FEATURING MELINA ABDULLAH - In the on-going efforts to hold police accountable for fatal shootings, activists with Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles have been demanding answers from LA County DA Jackie Lacey. While the county leads the nation in police killings, so far during her tenure, DA Lacey has yet to charge a single officer. While it is rare for police officers anywhere to be charged and tried, Lacey, who is the first African American in LA County to hold the office, has been in power while nearly 300 people were killed at the hands of Los Angeles police or the LA Sheriff's Department. An analysis by the Guardian newspaper in 2015 showed that the close relationship between law enforcement and DAs often presents a conflict of interest over prosecuting cops over fatal killings. Sing the petition to 'Prosecute Police Who Kill Our People' HERE. Melina Abdullah, Professor and Chair
FEATURING ANALIESE EICHER - A new study by two academics at the University of Wisconsin surveyed registered non-voters in last year's general election and found that thousands of people were denied their basic right to vote. One of the study's authors, Kenneth Mayer told the New York Times, "it's certainly possible that there were enough voters deterred that it flipped the election." Last November's Wisconsin victory for Donald Trump was the first time since 1984 that a Republican won a majority in that state. Wisconsin was one of several battle ground states that helped Trump scrape through to an electoral college victory despite losing the popular vote. Analiese Eicher, Program Director of One Wisconsin Now.
FEATURING MORRIS PEARL - At speech in Indianapolis on Wednesday President Donald Trump announced a tax plan that he promised was a, "once-in-a-generation opportunity," and that included the, "largest tax cut in our country's history." As part of his reforms Trump has promised to do away with the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which helps ensure wealthy Americans pay their fair share of taxes, and which forced Trump himself to pay out millions of dollars in taxes. Repealing the AMT would personally benefit him. His reform plan - which is short on details - also repeals the state and local tax exemption which in some states would lead to a significant increase of middle class taxes. Trump also wants to repeal the Estate Tax - a long target of the Republican Party which Trump called, "crushing, horrible," and "unfair." Removing the Estate Tax would benefit fewer than 6,000 of the wealthiest
FEATURING FANNY VELASQUEZ - The massive national retailer Target recently announced a wage increase for its employees, deciding to pay them a minimum of $11 an hour starting next month and increasing to $15 an hour by 2020. The company, which employs more than 300,000 people had already increased its entry-level hourly wage from $9 to $10 last year. About a third of all first jobs held by Americans are in the retail sector. Target's wage increase follows Walmart's announced raise two years ago. Labor rights groups around the country, particularly Fight For 15 have relentlessly organized for higher wages for low-wage workers. Fanny Velasquez, McDonald's worker who has organized workers in her store for 4 years. She is a Fight for 15 leader, and her sister works at Target. They both live with their parents and four children in South LA.
FEATURING PAUL SONG - Senate Republicans have admitted their latest defeat in overturning the Affordable Care Act. A bill introduced by Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham was the third attempt this year by the GOP to try to fulfill their long-standing promise to repeal Obamacare. After Senators Susan Collins, John McCain, and Rand Paul signaled they would not support it, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday announced there would be no vote held but he also said, "We haven’t given up on changing the American health care system." The bill died a day after Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar debated Cassidy and Graham on CNN. Sanders defended Obamacare but also raised his own healthcare bill, a Medicare-for-All plan which he has introduced into the Senate. What is the future of healthcare reform in the US in the wake of this latest GOP defeat? Paul Song, a board-certified
FEATURING KATRIN WEHRHEIM - After the violent debacle in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this year, radical right wing and fascist organizations and spokespeople had set their sights on the University of California at Berkeley this week. The UC Berkeley campus has been a repeated focus of right wing Nazi-sympathizers several times this year. Alt-Right darling Milo Yiannopoulos and Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson had planned a week of so-called "Free Speech" events on the Berkeley campus this week. But, like previous events, this one fizzled out, although the university shelled out $800,000 in security for Yiannopoulos's 15-minute speech to fewer than 100 people. A campus official called it, "the most expensive photo op in the university’s history." Meanwhile hundreds of counter protesting students and faculty held their Berkeley Rally Against White Supremacy on another part of the campus. Katrin Wehrheim, Professor of Mathematics at University of California, Berkeley, working with a coalition
FEATURING DANI MCCLAIN - The past 9 months have demonstrated many weaknesses of American democracy, one of which is the nation's continued denial of racial injustice. Under the Donald Trump administration the modest gains of the past decade are being rolled back, and movements like Black Lives Matter have been declared by Trump's base to be dangerous or irrelevant. But a closer examination reveals that BLM has in fact continued its activism, morphed into different forms, strengthened local chapters or blossomed new ones, and even entered into the realm of local electoral politics. Read Dani McClain's article 'Can Black Lives Matter Win in the Age of Trump?', HERE. Dani McClain, contributing writer to The Nation and fellow at the Nation Institute. Her cover story, “The Future of Black Lives Matter,” appears on the cover of the October 9, 2017 edition of The Nation magazine.
FEATURING ROSA CLEMENTE - Donald Trump has announced he will head to Puerto Rico next Tuesday to survey the devastation from Hurricane Maria. The storm was the worst to hit the island in nearly 90 years and has left behind huge areas with no running water, electricity or cell phone service. Reports are emerging that Puerto Rico is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. Trump had been silent on the hurricane damage suffered by Puerto Rico until pressure on his administration forced him to make a statement. He spoke about what a great job his administration is apparently doing after tweeting about what the Puerto Rican economy owed Wall Street. Puerto Rico was already on the brink of economic collapse before the storm hit. Compared to the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the damage from Maria has received relatively little media or government attention. Rosa Clemente is a community
FEATURING MARCY WHEELER - Among the many stories that were eclipsed by Trump's tweet-storm over NFL players not standing during the anthem is how Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump is going. While the scope of the investigation remains secret, bits and pieces of information are emerging that imply Mr. Mueller's inquiry is very broad. Mueller is apparently looking into how Facebook's ads originating from Russia might have influenced last year's election, how Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort gave private briefings to a Putin ally, and what dealings Michael Flynn Jr. has had with his lobbying firm. Mueller is also reportedly interested in interviewing former cabinet members Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus. The news comes amid revelations that a Trump attorney named Michael Cohen in 2013 sent a letter to a Putin aide about the potential for building a Trump Tower in Moscow. And that a UAE crown
FEATURING STEVEN HILL - London's mayor Sadiq Khan this week softened his tone over the ridesharing company Uber. Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote an apologetic open letter to Londoners admitting the company had made "mistakes," after Friday's announcement by Transport for London (TFL) that it would not renew the company's license to operate in the city. Mr. Khan said he was open to talks between Uber and his city. London is Uber's largest European market but the company has been accused of being overly aggressive in its approach, and failing to deal with sexual assault cases and background checks of its drivers. Ride sharing companies like Uber are increasingly popular for their ease of use and low fares. But the new economic model that such companies have fostered has hurt the labor force as a whole. For more information visit www.Steven-Hill.com and www.RawDealBook.com. Steven Hill, a Senior Fellow