Vassar Sends a Message

catharine bond hill

Randy Shaw: Thank goodness there are still college presidents like Vassar’s Hill, whose school not only reflects a commitment to socioeconomic diversity, but who is willing to speak the truth on a subject many college presidents refuse to honestly address.

Something Rotten in Sacramento

state senator rod wright

Randy Shaw: Despite veto-proof Democratic majorities, the California Legislature is as dominated by, and beholden to, big money interests as ever before, leaving even long-protected programs for the poor like Lifeline phone service now open to attack.

Can Elites Convince Victims of Top-Down Policies to Blame Themselves?

george packer

Randy Shaw: The GOP truly believes Americans will go back to the days of blaming themselves for high student loan debt, wage stagnation, and the inability to get a fulltime job. It’s just a question of finding the right message to convince them that it is their own lack of hard work and industriousness that put them in their situation.

Why MSNBC Fell — And How It Can Rise Again

msnbc panel

Randy Shaw: What if activists closely following Keystone, immigration reform, the battle against federal budget austerity and other campaigns knew that each night MSNBC would have the latest on developments in all of these campaigns.

How Eric Garcetti Won

garcetti wins

Randy Shaw: Garcetti kept the progressive base he earned from this City Council record and combined it with conservative San Fernando Valley voters angry at the Valley-based Greuel for her campaign receiving million of dollars from unions representing Department of Water and Power workers.

As Cities Prosper, Poor People Relocate to Suburbs

suburban poor

Randy Shaw: Now that cities offer walkable, bicycle-friendly, public transit-available neighborhoods with desirable restaurants and a high quality of life, the poor are being shunted to car-dependent suburban areas in economic decline.

IRS, Benghazi “Scandals” Won’t Hurt Dems in 2014

election day

Randy Shaw: Democratic success in 2014 hinges not on the impact of the IRS and other “scandals” but on passing comprehensive immigration reform, rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, and avoiding a budget deal that undermines Social Security.

Pushing Budget Reform State by State

obama advisors

Randy Shaw: While progressives debate whether President Obama could have used his “bully pulpit” to overcome GOP opposition to reviving the nation’s economy, let’s accept that in 2013-14 activists can more effectively address economic justice measures at the state level.

Young People Should Think Twice About Teach for America

wendy kopp

Randy Shaw: Instead of becoming a vital training incubator for young teachers committed to improving schools, TFA is just as likely to demoralize young people and turn them away from schools and activism.

Don’t Blame Obama for Gun Control Defeat

obama with gun victims

Randy Shaw: The real culprit here is the GOP political leadership, who have gotten away again with overturning majority rule.

Excessive Military Spending Crushes the American Dream

pentagon spending

Randy Shaw: Tax Day has passed with little attention to the chief reason U.S. students are overwhelmed by debt, millions are homeless, children go to bed hungry and our public transit infrastructure is being destroyed — the allocation of half of every discretionary dollar to the military.

Groundhog Day in Obama Land

tar sands protest

Randy Shaw: The President is repeating his own failed script from 2009, once again shifting right just as the GOP is on the ropes and his own base is primed for mobilizing.

The Occupy Movement and Revitalizing Democracy

occupy la

Randy Shaw: Graeber sees MoveOn.org, Rebuild the Dream, and other groups associated with the “left wing of the Democratic Party” as betraying the Occupy movement by not opposing police closures of Occupy camps.

The Crumbling of Corporate School “Reform”

chicago teachers

Randy Shaw: As corporate interests spend billions attacking teachers unions, the real obstacles to a quality public education—poverty, overcrowded classes, and physically rundown schools—are ignored.

Critics of Obama’s Organizing for Action Ignore Political Reality

obama college

Randy Shaw: I don’t hear any immigrant rights groups, labor unions, or progressive activist groups calling on the President to unilaterally disarm in the face of massive right-wing spending, and critics of OFA have virtually no base among those fighting each day for greater social justice.

What 2013 Will Bring Politically?

obama bb king

Randy Shaw: 2013 will lack the excitement of a presidential election year. But it is activism between elections that brings change.

What Activists (Should Have) Learned in 2012

Randy Shaw: Activists are in far better spirits than one year ago. Progressives see that the public is on their side, and, unlike in the aftermath of the 2008 elections, are staying engaged in the major policy struggles that elections are supposed to be all about.

Let’s Stop Talking About 2016!

hilllary clinton

Randy Shaw: Americans may “hate” politics, but the media cannot get enough of it. Since Obama’s re-election we have been deluged with stories not simply about Hillary Clinton, but also about Republicans Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush positioning themselves for runs in 2016.

Blame Politicians for Homelessness and Hunger in America

homeless man

Randy Shaw: While the media’s highlighting “the unfortunate” during the holiday season raises vital private donations to help their needs, letting the politicians responsible off the hook perpetuates the crisis.

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