Who Will Win Town Hall Immigration Battle?

town hall

Randy Shaw: The future of immigration reform could well to be decided in the next three weeks. And this will occur not in the halls of Congress but in Congressional Town Hall meetings across the nation.

Opposition Grows to AT&T’s Attack on LifeLine Program

lifeline

Randy Shaw: AT&T’s proposed hijacking of the LifeLine program is particularly surprising in light of Democratic Party control of the California Legislature and the Governor Brown-appointed California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) strong opposition to AB 1407.

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.

Lone Ranger Flops: Hollywood Gets What It Deserves

lone ranger

Randy Shaw: Disney’s mammoth investment in a western originally based on traditional racial stereotypes—a white man with an honorable but terse Native American sidekick—speaks volumes to Hollywood’s current disconnection from real-life concerns.

America Still Blind to Race?

voting rights

Randy Shaw: It would be helpful for progressive bloggers of color to explain why they did not attend Netroots Nation. Yet many are likely too busy writing stories to divert energy into explaining why they did attend a particular conference.

Why Young People Have Deserted Obama

barack michelle kids

Randy Shaw: Obama could regain young people’s support by lowering student loan rates, enacting immigration reform and rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, but time—and his political capital—is running out.

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.

Renewing California’s Labor-Tenant Alliance

yee deleon nunez perez

Randy Shaw: Organized labor promotes a broadly progressive agenda in Sacramento, but gives a pass to legislators who favor big landlords over working people. The once strong labor-tenant alliance is clearly broken, and must be renewed.

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.

Can Obama Still Bring Real Change?

clinton obama bush

Randy Shaw: If activists continue mobilizing in favor of immigration reform and against Keystone, Obama’s second term could bring the real change that the millions who elected him have sought.

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.

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.

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.

Traditional Media Downplays Historic Keystone Pipeline Protests

keystone protest with darryl hannah

Randy Shaw: This disdain for activists working to combat climate change is illuminating. It reflects the powerful corporate interests opposed to such efforts, and the media’s framing Hurricane Sandy and other destructive weather as requiring powerful action from politicians, not activists.

Governor Jerry Brown’s Troubling View of Affordable Housing

jerry brown

Randy Shaw: Brown’s argument that the affordable housing crisis is actually one of distribution rather than supply–there is a shortage in the Bay Area and other places where jobs exist but there are plenty of vacant affordable rental units in the high-unemployment Central Valley–is not unique.

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.

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