Pasadena ACLU Celebrates Victories, Honors Father Greg Boyle

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Rachel Young: Father Greg Boyle said that the original translation for “blessed” in the beatitudes did was not mean happy are the single hearted or those who work for peace but that you are in the right place.

Bible Lesson on Patriotism

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Berry Craig: Throughout the New Testament, Roberts says, Jesus Christ “talks about the people who are poor and living in poverty. Today, who tries to lift people out of poverty? It’s the labor movement.”

The Face of Poverty in California

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Brian Goldstein: One out of six Californians, over 6 million people, live in poverty. One out of four children, numbering 2.1 million, also struggle with poverty. The 2012 poverty rate for California was 15.9 percent, up from 12.2 percent in 2006.

Domestic Violence: Breaking the Silence among LGBTQ Communities of Color

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Irene Monroe: October is Domestic Awareness Month, and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities of color, not enough attention, education, intervention and advocacy is given to this issue.

Beautiful Trouble Makes a Creative Splash for Activists

Andrew Boyd, co-editor of Beautiful Trouble, talks to audience members about using art to keep methods of direct action fresh and captivating to the public. (Dan Bluemel / LA Activist)

Dan Bluemel: Members of SEIU and striking fast food workers got an earful on creativity last week when they attended an event put on by Beautiful Trouble, a project that educates activists on the art of creative direct action.

The Robots Are Coming: Now What?

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Richard Eskow: Which profession is most vulnerable to automation? Telemarketers. That will satisfy some people’s vindictive streak, but it will also create more unemployment.

Finally, Respect: California Domestic Workers Win Overtime Pay

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Brad Wong: California has regulated domestic work since 1976 but the basic labor guarantee of overtime escaped them because what they did was viewed as “a source of rewarding activity” or “merely supplemental income.”

Pension-Cutting Ballot Initiative Revealed

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Gary Cohn: San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and conservative activists are developing a ballot initiative to empower governments and voters in California to cut state and local public sector workers’ pension guarantees — not just new hires, but those who have been working for years under existing pension agreements.

Governor Brown Signs Historic Minimum Wage Increase

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Rebecca Band: Governor Brown made history by signing AB 10 (Alejo), a sorely-needed and long-overdue wage increase for California’s lowest-wage workers that passed through the Legislature with strong support from the California Labor movement.

What Pope Francis Has Known about Gay Priests

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Rev. Irene Monroe: As quietly as the Church has tried to keep it, the Catholic Church is a gay institution. And that is not a bad thing!

Promise Breakers: How Pew Trusts Is Helping to Gut Public Employee Pensions

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Gary Cohn: While few budget experts would deny there are problems with funding public employee pensions, there is nothing resembling a consensus that supports the solutions proposed by Pew and the Arnold Foundation – whose warnings of imminent pension bankruptcy complement similar apocalyptic scenarios sketched by conservatives about Social Security’s future.

Discriminating Taste

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Walter Brasch: Want to be a CEO for a Fortune 500 company? Make sure you’re about 6-foot tall–too tall also doesn’t work, either–weigh about 170-200 pounds, have hair, and look good in Armani suits. And, also make sure you’re a male.

A Dancer Speaks Out

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Dana Wilson: In partnership with our union SAG-AFTRA, we built our campaign to the point where we were prepared for an industry-wide work stoppage on music videos.

(Miss) America’s Racism Problem

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Jessie Daniels: America still has a problem with racism. That much was glaringly apparent in the intense, vitriolic reaction to Nina Davuluri’s victory in the Miss America pageant, the first time a woman of Indian descent has won an event as quintessentially American as baseball and pumpkin pie.

Complex Factors Fuel Jamaica’s Violent Homophobia

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Rev. Irene Monroe: But in a country with no federal hate crime bill, police enforcement and church to protect LGBTQ Jamaicans, solutions can’t be found.

Complex Factors Fuel Jamaica’s Violent Homophobia

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Rev. Irene Monroe: Intense homophobia in Jamaica is so unchallenged that people simply speculate about peoples’ sexual orientation or gender identity then plot to kill them.

At the AFL-CIO Convention, Leaders Ask: What Direction for Labor?

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Mark Vorpahl: Currently, Labor’s top officials see their chief task as getting a seat at the political table. From this position they aim to push back against the most egregious examples of corporate greed, and advocate for reforms that benefit workers.

Young Workers Speak Up at LA’s AFL-CIO Convention

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Rebecca Band: Under Galen Hooks’ leadership, music video dancers (who are almost all younger workers) finally secured a union contract after 30 years without that protection.

What Will NAACP President Ben Jealous’ Legacy Be?

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David Love: The question is, what legacy does the 40-year-old leader leave for the NAACP? The answer is a more invigorated, dynamic and relevant civil rights movement.

Walmart Workers Fight Poverty: A Cashier’s Story

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eptember’s shaping up to be another tough month for Martha Sellers. The Walmart cashier cleared $732 on her last twice-monthly paycheck but hasn’t paid this month’s $700 rent on her place in Bellflower. When she does, she’ll have to decide how much of the remaining $32 will be divided between food and gas to get [...]

Bakken Oil: An Elder Speaks To Power

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Georgianne Nienaber: Recent allegations and lawsuits filed in Federal and District Courts involve patterns of greed and swindling that could have been taken from the pages of the script for the movie “Promised Land.”

Racism and the Threat to American Civil Liberties

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Scot Nakagawa: It seems unbelievable that a country that tries to present itself as a beacon of liberty and freedom throughout the world could have facilitated this massive violation of our privacy. But for Japanese Americans, this contradiction in terms is nothing new.

Low Wage Nation or Good Jobs Nation

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Jim Hightower: Where’s the morality in CEOs grabbing tax dollars to help subsidize their lavish executive pay packages, then turning around and stiffing their own workers in our name?

The NYPD’s “New Low” That’s Not So New

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Soya Jung: From the War on Crime to the War on Drugs to the War on Terror, increasingly, this us-versus-them way of sorting humanity is what “makes” race today, by dictating whose lives are safeguarded by the alleged American promise of freedom and democracy, and whose are not.

LA Black Worker Center to Hold First-Ever “Workers Congress” Before AFL-CIO 2013 Convention

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Jackie Tortora: This Friday, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (BWC) is holding its first-ever Black Workers Congress to bring workers and the Los Angeles community together to build support and share knowledge to transform the jobs crisis in communities of color.

Harlem Wrestles with Homophobia

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Rev. Irene Monroe: Harlem still remains as both a complicated open and closeted queer social hot spot. Harlem’s transgender community wrestles more than any of us LGBQs with Harlem’s homophobia.

Slash and Burn: The War Against California Pensions

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Gary Cohn: “Pension reform” has become the latest battle cry in a seemingly endless war that has ostensibly been declared against tax-dollar waste, but whose single-minded purpose has been to slash the job protections and benefits enjoyed by California’s working middle class.

Pastor McClurkin’s Homophobic Past Comes Back to Haunt Him

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Rev. Irene Monroe: McClurkin, a three-time Grammy winner and revered judge on BET’s “Sunday Best,” a reality TV-gospel singing competition show, doesn’t get it that he’s a polarizing figure.

Fast Food Workers Strike for a Living Wage to Support Their Families

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David Love: On August 29—the day after the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington—fast food workers around the U.S. staged a walkout in hundreds of stores in 50 cities, their largest protest ever.

Labor Day News of the WEIRD

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Cynthia Strathmann: As rates of unionization have fallen, so has compensation. One might expect unions to be all the rage with anyone who ever put in a hard day’s work. But this is not always the case, particularly in the United States.

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