President Barack Obama kicked off 2014 with a strong statement of support for immigration reform, declaring, “It is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system.” In the months since the State of the Union Address, the frustrating stagnation in Congress has led many to become disheartened with the prospect of federal reform. Though a great deal of focus on immigration reform has been at the federal level, states have continued to make progress while the matter is considered by Congress
The 2014 National Week of Action for Real Prosperity took place the second week of April and it was a huge success! Spearheaded by PSN’s Economic Security Working Group, the Week of Action engaged over 50 legislators in 20 states
As part of the National Week of Action For Real Prosperity Across America, Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard and State Reps. Cynthia Stafford, Victor Torres, Jose Javier Rodriguez, Kionne McGhee, Shevrin Jones, Bobby Powell, Clovis Watson, and Ricardo Rangel are taking the Minimum Wage Challenge. Here's a mid-week check-in.
Media Advisory: On April 7 at 10:30am ET, Americans United For Change & Progressive States Network will hold a national press call to discuss the 11-state “Give America A Raise” bus tour & Week of Action in 20 states.
WCTV's Lanetra Bennett reports: "The Florida AFL-CIO, young workers, union members, activists, Rep. Dwight Bullard and students from across the state of Florida are urging legislators to take action this legislative session on: establishing tuition equity for students, ensuring workers have an effective mechanism to recover stolen wages, and raising the state's minimum wage to $10.10. The group says that 70 percent of jobs being created are part-time. A warehouse worker from Jacksonville, Florida, Dave Snyder, says, "It's not a living wage. I'm here to tell you as a person who works two jobs: one in the middle of the night at a warehouse loading boxes; and the second one in a call center for minimum wage. I'm here to tell you, it's not enough to make ends meet with rent, with the cost of living. This is the fundamental issue of my class and my generation." The coalition is also fighting for issues that affect Florida's teachers, such as testing and accountability."
Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard is taking the Minimum Wage Challenge as part of the National Week of Action for Real Prosperity Across America. “I can think of no greater matter of importance than someone's ability to work and earn a decent wage," Senator Bullard stated. "Let those who would deny it try to live on it for just a week.
For many American teenagers, hearing criticism of their supposed apathy towards the issues of the day is almost a routine occurrence. But not for this group of Florida students. Dream Defenders, a Miami-based group of young people organized in reaction to the murder of 17 year old Trayvon Martin, is now working alongside Florida state lawmakers, including Progressive States Network member Sen. Dwight Bullard, to call for the passage of "Trayvon's Law" -- a package of legislative proposals that affect them directly. Last month, forty students belonging to the group took part in training on how to speak effectively about the proposal to lawmakers. Then they did exactly that, meeting with state legislators and their aides in the Florida state capitol. It's the kind of advocacy work that would impress professionals who do it for a living.
The plain hypocrisy of "small-government" conservatives backing state efforts to preempt local communities from passing their own wage and benefits standards continues to gain attention, even as more local efforts to pass paid sick days and living wage laws advance. But, as reports this week showed, corporate-backed state legislative intrusions into local communities have not been limited to attacking wage and benefits standards -- they have also extended to blocking local environmental regulations and redrawing district lines for local offices: