and conference call last week highlighted ways in which states can
fight toxic toys. In case you missed it, the audio of the call can
be found here. Within a few days, several states came forward with additional bills protecting the health of our children, including:
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared this
year's Nobel Peace Prize with Al
Gore, recently released a
report detailing the negative environmental changes that will result from
climate change, including higher temperatures leading to increased deaths
from more severe heat waves, increased incidence of infectious
diseases, and severe damage to ecosystems. The IPCC report
warned that there were only eight years left to act to prevent the
worst effects of global warming.
marked by an ugly showdown between Governor Blagojevich and the
legislature that delayed funding for schools and jeopardized federal
transportation money, with the Governor even
his fellow Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan over the scheduling of
The Illinois legislature recently
the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to prohibit employers from enrolling
in the federal
Eligibility Verification System (E-Verify), a voluntary program
to supposedly identify the employment eligibility of new hires and verify
Social Security numbers. The problem is that the system has
error rates between 5% and 10% and does not detect identity fraud or
theft, inevitably leading to discrimination and unfair treatment
of employees misidentified as lacking proper
A new ballot measure in California
change the way that California's 55 presidential electoral votes would be
allocated; not to make sure that every vote counted, but to make sure that any
right-wing candidate for President could lop off a significant number of that
state's electoral votes.
Illinois legislators have taken a stand against using subcontracting to
undermine benefits for school support workers by
1347, a bill that will establish guidelines for school subcontracting
across the state.
Despite real progress over the last generation in overcoming discrimination in our society, the reality is that Americans are still regularly refused employment, housing or equal treatment under the law because of their nationality or the color of their skin. The numbers highlighting this racial discrimination are stark:
On Earth Day, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
his plan to create the "first environmentally sustainable 21st-century city,"
and integrate an estimated population growth of 1 million people by 2030.
comprised of 127 proposals for environmental improvements in six areas: land,
water, air quality, transportation, energy, and climate change. The proposals
range from reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% to improving transit
connections to planting 1 million new trees.