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Nation Action

NationAction

Your Guide to Meaningful Action

Support Walmart Workers

As The Nation’s new labor blogger Josh Eidelson details, the campaign confronting Walmart in the United States is planning an international escalation for Friday, December 14. In partnership with the global union federation UNI, the union-affiliated group Making Change at Walmart is supporting a “Global Day of Solidarity” with participation expected from Walmart workers in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Nicaragua, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Zambia.

 TO DO

Add your voice to the protests supporting Walmart workers by signing this petition imploring the retail giant to end retaliation against workers who speak out for change. After you’ve weighed in, share this info with friends, family and your Facebook and Twitter networks. You can also help spread word abut the actions and find an event near you.

 TO READ

This extensive fact-sheet on Walmart offers comprehensive material on the company’s impact on workers’ rights, the environment, small businesses and much, much more.

 TO WATCH

Walmart has sought to counter recent organizing efforts by filing an unfair labor practice charge against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and, according to critics, threatening workers with retaliation. Eidelson details these allegations on Democracy Now! in an interview with Amy Goodman.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

Right-to-Work Is Wrong for Michigan

Legislation limiting the power of unions is headed to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s desk, where the Republican is expected to sign the so-called “right to work” bill into law after it was approved by a vote of 58-52 in the Michigan House. But union organizers say they can still undo the contentious legislation, which bars the mandatory collection of labor dues. The idea, according to the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, is that opponents of the law could file petitions with signatures of registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. The legislature would then either enact or reject the petition — presumably the latter. After that, it would go on the ballot for the next general election in 2014.

 TO DO

The WeAreMichigan coalition is taking the lead in opposing the controversial bill. Sign the petition standing up for Michigan workers and consider a donation to help support both legal and grassroots challenges to the legislation. It also can’t hurt to call Governor Snyder at 517-373-3400 and implore him to veto the legislation.

 TO READ

In ‘Right to work’: The wrong answer for Michigan’s economy, a recent paper produced by the Economic Policy Institute, political economist Gordon Lafer explains that right-to-work laws do not boost job growth in states that adopt them but rather lower wages and reduce benefits for both union and non-union workers alike.

 TO WATCH

In scenes reminiscent of last year’s massive protests against Scott Walker’s anti-union legislation at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, thousands of citizen protesters gathered in the Michigan state capitol immediately after the controversial legislation was passed.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

Feed the Hungry—Pass a Just Farm Bill

Who is the real beneficiary of US food aid—those suffering from chronic hunger worldwide, or American agricultural corporations? For too long, the US has been buying millions of tons of grain from US-based agribusinesses and dumping it overseas. The US needs to help countries move toward true food security, by passing a reformed Farm Bill that will put funding where it is most needed—in the hands of the vulnerable, and away from US agricorps.

 TO DO

In an unprecedented move, Congress let the current Farm Bill expire in September. While the Senate has passed a reformed bill, the House of Representatives has refused to schedule a vote on the new legislation. Sign this petition by the American Jewish World Service and call on Congress to pass a reformed Farm Bill, which would donate money and locally-purchased grain, rather than shipping US-bought crops.

 TO READ

Who’s responsible for this inaction on global hunger? It may be the agricultural lobbyists profiting from the current system. Read this investigation by The Guardian and find out who’s on the receiving end of the $1 billion the US spends annually on food aid.

 TO WATCH

The 2008 documentary What Are We Doing Here? takes a hard look at the impact of US aid across Africa, documenting the way American grain suppresses prices for local farmers. Watch an excerpt and an interview with the filmmakers from CNN:

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

Say No to Fracking

Elizabeth Royte’s major new investigative report in The Nation gives voice to the urgent cries of farmers and ranchers raising alarms about the risks of fracking to human health. As her reporting makes clear, the early evidence from heavily fracked regions suggests that drilling and fracking operations represent a serious threat to the nation’s food security.

 TO DO

Implore your reps to support the FRAC ACT, which would remove the fracking exemption to the Safe Drinking Water Act and ensure the disclosure and monitoring of the chemicals used in the process. Then, find out about local initiatives you can join to resist the energy industry’s fracking push.

 TO READ

This New York Review of Books essay by Bill McKibben debunks the core arguments made in favor of fracking: "Fracked gas is not a ‘bridge fuel’ to some cleaner era, but a rickety pier extending indefinitely out into a hotter future."

 TO WATCH

Josh Fox’s “The Sky Is Pink” is an explosive eighteen-minute video revealing a slew of industry documents detailing serious concerns about well safety and water contamination connected to fracking.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

President Obama: We Had Your Back. Do You Have Ours?

Election Day was a rousing victory for progressive and middle-class populism. In the face of this mandate, the “grand bargain” would lower top rates on the wealthy and corporations, target Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for cuts and inflict job-killing austerity.

 TO DO

Let President Obama know that Americans re-elected him with a mandate to make government work for 100 percent of the people and demand that he resist the assault on the social safety net implicit in the so-called Grand Bargain. After weighing in, share this post with friends, family and your Twitter and Facebook communities.

 TO READ

Writing in Salon, Michael Lind makes a strong case that the “Grand Bargain” is a terrible deal for most Americans.

 TO WATCH

On MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner, Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel called on progressives to fight back against the well-funded austerity agenda of the fiscal cliff proponents.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

End the War on Drugs

As filmaker Eugene Jarecki notes in The Nation, over forty years of prosecuting the “war on drugs” has cost a trillion dollars and accounted for 45 million drug arrests. Yet, for all that, America has nothing to show but a legacy of failure and increased addiction. The answer? End the war on drugs.

 TO DO

A good place to start in ending the so-called war on drugs is to urge Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition and to begin to bring the currently unregulated and profitable marijuana market under the rule of law, helping curb the crime, violence and out-of-control youth access that flourish under the current prohibition. After weighing in, share this post with your friends, family and Twitter and Facebook communities.

 TO READ

This NPR time-line on the war on drugs offers a powerful sense of the long-term futility of the campaign.

 TO WATCH

Jarecki’s film is a probing investigative look at America’s war on drugs and its impact on both the criminal justice system and individual families.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

Overturn Citizens United

John Nichols argued this week in The Nation that one thing the recent elections showed was that voters do not want corporate money to dominate our politics any more than they want corporations to dominate our lives. As Nichols pointed out, this was especially evident in Senate elections, where some of the biggest winners were outspoken backers of a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited and anonymous campaign contributions in US elections.

 TO DO

Add your name to this public letter supporting a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Citizens United decision and implore your elected reps to support Sen Bernie Sanders Saving American Democracy Amendment. After weighing in, share this post with your friends, family and Twitter and Facebook communities. 

 TO READ

This Nation editorial, published in January, 2010, after the Citizens decision, made clear that "the clearest and boldest counter to the Court's ruling is a constitutional amendment stating unequivocally that corporations are not people and do not have the right to buy elections."

 TO WATCH

This short history of the growth of corporate power is also a primer on exactly why the Supreme Court's closely divided Citizens United decision is incompatible with basic notions of democratic governance. Produced by the Story of Stuff project.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

No Grand Bargain

As Katrina vanden Heuvel writes this week at washingtonpost.com, at a time when the country desperately needs Congress to have the courage to take on the powerful entrenched interests that now threaten our future—big oil, King Coal, Big Pharma, Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, the medical complex—politicians are strutting about their courage in cutting programs for the elderly, the disabled, the ill and the vulnerable.

 TO DO

Election Day was a smashing victory for progressives and middle-class populism. In the face of this mandate, the “grand bargain” would lower top rates on the wealthy and corporations, target Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security for cuts and inflict austerity that can only cost jobs. Now we need to speak out louder than ever. Please implore your representatives in Congress to reject the so-called “Grand Bargain.” After weighing in, please share this post with your friends, family and Twitter and Facebook communities.

 TO READ

In Salon, Michael Lind makes a strong case against the “Grand Bargain,” arguing that any deal that cuts entitlements is bad for mainstream Americans.

 TO WATCH

In this video, Cenk Uygur explains why the grand bargain isn’t a bargain at all, leaving one side (the middle class, veterans) without much benefit and another (big corporations, defense contractors) rolling in tax cuts.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

Do the Math: Help Halt Climate Change

As Naomi Klein writes at thenation.com, the reconstruction from Hurricane Sandy is a great time to start recognizing “the limits of political pressure and going after the fossil fuel companies directly, as we are doing at 350.org with our “Do The Math” tour.”

 TO DO

The day after Election Day, Bill McKibben and 350.org are hitting the road to build the movement that will change the terrifying math of the climate crisis. Klein will join them in New York City on November 16. Find out how you can join the movement and help spread the word. Then, share this post with your friends, family and Twitter and Facebook communities.

 TO READ

McKibben, writing for The New York Review of Books, makes clear that Hurricane Sandy was a warning by science, and a wake-up call by nature that we must heed.

 TO WATCH

In this exclusive video for The Nation, McKibben explains that though we can’t stop global warming, as the earth’s temperature has already risen, “we can keep it from getting worse.”

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

Help the Victims of Sandy in Haiti

Haiti is still suffering dearly from the 2010 catastrophic earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and gave rise to what Kathie Klarreich and Linda Polman writing in The Nation call the “NGO Republic of Haiti,” in which the Haitian people are trapped in a recovery effort that has all too often failed to meet their needs. Hurricane Sandy has made things even worse. Three days of fierce rain and wind flooded about 100 camps where some 325,000 people, still homeless from the 2010 earthquake, continue to live.

 TO DO

As the massive relief and recovery effort forges ahead in the US, the International Rescue Committee is acting fast in Haiti. Donate now to support relief efforts focused on the most vulnerable populations and check out this list of non-financial ways you can support the IRC’s work. And please share this post with your friends, family and Facebook and Twitter communities.

 TO READ

This report from National Geographic made clear the extent of the power of the strongest earthquake the world had seen for at least two hundred years.

 TO WATCH

In this Democracy Now! report Naomi Klein presciently explained who was most likely to profit from international relief efforts in Haiti in the wake of the earthquake.

A weekly guide to meaningful action, this blog connects readers with resources to channel the outrage so many feel after reading about abuses of power and privilege. Far from a comprehensive digest of all worthy groups working on behalf of the social good, Take Action seeks to shine a bright light on one concrete step that Nation readers can take each week. To broaden the conversation, we’ll publish a weekly follow-up post detailing the response and featuring additional campaigns and initiatives that we hope readers will check out. Toward that end, please use the comments field to give us ideas. With your help, we can make real change.

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