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Workplace Violations in LA, Rightwing Smears & Attacks, Supporting Low-Income Students, New Studies on Voting Rights, and More
PSN on January 7, 2010 - 6:47pm
Workplace Violations in Los Angeles: The Failure of Employment and Labor Law for Low-Wage Workers - Almost 30 percent of low-wage workers in Los Angeles are paid less than the minimum wage and 79.2 percent were not paid the legally required overtime rate by their employers, according to this survey of 1,815 low-income workers conducted by UCLA's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. To address these and other pay violations, the report urges greater government enforcement and assure that immigrant workers have full standing in court to come forward to hold employers legally accountable.
How Right Wing Extremists Try to Paralyze Government Through Ideological Smears and Baseless Attacks - This People for the American Way report traces the links between "guilt-by-association" tactics used by Joe McCarthy in the 1950s to current rightwing tactics to smear public officials today ranging from judges like Sonia Sotomayor to progressives nominated for government positions to attacks on President Obama himself.
Supporting Low-Income Students from K-12 through College:
- A New Diverse Majority: Students of Color in the South’s Public Schools - The South has become the first region in the country where the majority of public school students are black or latino and the first where more than half are low-income, according to this Southern Education Foundation study. Unfortunately, this is combined with a long history of spending far less per pupil on educational resources than other regions.
- With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them: Myths and Realities about Why So Many Students Fail to Finish College - Most young adults who drop out of college cite the economic need to work and support themselves as the main reason, according to this Public Agenda study. Providing child care and more flexible scheduling of classes would make higher education more accessible to such working students.
Supporting children and new parents:
- Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger in America by 2015 - National anti-hunger organizations outline nine steps to eliminate hunger, including immediate steps policymakers can take by funding child nutrition programs and assuring that unemployment insurance covers low-income workers with children losing their jobs.
- There’s No Place Like Home: Home Visiting Programs Can Support Pregnant Women and New Parents - Home visiting programs, which offer in-home services to pregnant women and new families, can be an effective tool for meeting unmet needs, and they can lead to improved maternal and child health outcomes, positive parenting, safe homes, and connections to integrated assistance, according to this Center for American Progress brief.
New studies on voting rights and reforms around the country:
- The National Voter Registration Act: Fifteen Years on - This issue brief, published by the American Constitution Society, discusses the NVRA’s “significant untapped potential to solve many of the problems we continue to experience in our voter registration system, problems that have profound consequences on Election Day.”
- Representational Bias in the 2008 Electorate - Project Vote updates its report on who votes and how the demographics of voters differ from the population at large.
- Modernizing Ohio's System for Registering Voters: Automatic and Online Registration - The Brennan Center for Justice outlines problems with Ohio's current voter registration system and how it can be modernized.
- The Real Cost of Voter Registration: An Oregon Case Study - The Pew Center on the States has released an analysis of the resources Oregon spends on registering voters and maintaining its voter registration system. Includes guidelines for other states to undertake similar analyses.
- Is Everyone Else Doing It? Indiana’s Voter Identification Law in International Perspective - A new article by Demos Senior Fellow Tova Andrea Wang and Amherst Professor Frederic Charles Schaffer examines how Indiana's voter ID law is more restrictive than most other democracies with ID requirements of their own, putting it outside the political mainstream internationally.