Voting Reform — Both the Democratic and the Republican parties are remaking the social landscape according to corporate interests.
Mark Vorpahl: Reforms such as the minimum wage benefit workers by forcing businesses to pay them more, but the political system behind such laws is not a neutral arbitrator
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.
Mark Vorpahl: When hundreds of thousands come together to protest with the hope of winning their demands and they begin to get a taste of collective power, that experience is not so easily derailed.
Mark Vorhpahl: It could have been left as a relatively small event that would make little impact, but plans for the 50th anniversary of 1963’s March on Washington appear to have taken another course.
Mark Vorpahl: Between sequestration and the billions of cuts to social programs that Obama is pushing, it is evident that the economic policies of both major parties are not intended to promote a recovery for working people.
Mark Vorpahl: This latest budget crisis poses the question of “who do Portland’s elected leaders serve, the city’s majority of working class communities or big business and the wealthy?” So far, while the 99% have been suffering with all the belt tightening, Portland’s 1% have been left to grow fat.
Mark Vorpahl: Labor and the community members can begin to exercise their voice by taking to the streets in a clear display of massive unity behind such demands as for a federally funded jobs program and no cuts to the social safety net.
Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.