undocumented immigrant.
Wal-Mart Strikes. Workers fed up being nickel-and-dimed by low wages, particularly Wal-Mart workers, are striking in a number of locations, from Los Angeles to Chicago and Cincinnati. Adding to the workers' frustration is the recent industry trend of starting the holiday shopping rush earlier and earlier, thus cutting into Thanksgiving family time. Similar protests over low pay occurred around last Thanksgiving, which gave rise to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board's announcement on Monday that it has authorized legal action against Wal-Mart for allegedly retaliating against its own workers who participated in the protests last year.
To check to see if a Black Friday Wal-Mart protest is happening near you, click here and enter your zip code. If you are interested in ways you can help support the protesting workers, please contact Anne Bailey, PSN’s Campaign Director, at email@example.com.
Finally, in an act that speaks for itself, a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio is holding a food drive for its own employees. The sign reads: "Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner."