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Seattle implemented a $15 minimum wage two years ago. Here's what Minneapolis could learn from that fight.

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Whether a Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance should allow credits for tips earned divided dueling rallies April 17 in front of the Stadium Village Buffalo Wild Wings. Restaurant workers in the background confronted activists who oppose what they term a "tip penalty." MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

  • MinnPost talked to three key figures in Seattle's 2014 $15 minimum wage fight, not only to explore the similarities and differences with the current situation in Minneapolis, but to see what advice they might have for the players looking to craft a new ordinance here. 
  • Related: Universal Basic Income Is Our Best Weapon Against The Rising Far Right

Peter Callaghan, MinnPost

04/25/17 | It’s tempting to look back at the first successful fight for a $15 minimum wage and figure it was inevitable: Seattle, 2014. Wealthy city. Booming city. Left-of-center politics. A large base of progressive activists.

But David Rolf, the president of SEIU 775 and one of the leaders of the drive to increase the minimum wage in the city to $15, said it was anything but a sure thing. “To start with, we were the first,” Rolf said last week. “We were in completely uncharted territory.”

Peter Callaghan covers local politics and government Minneapolis, St. Paul and the Twin Cities region.

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Universal Basic Income Is Our Best Weapon Against The Rising Far Right, Guy Standing, Huffington Post 

Without basic economic security, people often behave selfishly and vote irresponsibly.

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Study by MIT Economist: US Has Regressed to a Third-World Nation for Most of Its Citizens

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“Collapse” by Erica Woodson

A new book by economist Peter Temin finds that the U.S. is no longer one country, but dividing into two separate economic and political worlds

Lynn Parramore, Institute For New Economic Thinking / The Intellectualist

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April 20, 2017 | You’ve probably heard the news that the celebrated post-WW II beating heart of America known as the middle class has gone from “burdened,” to “squeezed” to “dying.”  But you might have heard less about what exactly is emerging in its place.

In a new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, draws a portrait of the new reality in a way that is frighteningly, indelibly clear:  America is not one country anymore. It is becoming two, each with vastly different resources, expectations, and fates.

Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst, Institute For New Economic Thinking 

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Related:

From the Archives | New Figures Detail Depth Of Unemployment Misery, Lower Earnings For All But Super Wealthy, Huffington Post

  • Those Americans earning more than $50 million increased their income from an average of $91.2 million in 2008 to almost $519 million. That's nearly $10 million in weekly pay!These 74 people made as much as the 19 million lowest-paid people in America, who constitute one in every eight workers."
  • September Jobs Report Reveals America’s Emerging Third World Economy

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Union membership in Minnesota has been declining for decades. How are unions changing to stay relevant?

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REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

The facts remain that unions’ membership decline in Minnesota has been largely at the hands of automation, globalization, and a business climate that seeks to prevent workers from organizing more than in the past — things that don’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

Greta Kaul, MinnPost

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03/08/17 | The share of Minnesota employees who were members of unions has declined, from 23 percent in 1983 to 14 percent in 2016.

For a state with a major political party that includes “Labor” in its name, you might think Minnesota would be a haven for the union movement.

The DFL notwithstanding, that’s not necessarily the case: In the last three decades, the share of Minnesota employees who are members of a union has been on a slow, steady decline.

In 1983, 23 percent, or nearly a quarter of Minnesota employees were members of labor unions. Today, that number is down to about 14 percent, according to state-by-state breakdowns of Current Population Survey data from Unionstats, a website maintained by labor researchers at Georgia State and Trinity universities.

Greta Kaul is MinnPost's data reporter. 

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When Martin Luther King Came Out Against Vietnam

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Credit Matt Rota

 

It would be a mistake to read Dr. King’s speech as merely an antiwar statement. It reflected his widening worldview that chronic domestic poverty and military adventurism overseas infected the wealthiest nation on earth just as indelibly as did deep-rooted racism. It went to the heart of the multilayered social and political conflicts of the 1960s — and, like all great rhetoric, continues to speak to us today.

David J. Garrow, New York (NY) Times 

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https://static01.nyt.com/images/2017/04/04/opinion/04Garrow/04Garrow-master675.jpg The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at an antiwar demonstration in New York in April 1967, with Dr. Benjamin Spock to his right. Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images  

April 4, 2017 | Fifty years ago today — and one year to the day before his assassination — the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the most politically charged speech of his life at Riverside Church in Upper Manhattan. It was a blistering attack on the government’s conduct of the Vietnam War that, among other things, compared American tactics to those of the Nazis during World War II.

The speech drew widespread condemnation from across the political spectrum, including from this newspaper. Other civil rights leaders, who supported the war and sought to retain President Lyndon B. Johnson as a political ally, distanced themselves from Dr. King.

David J. Garrow is the author of “Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference” and the forthcoming “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.”

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How the Neighborhood That Inspired “The Wire” Is Pulling Its Residents Out of Poverty

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Lionel Terrell, who has struggled to find work due to a criminal record, is employed as part of the Clean & Green Landscaping program operated by Bon Secours Hospital. Photo by Jay Mallin.

  • When large institutions like universities and hospitals agree to hire and spend locally, they can transform neighborhoods hardest hit by poverty and unemployment.
  • Big New Allies in the War on Poverty
  • Related: International Woman's Day: When women succeed, we all win 
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Cecilia Garza & Araz Hachadourian, Yes! Magazine

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Mar 15, 2017 | It’s not often that a street intersection becomes as notorious as the corner of Fayette and Monroe in West Baltimore. During the ’80s and ’90s, the corner was ground zero for the city’s open-air drug market. Both a manifestation and symptom of Baltimore’s rising poverty, the corner became an inspiration for the television series The Wire.

A few blocks away from Fayette and Monroe is Bon Secours Hospital, built in 1919 by a group of Parisian nuns on a social mission. George Kleb was just a few years into his role as executive director of the affiliated Bon Secours Foundation when a problem was brought to his attention: The foundation had just invested $30 million in a hospital that both patients and doctors were scared to enter.

Cecilia Garza & Araz Hachadourian: Cecilia is a writer and communications professional at Social Venture Partners. She has received six awards for her work in local newswriting. Araz is a regular contributor to YES! 

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In solidarity, 

Dave & the Crew

 





 

International Woman's Day: When women succeed, we all win, Facebook / #SheMeansBusiness 

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  • When women do better, economies do better. That’s why Facebook is celebrating women who have built and run businesses, and delivering resources to help those who might one day do so themselves.
  • Because the next successful entrepreneur could be anyone. She could even be you.

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