Increasing Democracy

Court Upholds Employer Health Care Responsibility Policies

In a case with national implications for state health reform across the country, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this week in Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. San Francisco upheld the employer responsibility provisions of the San Francisco universal health care plan. The decision follows a preliminary decision earlier in the year that allowed the plan to be initially implemented.

Student-Led Think Tank Advances Progressive Policy Reforms

Monday, August 27, 2007

Student-Led Think Tank Advances Progressive Policy Reforms

Facing RACE: A National Conference

Last week in NYC, over 600 civil rights advocates gathered to discuss contemporary issues of racial justice. The Applied Research Center, COLORLINES magazine and the Center for Humanities at CUNY Grad Center sponsored the 2007 Facing RACE conference, a nationwide gathering of racial justice leaders. The conference addressed issues ranging from racial inequities in community zoning and planning to immigration reforms.

Think that high oil prices are a bad thing? Try telling that to Exxon Mobil.

Exxon Mobil posted a profit of $39.5 billion this year, the highest annual profit ever for an American company. Joining Exxon was Shell, which posted a record annual income of $25.4 billion. While millions of Americans struggle to deal with high oil prices, Exxon and Shell are living large and loving it.

Toll Road Giants Buy Media Critics

So you are a multi-national firm trying to get approval for a private toll road, facing media critics throughout a state. What do you do? If you are Australian toll road company Macquarie trying to build a chunk of the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor, you buy forty local newspapers:
Many of the small papers purchased, most have a circulation of 5000 or less, have been critical of the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Local Officials Can Fight Vote Suppression

Writing at, Paul Loeb gets it. He knows we don't need to wait for Washington, D.C., to protect against vote suppression when many of the most important actions can be taken by state and local officials:
Passing tough new local laws to protect the vote could create an immediate check against voter suppression in a situation where the Bush administration is unlikely to prosecute its own political allies.

PA: Recounts Concluded, Democrats Win the State House

Pennsylvania Democrats have taken a 102-101 majority in the state house following two recounts in races that showed narrow wins for Republicans. A recount showed that in one race, the Democrat was actually the victor. Control of the Montana House still is not final. Democrats currently have a 50-49-1 edge in the chamber, pending a recount in a race that was originally counted as a tie. That recount is occuring today.

"The real action will be at the state level"

Forbes knows it:
Raise the minimum wage. Attack global warming. Negotiate lower prescription drug prices. Extend health coverage to the uninsured. Protect consumers from identity theft. A to-do list for Democrats taking over Congress? Nope, a sample of what states are up to. If you're the type who prefers that government do as little as possible, you might be heartened by the prospect of a divided Washington that will likely gridlock on significant issues.

Playing to Win

It feels good to win. Progressives were reminded of that on Election Day when we saw some big victories. But a single election cycle means little if progressives don't take advantage of it. We're happy to have a plan for long-term progressive victory in the form of "Building a Progressive Majority in the States" -- our policy agenda.

Oregonians say "no, but yes" to limits on campaign contributions

Oregon has wrestled with campaign finance reform since at least 1994, when voters enacted Measure 9, which imposed limits on campaign contributions. In 1997, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled Measure 9 unconstituional, saying it violated the free speech rights guaranteed in the state's constitution. Fast-forward to Tuesday, when would-be reformers offered up two ballot initiatives: Measure 46 would have changed the constitution to allow limits on campaign contributions, paving the way for Measure 47. Confused?