A project of the Center for Community Change

Broader Social Justice

A CBO Report Came Out On Tuesday

On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published a report that shows the Senate immigration reform bill is good for the economy. The report states that the bill would actually reduce the federal budget deficits by $175 billion over the next 10 years and by $700 billion over the following decade.  The report argues that instead of having government pay for the services of millions of immigrants, the legislation will in fact be a boon to our economy as a larger labor force yields more in tax payments.

For more information, http://cfor.cc/13SNTq9

Immigrants in solidarity with Wisconsin workers!

Immigrant workers in the United States know what it’s like to be unfairly pitted against workers.  At FIRM, we believe supporting the rights of immigrants and the rights of all workers is the same struggle.

In fact, studies show that immigration reform would raise the floor for all workers.  And conversely, supporting the rights of workers helps all of us, including immigrants.  This is why immigrant communities are rallying in solidarity with Wisconsin workers.

This week, the state’s senate Republicans caught most of the world off guard by staging a late night meeting where they passed Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal that strips nearly all bargaining rights from public workers. The measure was passed despite the absence of all senate Democrats by removing all fiscal aspects of the bill, which in turn nullified the need for a quorum.

Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, told the Washington Post:

“The vote does nothing to create jobs, does nothing to strengthen our state, and shows finally and utterly that this was never about anything but raw political power,” . “We now put our total focus on recalling the eligible Republicans who voted for this bill. And we also begin counting the days remaining before Scott Walker is himself eligible for recall.”

Questions abound about the legitimacy of the move, but most interesting to me is this opinion from Milwaukee City Attorney Grant Langley who claims it is not constitutional.  The legality may be uncertain, but what is clear is that this bill is wrong for Wisconsin.  It’s wrong for workers. It’s wrong for everyone.

The bill now goes to the Republican-controlled House and then to the governor’s desk for signing. Walker, of course, is anxiously awaiting it.

The actions of Republicans in Wisconsin are in line with what seems to be the strategy of Republicans everywhere: divide our communities, do nothing to actually create jobs, destroy the unions who built America’s middle class, cut a thousand holes in the social programs safety net, cut funding that helps women and children, and give all breaks to the very wealthy.

The good news out of Wisconsin, news every Republican thinking of emulating Wisconsin should consider, is this: the push to recall the Republican state senators is gaining momentum.  It is awesome and inspiring to see the people rising up and pushing back.  This is what democracy looks like!

Meanwhile, if this story has your blood boiling, there is a simple way to get involved. Call Republican Gov. Scott Walker at 866-956-1737 and tell him NOT to sign this bill.

August is for conference-hopping

So not even 24 hours after arriving back from Netroots Nation, I headed to another conference – this time in DC. I’m at the Generational Alliance convening through Wednesday. The GA describes itself as:

..a strategic collaboration of organizations across the country that support the empowerment of low-income youth, youth of color, and LGBT youth who are pursuing progressive victories for their communities.

In short, I’m alongisde some amazing youth activists and organizers, talking about our collective vision for change and for our future. So, I haven’t had time to write up a Netroots Nation wrap-up yet, but I promise its coming. In the mean time, I will shortly be posting a Netroots wrap-up from my guest blogger, Robert Gittelson, who I finally got to meet in person at the “Si se puede 2.0” panel.

Netroots was an amazing experience – exhilirating, frustrating, exciting and challenging all at the same time. It definitely forced me to think about where I fit into the movement for immigrant rights and for social justice in general. More to come, but for now, suffice it to say last week provided me with plenty of food for thought.

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