Neighborhood Networks Hosting Potluck November 28

Thank you all.  Your efforts this past Tuesday were instrumental in stemming the invasion of Middle Easterners from Central America who planned to infect us with smallpox and leprosy.  Because of you, Fox has no longer deemed the caravan as being a threat.  Good job.

Now, back to reality.  Three and a half years ago, frustrated by a State budget that arrived nine months late and carried very little new money for public education, I sent an email out to fellow activists about what we could do to change the State legislature.  The replies that I received were:

(1) Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered districts were too extensive to elect responsible legislators;

(2) Outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the State is incurably reactionary;

(3) Those legislative districts in question lack good progressives;

Over that ensuing time, a movement began that tested the veracity of those statements, and Tuesday’s results provided sufficient evidence to reject those claims.  Here is a “Before” and “After” snapshot of how your efforts impacted our government.

Before November 6                                                         

                        Governor                    US Senator               US Congress                          State House                 State Senate

Democrat            1                                     1                                 5                                           81                                  16

Republican          0                                     1                                13                                         122                                 34

After November 6                                                            

                       Governor                    US Senator                US Congress                     State House                      State Senate

Democrat            1                                    1                                   9                                      92                                        21

Republican          0                                    1                                   9                                     111                                        29

Yes, we still have work to do, but now we know that we can do it.  On Wednesday, November 28, from 6 to 8 PM, Neighborhood Networks is hosting a pot luck at Summit Presbyterian Church (6757 Greene Street).  If you did anything to help in our campaign to make Pennsylvania a more humane place to live and work, you are invited.  Come share your war stories with like minded folk and learn our future plans to turn PA Blue. 

Thanks again.    – Coleman

Fair Workweek Employment Standards Bill In City Council

Fair Workweek Employment Standards Bill In City Council

Testimony presented by President Fred Wright at Council hearing on Tuesday, October 30th

Members of the Law and Government Committee:

My name is Frederick Wright, President of AFSCME District Council 47.
I represent City employees and workers in the non-profit sector here in Philadelphia and some Brothers and Sisters working outside the City.
I am here today to speak in favor of Bill number 180649.
This bill would provide protections for workers in retail, food service and hospitality establishments. As union workers, we gain workplace related protections for our members through collective bargaining and because of laws passed to protect the rights of union workers. We know that when the rights of workers are protected, its a plus for all of us. We believe in worker solidarity and support fairness concerning worker rights at all workplaces.
We know that people need a clear sense of what hours they will be required to work, how much they will be paid for working those hours and when they are sick that they get health insurance, to help pay for doctor and hospital visits.
Having these concerns backed by the law, as well as having the ability to point out inconsistencies in the application of those laws, without being penalized and being removed from their jobs when raising those concerns is very important for workers.
One of the reasons for union organizing historically has been to protect the rights of workers on the job from arbitrary and unreasonable actions on the parts of employers.
We realize that the 130,00 workers in the retail, food and hospitality workplaces do not have the benefits and protections that we receive as members of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. We support City Council in considering this legislation that will provide better protections for those workers.
We urge you to pass this legislation because it will help mothers and fathers with children have a better sense of when they can pick them up from daycare. We urge you to pass this legislation that will help children know when mom and dad will be home to help them with their homework. We urge you to pass this legislation that will enable some people to have a second job so they can better provide for their families.
For all these and many other reasons, we urge you to pass Bill number 180649.

Anti Union Scam Alert

Anti Union Scam Alert

By Lee Saunders, President, AFSCME

Have you been contacted by a group called the Freedom Foundation?

Don’t be confused by their name — they’re interested in crushing your freedom, not defending it. They’re one of the anti-worker groups (funded by billionaires like the Koch brothers) spending tens of millions of dollars contacting us and trying to trick us into quitting our unions.

Have you heard from them? We want to know. Click here and let us know what you’ve experienced, so we can track these anti-union groups and their dirty tricks.

They might be targeting you online with ads on your computer. They might be emailing you, sending you mail, or calling you on the phone. They might even have shown up at your door.

They could be calling themselves by a different name — like “The Buckeye Institute,” “The Illinois Policy Center,” “Liberty Justice Center,” “Mackinac Center for Public Policy,” or the “Commonwealth Foundation.”

No matter what misleading name they picked for themselves, their agenda is the same: Trick AFSCME members into leaving our union — so working families lose our seat at the table, and the same corporate fat cats funding these attacks grow richer and richer.

To fight back against their propaganda, we need to know what they’re up to. That’s where you come in:

Click here to fill out our “scam tracker” form and report any contact you’ve received from these anti-union groups.

Thanks for helping us keep an eye on these con artists.