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AFL-CIO

Stand Up For Workers; Union Plus Will Donate On Your Behalf!

Union Plus has issued a challenge to the supporters of labor. They will give $25 for every new Facebook fan and $25 for every Tweet using the #UnionPlus hashtag up to $100,000 to help America Votes fight back against the recent attacks on the labor movement.Please help us spread the word! There are a few different ways to help:1. Promote this challenge on your Facebook page! Ask fans to join the Union Plus Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/UnionPlus: For every new Facebook fan, Union Plus will donate $25 to the fund.2. Tweet using the hashtag: #UnionPlus and include @UnionPlus - Union Plus will donate $25 for every new tweet with this hashtag.eg. "Stand UP for Workers: @UnionPlus just donated $25 to the State Battles Fund on my behalf just by tweeting this hashtag: #UnionPlus |#1u"Union Plus supports the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain for fair wages, a safe work environment, and to have a strong voice in the workplace - and we're proud to back up our stance with a $100,000 donation to the America Votes State Battles Fund. The money will go toward opposing state legislation, ballot measures, and executive orders that attack the labor movement.Please help us make this a success by kindly spreading this message to your supporters, family and friends on Facebook and Twitter!

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ALERT: NH "Right to Work For Less" Up for Full State Senate Vote on April 20th

As expected, NH HB 474 - Right to Work for Less - passed the Senate committee on a party line vote (4 to 1). We expect the full senate will vote on Wed April 20th. We need your help to continue to oppose this extreme anti-worker agenda.Continue reading to see how you can help in New Hampshire!

Here's how you can help:

CONTACT YOUR SENATOR: The senators are telling us that they need to hear from us! Take a minute between now and Tuesday to call and email your senator. You can find your senator's contact information here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/senate/senatemembers.asp.

Key Message points:
• Include your name and address
• Ask the senator to vote NO on HB 474
• Tell them what type of work you do
• Include any of the following:

  • Right to Work for Less is opposed by employers across the state. This isn't something employers are asking for and it isn't something employers want.
  • Right to Work for Less doesn't create jobs - it isn't about rights and it's not about work.
  • States with similar Right to Work for Less laws have higher rates of poverty, higher rates of unemployment and lower wages.
  • Right to Work for Less is being pushed by out-of-state special interests. Right to Work for Less isn't right for New Hampshire

If you need help with your message, please contact us at protectnhfamilies@gmail.com.

JOIN A CANVASS: We are canvassing this weekend! We'll be out talking to voters about what is happening at the state house and asking them to contact their senator. These canvasses have been going great so far with a positive response from voters. Help us keep the momentum going!
Weekend Details

NASHUA: Join us on Saturday April 16th from 10 to 2pm or Sunday April 17th from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. We'll meet at the AFT hall at 7c Taggart Drive in Nashua. RSVP to john@nhforhealthcare.com.

CLAREMONT: Join us on Saturday April 16th from 10 to 2 pm. We'll meet at the Trinity Episcopal Church at 120 Broad Street in Claremont. RSVP to john@nhforhealthcare.com.

JOIN A PHONEBANK: Phone banks are up every day this week. RSVP to john@nhforhealthcare.com.

 

STATUS OF THE NH BILLS

HB 474 - Right to Work for Less legislation - passed out of the senate committee on a party line vote 4 to 1. The Senate committee stripped the damaging amendment added in the house. The full senate is expected to vote on a traditional Right to Work for Less bill on Wed. View the bill status report here.

HB 2 - part 2 of the state budget bill - was amended in committee to eliminate the right to collective bargaining. This budget bill as currently written is devastating for New Hampshire families, communities and tax payers and includes an underhanded assault on New Hampshire workers. The full house passed the budget (HB 1 and HB 2) Follow HB 1 here and HB 2 here. You can view a comparison of the Governor's budget and the house budget here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

APRIL 16th Nashua Canvass: Help us stop the reckless legislative attacks on New Hampshire families! The canvass will run for 10:00 - 2:00 and we'll meet at the AFT Hall at 7 C Taggart Drive, Nashua. RSVP to john@nhforhealthcare.com

APRIL 16th Claremont Canvass: Help us stop the reckless legislative attacks on New Hampshire families! The canvass will run for 10:00 - 2:00 and we'll meet at the Trinity Episcopal Church 120 Broad St Claremont. RSVP to john@nhforhealthcare.com

APRIL 17th Nashua Canvass: Help us stop the reckless legislative attacks on New Hampshire families! The canvass will run for 12:00 - 4:00 and we'll meet at the AFT Hall at 7 C Taggart Drive, Nashua. RSVP to john@nhforhealthcare.com

ON GOING: You can join the interfaith voices for a humane budget at the state house. Regular vigils are taking place at the State House. Learn more here.

SAVE THE DATE: The full senate is expected to vote on HB 474 on Wednesday April 20th. More details coming soon.

SAVE THE DATE: The full senate is expected to hold a hearing on the budget on April 21st. More details coming soon.

MORE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Letters to the Editor: We are working to inform voters and influence legislators with letters to the editor. We need your help to get the word out! Contact kehrenberg@aflcio.org for more information, templates or to let us know you sent a letter.

Contact the Senate: We need your help letting the NH Senate know that HB 474 is bad policy and bad for New Hampshire. Please ask your members and supporters to contact their senators and ask them to stand up for the middle class and oppose HB 474. Then let us know how they respond! If you need an action alert template or more information, please contact us at protectnhfamilies@gmail.com

BUILDING THE CAMPAIGN

We need your help bringing more allies to the table! We are looking to engage small business and employers, community organizations, and religious organizations across the state. You can help by talking to the businesses and organizations in your area. Materials to help you get the conversation started are attached. Please contact Josiette with any questions or suggestions to help us build the campaign at 603-545-4772 or jwhite@americavotes.org.

We are also looking to take the message out to your organizations. Schedule a presentation or request presentation materials by contacting Josiette at jwhite@americavotes.org or call 603-545-4772.

SPOTLIGHT ON RECENT NEWS AND LETTERS

Over 11,000 people have joined the campaign to Protect New Hampshire Families! Sign-on today and invite your neighbors, families and friends! Sign-up today by joining our Protect New Hampshire Families facebook page!

As always, you can donate to the fight across all of the states here.

 

 

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"We Are One" Day of Solidarity

America Votes and its partners across the country will take part in a number of events today and continuing throughout the week to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s trip to Memphis, Tennessee, where he had gone to stand with sanitation workers demanding their dream: The right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life. The workers were trying to form a union with AFSCME. On that trip, Dr. King was assassinated.

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PA America Votes Partners in the News:

The latest news clips mentioning PA America Votes partners:Budget-cut protesters occupy Tom Ridge's officesPhiladelphia InquirerThe groups protesting in Ridge's office included several locals of the Service Employees International Union, as well as a number of environmental groups, such as Clean Water Action. The group first held a rally near the Capitol, then began marching to what it earlier described as an "undisclosed location" to deliver the invoice …

PA AFL-CIO: Corbett’s Budget Doesn’t Add Up for Pennsylvania’s Middle Class

 

Gant Daily

 

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder said that Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget passes the buck to local governments and school districts, forcing them to raise property taxes or cut essential services and programs to balance their budgets …

 

Corbett Overturns Rendell Regulations, First Step in Regulation Reductions?

PoliticsPA

“We’re very disappointed that DEP does not believe that it is necessary to do an environmental review of potential impacts on public lands before drilling takes place. We actually think that these are lands that should be given a higher level of protection because they’re publicly owned lands. We disagree with DEP’s view that they should get less protection,” said Jeff Schmidt, director of the Pennsylvania Sierra Club Chapter

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PA America Votes Partners in the News

The latest news clips mentioning PA America Votes partners:

Philadelphia rally seeks to boost spirits of unions under siege
Philadelphia Inquirer

The huge union rally in the Municipal Services Building plaza Thursday was organized ostensibly in support of Wisconsin public workers fighting to retain their collective bargaining rights. But every full-throated labor leader who stepped to the microphone framed the battle in Wisconsin as part of an existential threat that unions face everywhere ... "We built this country, and we're not going to let you take it away from us," said AFL-CIO Philadelphia Council president Patrick J. Eiding. "They're not trying to balance the budget; they're trying to decimate collective bargaining." The Philadelphia Council organized the lunchtime rally, which included about 20 area unions and about 1,000 sign-waving members, who periodically chanted: "We are one!" ... Cathy Scott, president of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which represents the city's professional, technical, and administrative employees, said the fight in Wisconsin was about "shifting power from working people and the poor to corporations" ... "The question isn't why do I have a pension and benefits and a good job? The question is, why don't you?" [UFCW 1776's John] Meyerson said. "If you want a pension, get a union. If you want benefits, get a union. If you want a good job, get a union" ...

 

Local Rally Held In Support Of Wisconsin’s Workers
KDKA

Perhaps 500 workers and supporters from most of Pittsburgh’s labor movement turned out on short notice for this afternoon’s rally. ”We need to fight to make sure that they don’t rob any worker of their rights to collective bargaining, or their rights to be in a union,” said Leo Girard, of the United Steelworkers of America ...

 

Locals rally for solidarity
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Close to 200 representatives from the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, United Food and Commercial Workers, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and others gathered for a noon rally Wednesday …

 

Pa. labor groups vow to fight `right-to-work' bill
Centre Daily Times

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale said the bill would weaken unions and, in turn, drive down the wages that unions negotiate for workers. "We've got to kill it in the Legislature. We've got to drive a stake through its heart," Bloomingdale said. David R. Fillman, executive director of Council 13 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - the largest state-employee union - shared Bloomingdale's dislike for the bill but was less worried about its prospects …


March protests looming Planned Parenthood funding end

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If the amendment survives in the Senate, it would mean a nearly one-third budget cut for the seven Planned Parenthood centers in the region, said Kim Evert, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania …


Editorial: Ending Planned Parenthood funding will lead to more unwanted pregnancies

Philadelphia Inquirer

Last year, 49,000 people went to the South East Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood clinics for a total of 63,000 STD tests, more than 25,000 Pap tests, 13,000 screenings for cervical cancer, 14,000 breast exams, 17,000 doses of emergency contraception, and yes, 11,000 abortions …

 

Gas drilling in Pennsylvania state parks draws fire
Harrisburg Patriot-News

“The answer is not to turn our state parks and forests over to drillers and hope for the best,” said Jan Jarrett, president of PennFuture. “DEP should immediately open public comment on the previous administration’s policy, which was based on sound science.” Jeff Schmidt of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Sierra Club said, “This is where large numbers of people go for recreation and wild experiences” …

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A Message from AV President Joan-Fitzgerald on the Struggle in Wisconsin

Dear America Votes Supporter,As you watch events unfold in Wisconsin, please be aware that the very same scenario is ready to play out all across the Midwest. In many respects the Democratic members of the Wisconsin Senate that have fled the tyranny of their new governor are doing it for working people in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana. But America Votes and our partners aren't going to let this happen without a fight (link to video). If the right to collective bargaining is eradicated with the stroke of Governor Walker's pen, the core of the middle class will be at the mercy of hostile legislatures who can change the terms of their contracts and working agreements for any reason.Our state director in Wisconsin has been working non- stop, without sleep, to coordinate the efforts to stop this bill from going forward. Phone banks have been set up and manned to get calls out informing people of the effort at the Capitol. Sites have been chosen for marches and demonstrations and America Votes' partner organizations are supplying the volunteers. We are proud to be a part of this effort to stop the erosion of worker's rights in Wisconsin.America Votes' directors in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan are readying themselves and their partner organizations for this struggle as well. We have worked in these states for the past 7 years and can bring a broad coalition to stop this effort to undermine the middle class. Please help me today to bolster our work in these critical states. Your donation of will go a long way to support these people who are standing up for all of us. We are providing much needed water and food to volunteers.As we are inspired by the resolve of the people of Wisconsin, we must be prepared in other states where these bills are ready to be introduced. Your help will strengthen our work, which allows greater coordination in this struggle.In the words of Mother Jones who spent her entire life fighting for the dignity of the working man in the face of the murders of the Ludlow Massacre:"Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!"In solidarity,Joan Fitz-GeraldPresident, America Votes

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Senate Republicans Still Stalling

The "Lame Duck" session of Congress is underway this week, and just as they have throughout the 111th Congress, Senate conservatives are still using the filibuster to keep important pieces of legislation from moving forward.

Rebecca Lefton reports for Think Progress that today the Senate voted 58-41 against allowing debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and help end discriminatory pay practices against women.  The bill had already passed the House and would have surely been sent to the President's desk had it received 2 extra votes.

Every Republican (except Lisa Murkowski, who was not present) as well as Ben Nelson (D-FL) voted against cloture, including Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.  Both Collins and Snowe voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act at the beginning of the term, helping to remove barriers for workers seeking compensation for discriminatory pay practices.

According to the National Women's Law Center, even after the passage of the landmark Equal Pay Act, women still earn $0.77 for $1 men make, translating into $10,000 in lost wages per worker per year.  Furthermore, mothers are the primary or co-primary breadwinners of 2/3 of American families.

Another important piece of legislation pending in the lame duck session is the extension of unemployment benefits.  But Arthur Delaney reports for the Huffington Post that Democrats have not scheduled a vote on an extension because they don't believe they have the necessary votes to overcome the filibuster.

Jobless benefits are set to expire at the end of the month, putting 2 million people in jeopardy with the holiday season fast-approaching.  Republicans have consistently opposed extensions, arguing that they add to the deficit. Reauthorization of benefits for a full year would cost at most $65 billion.

However, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island argues that the same people who oppose extensions for the unemployed because of deficit concerns have no problem supporting an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

On the one hand they want to provide $700 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans but not pay for them. And on the other hand they're demanding that UI benefits for the middle class be paid for. That's a little like someone on a diet who orders a Diet Coke and a Big Mac simultaneously.

Not surprisingly, one union has jumped into the action as well. Visitors to the AFL-CIO's homepage are greeted with a clock counting down until benefits expire.

UPDATE: The White House released a statement condemning a minority of the Senate from preventing debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act. It highlights that it not only helps families ensure they aren't bringing home smaller paychecks than they deserve, but also businesses that are at a disadvantage for not using such discriminatory practices.

UPDATE: Pro-Choice women's group EMILYs List published a blog post yesterday calling on the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.  Read it here.

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America Votes-CO Canvass 10/23

America Votes-CO volunteers joined with our partners to send hundreds out to knock on doors for progressive candidates.America Votes President Joan Fitz-Gerald joined AV-CO staff and volunteers for a great day of door knocking!

Volunteers met at six staging locations in Denver and Fort Collins for breakfast and training then hit the doors, talking to Coloradoans about the importance of getting out the vote! 

Early Vote opened in Colorado on October 18, so voters can cast their ballot now!  For more information on where and when to vote in Colorado, visit the website for the CO Secretary of State.

We'd like to thank the partners who helped make this day possible: AFL-CIO, Clean Water Action, Colorado Progressive Action, Environment Colorado, NARAL, New Era Colorado, Justice for All, Planned Parenthood, Progressive Future, Rocky Mountain Voter Outreach, and Working America.

 

 

 

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Reporting From the Field

We have one week until Election Day, and early voting has already begun in many states.Everyone at AV has been hard at work the last few weeks turning out voters in key districts and key states, fighting to preserve our Democratic majorities. Here are just a few examples of the great work everyone in the field is doing, brought to you via @Americavotes on Twitter

  • In CO. ready to rally rallies. Volunteers showing up all day to walk. Let's go!
  • Just left AFL in Jeffco. Lots of volunteers ready to walk. No enthusiasm gap here! Stakes r 2 high.
  • Ft.Collins lots of volunteers with PP and Naral ready to hit the doors with New Era.
  • Clean Water Action covering Ft. Collins for Markey and Bennet. Critical turnout area. Dedicated CWA people!
  • America Votes national staff heading into the field for GOTV. Stay tuned for on the ground reporting in CO, NH, NV, OH, PA and WI
  • At a canvass kick-off with Penn Action in PA-8! Let's go hit those doors.
  • WI: Prepping for massive GOTV program - 8 staging sites around state. 1000's of canvassers. 100,000+ doors. #tombarrett #feingold #WI

As always, follow America Votes on Twitter @Americavotes and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericaVotes.

 

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