BATTLE FOR THE NET…ONE MILLION STRONG…MEET THE KOCH SISTERS…NOT A DROP TO DRINK…RESIGN NOW…Fighting For Fair Wages…A Dream Deferred…Wisconsin Voting Rights…The Color of Inequality…Against Austerity Raffle Winners Announced!…

BATTLE FOR THE NET — Yesterday Fight for the Future hosted an Internet Slowdown Day, where top websites including Etsy, Kickstarter, Netflix, Reddit, WordPress, and many others showcased “spinning wheels of death” in support of net neutrality. The day of protest was back by organizations including the ACLU, Common Cause, Color of Change, DailyKos, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press Action Fund, Greenpeace, MoveOn, Presente, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressives United, the Other 98%, and WAM. The next and FINAL comment deadline for the FCC is this Monday, September 15th.

SIGN Battle For the Net’s letter to lawmakers HERE and READWe Have Five Days to Stand Up for Internet Freedom” over at The Nation.

ONE MILLION STRONGOne million individuals and groups have submitted comments to the US Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) demanding that the agency enforce requirements that publicly-traded corporations report their political spending to their shareholders. The Sunlight Foundation compiled a database of the latest reported independent expenditures of $1,000 or more … CHECK it out HERE. CREDO Mobile Vice President Becky Bond: “We need to get all corporate money out of politics, period.”

MEET THE KOCH SISTERS — AFL-CIO unveiled the “Koch Sisters“–”two average women” who want to get money out of politics, though not biologically related, serve as middle-class counterparts to the right-wing billionaire Koch Brothers. WATCH: “Meet the Koch Sisters” and their other videos HERE.

NOT A DROP TO DRINK — A US bankruptcy judge ordered private mediation between the Detroit Water and Sewage Department and activist groups who filed a class action lawsuit to halt dangerous water shutoffs. Groups include Moratorium Now, People’s Water Board, National Action Network, and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. The judge will rule on September 17th. READThe Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Division of America” by Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich.

LEARN about the “Cut Hair, Not Water!” campaign, SUPPORT the local efforts of the Detroit Water Brigade, and WATCH a documentary about Detroit’s economic decline.

RESIGN NOW — NOW President Terry O’Neill called for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to resign in the wake of Ray Rice’s highly publicized scandal and the League’s overall failure to act against domestic abuse: “The NFL has lost its way. It doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem; it has a violence against women problem … New leadership must come in with a specific charge to transform the violence against women that pervades the NFL. That’s the only way to restore honor and integrity to the country’s most lucrative and popular pastime.”

FIGHTING FOR FAIR WAGES — The average poverty rate for female tipped workers is 33 percent lower in states that have equal minimum wages for tipped and non-tipped workers, compared to states with a tipped minimum wage of $2.13 per hour, according to new findings by the National Women’s Law Center. Just last Thursday, nearly 500 fast food workers were arrested during strikes in 150 cities across the country, organized by coalitions including Fast Food Forward, Fight for 15, and the Service Employees International Union. The United States currently leads the world in low-wage workers. READ: “Dignity: Fast-food Workers and a New Form of Labor Activism” and “The Fast-Food Strikes Have Been a Stunning Success for Organized Labor.”

A DREAM DEFERRED — Center for American Progress (CAP) President Neera Tanden slammed President Obama’s decision to delay executive action on immigration until after midterm elections: “Given the partisan gridlock, executive action is essential to help our economy and improve the lives of millions of families.” READ: “Administrative Action on Immigration Reform: The Fiscal Benefits of Temporary Work Permits.”

WISCONSIN VOTING RIGHTS — Advancement Project and the State of Wisconsin will give oral arguments tomorrow before a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel surrounding the State’s challenge to a federal court’s April ruling that struck down the state’s voter ID law as an unconstitutional violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Advancement Project is defending the original decision–arguing that the ID requirement unfairly restricts access for low-income and minority voters. Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair: “As the leading democracy in the world, it is our responsibility to ensure states do not put in place laws that hinder citizens’ inalienable right to vote. States across the nation have an obligation to ensure that citizens have equal access to the ballot.”

THE COLOR OF INEQUALITY — Demos published a new report finding that the average white household owns eight dollars in wealth for every one dollar owned by African American and Latino households. READ: “The Racial Wealth Audit: Measuring How Policies Shape the Racial Wealth Gap” … Demos also released an Interactive Poverty Calculator that explores how the government defines poverty metrics and how public assistance programs affect poverty statistics. CHECK it out HERE.

PP MUST READ: “Is a Democratic Realignment Afoot In the Middle Class?

CHECKING IN ON WORKING AMERICA — The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is holding a teleconference on the US Census Bureau’s 2013 data on income and poverty on Tuesday, September 16th at 12:30pm. Panelists will include EPI President and Top Wonk Lawrence Mishel, EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens, and EPI Race, Ethnicity, and Economy Director Valerie Wilson. RSVP HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

FAIR PAY FOR MANAGERS: Department of Labor Chief Economist and Top Wonk Heidi Shierholz argues that the threshold for automatic overtime protection should be increased to benefit lower-paid white-collar workers like supervisors and managers.

UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA: Brennan Center Fellow and Top Wonk Ciara Torres-Spelliscy warns that a lack of transparency in political spending could turn us into a country full of citizens who are uninformed and unaware of their history.

HELP WITH HEALTHCARE: Roosevelt Institute Fellow and Top Wonk Mike Konczal urges that Americans look at the abandoned health care bill passed in the House in 2009 for suggestions on how to improve the Affordable Care Act.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP is happy to announce that Philip McKenzie, Maggie Pfieffer, Jocelyn Arem, Elise Goyette, and Eve Jolly have won copies of Richard Seymour’s book Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made! The book examines the austerity fervor plaguing political discourse worldwide and supplies strategies for preventing future crises …

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CONGRATULATIONS: PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRE & TOP WONKS IN POLITICO’S TOP 50!…FAST FOOD AND FAIR WAGES…PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH…FOLLOW THE MONEY…Whopper With a Side of Tax Avoidance…Reviving Strong Unions…Where Does the Public Stand On Net Neutrality?…NYT Endorses Teachout Running Mate Tim Wu…

CONGRATULATIONS: PATRIOTIC MILLIONAIRE & TOP WONKS IN POLITICO’S TOP 50!Patriotic Millionaire Nick Hanauer and Top Wonks David Doniger, Daniel Lashof, Lawrence Lessig, and Zephyr Teachout are featured in ‘The POLITICO 50‘–a list of thinkers, doers, and dreamers reshaping American politics in 2014. READ more HERE.

FAST FOOD AND FAIR WAGES — Fast food workers in 100 cities are walking off the job TODAY, supported by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to protest for fair wages and the right to unionize. The demonstrations, organized by coalitions including Fast Food Forward, Fight for 15, and the Service Employees International Union, will also feature sit-ins. The restaurant industry employs 10.6 million Americans, one in six of whom live below the poverty line, according to new findings at the Economic Policy Institute by Department of Labor Chief Economist and Top Wonk Heidi Shierholz. SIGN Low Pay Is Not Ok’s petition, calling for $15 an hour wages and the ability to form a union without intimidation, HERE … meanwhile, Los Angeles is poised to propose a $13.50 hourly minimum wage.

Time for a Raise created Give $10.10 a Vote, a campaign to identify and pressure 23 members of the House to complete a discharge petition that would force a vote on the Harkin-Miller Fair Minimum Wage Act.

MIN WAGE MUST READS: “Let’s Tell Congress to Raise the Minimum Wage … Right Now!” over at The Nation and “The $15 Minimum Wage Is a Bellwether of the New Living Wage” by National Employment Law Project Campaign Strategist Arun Ivatury.

PEOPLE’S CLIMATE MARCH – Join members from Sierra Club, 350.org, MoveOn.org, the National Resources Defense Council, and 1,000 other organizations in New York on September 21st for the largest climate march in history. RSVP HERE.

FOLLOW THE MONEY — 310 donors have funneled $11.6 million in “McCutcheon money” into the 2014 midterm elections in the wake of the Supreme Court’s April ruling that abolished individual spending caps on campaign contributions … meanwhile, the Senate is expected to vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United this MONDAY, September 8th. WATCH Move to Amend’s Legalize Democracy documentary and SIGN their petition supporting the amendment HERE.

READMyths and Facts About the Koch Brothers” over at Media Matters.

WHOPPER WITH A SIDE OF TAX AVOIDANCE – CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk Eileen Appelbaum denounced Burger King’s plan to renounce its US citizenship by merging with Canadian fast food giant Tim Hortons in its latest move to dodge taxes: “The corporate defense that companies need to do what’s best for their shareholders and take advantage of every loophole in the corporate tax code rings hollow when these companies employ an army of lobbyists to make sure that the tax code is riddled with loopholes.” SIGN Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich‘s Democracy for America petition to tell Burger King to drop its plans for inversion HERE.

READ: “The Biggest Tax Scam Ever” over at Rolling Stone.

REVIVING STRONG UNIONS – Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) released a new report detailing the need for strengthened unions in order to rebuild the middle class. CAF President and report author Robert Borosage: “It is not a coincidence that prosperity was widely shared when unions were at the height of their power in the decades after World War II, and that inequality has soared as unions have been weakened.” READ the full report HERE.

WHERE DOES THE PUBLIC STAND ON NET NEUTRALITY? — Sunlight Foundation released a unique visual representation of hundreds of thousands of comments submitted to the FCC on net neutrality. Their analysis indicates that less than one percent of commenters clearly opposed net neutrality. CHECK it out HERE.

NYT ENDORSES TEACHOUT RUNNING MATE TIM WU The New York Times endorsed Zephyr Teachout’s running mate Tim Wu for lieutenant governor of New York just days after declining to endorse a candidate for governor: “Mr. Wu, a political newcomer, offers a fresh perspective and a new voice to counter Albany’s entrenched players. Mr. Hochul does not, and she has a deeply troubling record on health reform, gun control, and environmental deregulation. For these reasons, we recommend Mr. Wu in the Democratic Primary.”

Teachout has received endorsements from Americans for Democratic Action’s New York chapter, The Nation, National Organization for Women’s New York chapter, Sierra Club, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the New York State Public Employees Federation.

PP MUST READ:How the Government Created Stop-and Frisk for Latinos” over at The Nation.

ABORTION RIGHTS PROTECTED IN TEXAS — A federal judge struck down two key provisions of a Texas anti-abortion law that would have forced the closure of all but a few clinics in the state. Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup: “… today’s victory is vital in preventing politicians’ scorched-earth assaults on women’s health care from causing even more harm than they already have.” READ more HERE.

BOOK RAFFLE: AGAINST AUSTERITY **LAST CHANCE TO ENTER** — Enter for a chance to win a copy of Richard Seymour’s book Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made. The book examines the austerity fervor plaguing political discourse worldwide and supplies strategies for preventing future crises. The WINNER will be REVEALED in PP on September 11! E-MAIL PP Editor Hannah Hendler at hhendler@agendaproject.org with the subject line “AGAINST AUSTERITY submission.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

BACK TO SCHOOL: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich proposes that a technical, career-oriented education is more valuable than a traditional liberal arts one.

CORRUPTED CAPITALISM: Nobel Prize winner and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz argues that wage stagnation and rising inequality are not a result of capitalism itself, but of a capitalism corrupted by our political system.

DC UNDER SIEGE: Former Chief Economist of the IMF and Top Wonk Simon Johnson criticizes the continued takeover of Washington by banks that are too big to fail.

(SOLAR) POWER TO THE PEOPLE: Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign Director and Top Wonk Mary Anne Hitt describes how her local church went solar for just one dollar.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP is back with WEEKLY ISSUES! … Visit our twitter @PractProgress! …

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NYT v CUOMO: A SIGN OF ETHICS ON THE RISE???…McCONNELL’S KOCH PROBLEM…FIGHT FOR FERGUSON…With Liberty and Wage Decline For All…Protests On Paul Ryan’s Book Tour…Forward Together Movement Grows…Next Steps On Corporate Inversion…Book Raffle!…PP Congratulates Heidi Shierholz…

NYT v CUOMO: A SIGN OF ETHICS ON THE RISE??? — Members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s team are “stunned” by latest endorsements of his opponent, Fordham University Associate Law Professor and Top Wonk Zephyr Teachout. The New York Times declined to make an endorsement in the race, attributing the unusual decision to the Governor’s “failure on ethics reform” … meanwhile, Teachout has garnered endorsements from the National Organization for Women’s New York chapter, Sierra Club, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the New York State Public Employees Federation, and The Nation, who called her “a savvy, trust-busting progressive.”

The Working Families Party (WFP) had initially tapped Teachout to run against Cuomo in response to the Governor’s interference with an ethics commission and overall lack of adherence to progressive principles. Cuomo might have thought he was in the clear when he eventually secured the WFP endorsement in a backdoor deal in early June; however, a WFP member recently told the Daily Beast: “There is definitely a sense right now of buyer’s remorse” … perhaps that is why Cuomo is refusing to debate his up and coming progressive opponent?

Is the TEACHOUT challenge a teachable moment for ethically-agnostic politicians? Should Mug Shot Perry and Gov. Bridgegate read the tea leaves and pack in their presidential ambitions? Or is this just a bump in the road for Cuomo? Time will tell…

McCONNELL’S KOCH PROBLEM — MoveOn Political Action Executive Director Ilya Sheyman slammed Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for an audio recording of him speaking at a June retreat hosted by the Koch brothers: “It’s clear that GOP Senate candidates … are more focused on satisfying their out-of-state, billionaire donors than on legislating for the benefit of their constituents and the country as a whole … if there were any question what a GOP-controlled Senate would mean for the American people, these recordings have answered it.” … McConnell was caught on tape promising conservative attendees that if the GOP gains control of the Senate in November they will “go after [Democrats] on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency … All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it …” READ more and LISTEN to the full recording over at The Nation.

50 Senatorsand 73 percent of Americans–now support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, which is scheduled for a vote this fall. SIGN Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) MoveOn.org petition HERE.

FIGHT FOR FERGUSON — MTV–in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center–launched the “Look Different” campaign, aimed at addressing hidden racial, gender, and anti-LGBT bias in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent unrest in Ferguson, MO. TWEET @LookDifferent, WATCH a video, and CLICK around the interactive website HERE.

SIGN MoveOn.org’s petition to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the murder of Michael Brown HERE and a We the People petition to the Obama Administration to establish a Mike Brown Law requiring all state, county, and local police to wear a camera HERE

WITH LIBERTY AND WAGE DECLINE FOR ALL — Minimum wage workers have lost over $6 billion in purchasing power since 2009 due to stagnant wages and inflation, according to CEPR’s Minimum Wage Workers Pay Cut Clock … Economic Policy Institute (EPI) released a new report revealing that real wages fell for workers in almost every decile between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014. EPI economist and report author Elise Gould: “Employers have not put workers’ increased productivity into their paychecks … We cannot have a stable economy and growing and thriving middle class without higher wages.” READ the full report HERE and WATCHThe One Obvious Way to Fix Inequality that No One is Talking About.”

PROTESTS ON PAUL RYAN’S BOOK TOUR — Paul Ryan’s book tour trail has been paved with one embarrassment after another, including Ryan dodging DREAMers who questioned him about his vote to deport them, Ryan blowing off a senior who confronted him about plans to slash Medicare, and protesters bearing posters with the Agenda Project Action Fund’s incisive alternative book cover. DOWNLOAD the cover HERE and READPaul Ryan’s Newest Deceit: Why the Hot New Book Has the Same Old Shtick.”

FORWARD TOGETHER MOVEMENT GROWS — The North Carolina NAACP is holding a mass voting rights rally TODAY at the North Carolina General Assembly, rounding out a national “Moral Week of Action” to protest regressive policies that attack the poor, workers, the unemployed, women’s rights, and public education. Other states that participated include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. The North Carolina NAACP and Advancement Project recently filed an appeal against a federal judge’s ruling that upheld the state’s highly restrictive voting law.

NEXT STEPS ON CORPORATE INVERSION — Citizens for Tax Justice released a new report evaluating the multiple proposed solutions to corporate inversion. The report reveals that stopping inversions will require addressing three different problems: loopholes allowing inversion, accounting tricks that allow inverted companies to avoid being taxed on profits that they repatriate to the U.S., and earnings stripping–the practice of making profits earned in the U.S. appear to be earned in other countries. READ the full report HERE.

BOOK RAFFLE: AGAINST AUSTERITY — Enter for a chance to win a copy of Richard Seymour’s book Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made. The book examines the austerity fervor plaguing political discourse worldwide and supplies strategies for preventing future crises. The WINNER will be REVEALED in PP on September 11! E-MAIL PP Editor Hannah Hendler at hhendler@agendaproject.org with the subject line “AGAINST AUSTERITY submission.”

KID TESTED, UNION APPROVED – AFSCME shared a union-made school supplies checklist. CHECK it out HERE.

THE PRICE OF MONEY IN POLITICS — Sunlight Foundation and ReThink Media will host a discussion on money’s influence in politics with Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME). The event will take place on Tuesday, September 16th at OpenGov Hub in Washington, D.C. RSVP HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

SAVE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO and Top Wonk Jamie Rappaport Clark warns that dismantling the Endangered Species Act would lead to preventable extinctions like that of the passenger pigeon.

IMAGINARY SWING VOTERS: Columbia University Professor and Top Wonk Andrew Gelman reveals that “swings” in public opinion polls are rarely due to voters’ changing allegiances and are rather an artifact of changing response rates.

WOMEN’S EQUALITY PROGRESS REPORT: Voter Participation Center Founder and President and Top Wonk Page Gardner commemorates Women’s Equality Day by examining the continued struggle for voting rights and inequality in the U.S.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP congratulates EPI Economist and Top Wonk Heidi Shierholz for her new role as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor!… EPI President Lawrence Mishel: “EPI’s loss is America’s gain” …

 … PP is back with WEEKLY ISSUES! visit our twitter  @PractProgress …

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JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL BROWN…FERGUSON MUST READS…GRANNY GOES GUERRILLA…CREW RECRUITS BROCK AS NEW CHAIR…SPEAK UP TO SAVE THE INTERNET…Book Raffle: Against Austerity…Businesses Backing $10.10…The Toll of Coal…A User’s Guide To Economics…

JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL BROWN – Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) President Richard Cohen summed up the situation in Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown 11 days ago: “It’s tragic. It’s senseless. It’s destructive. How many more innocents must die?” … ACT: SIGN CREDO Action’s petition to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, and Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson demanding an extensive investigation HERESIGN The Nation’s petition to end the militarization of the police HEREDONATE to the official Michael Brown Memorial Fund HEREDONATE to the bail and legal fund for those arrested during Ferguson anti-police demonstrations HEREPURCHASE a “Don’t Shoot” t-shirt–with 100% of the proceeds going to Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment–HERE

FERGUSON MUST READS: “One Nation Under SWAT: How America’s Police Became an Occupying Force” at Salon, “Bringing Policy Secrecy To Light in Ferguson” from Sunlight Foundation, and “The Death of Michael Brown” over at The Nation.

GRANNY GOES GUERRILLAThe Agenda Project Action Fund is happy to announce the return of GRANNY to rally against the release of Rep. Paul Ryan’s new book, The Way Forward. Protesters will meet Rep. Ryan at every stop on his book tour, armed with copies of the REAL “Way Forward.” Granny TELLS PP: “Ryan’s Way Forward is nothing more than a quick shove and a long fall … I have one message for Paul Ryan: you’re not pushing me around anymore!” DOWNLOAD the cover HERE and READPaul Ryan’s Newest Deceit: Why the Hot New Book Has the Same Old Shtick.”

CREW RECRUITS BROCK AS NEW CHAIR — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Media Matters for America Founder and progressive activist David Brock as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Longtime strategic advisor David Mercer and real estate investor and philanthropist Wayne Jordan will also serve as Directors.

David Mercer TELLS PP: “At a time when public opinion of Congress is at or near all-time lows, I welcome the opportunity to join a talented team with an exceptional track record of seeking to restore the public’s trust in our government and Washington, D.C. Both CREW and David Brock are standouts in the accountability business, and together, new resources, creativity and commitment will be brought to bear on the vital work of keeping government transparent and responsive to the American people it serves.”

SPEAK UP TO SAVE THE INTERNET — With over one million submissions and counting, the FCC has extended the deadline for comments on net neutrality to September 15th. SUBMIT your comments HERE and READThe FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal Explained” over at The Nation.

BOOK RAFFLE: AGAINST AUSTERITY — Enter for a chance to win a copy of Richard Seymour’s book Against Austerity: How We Can Fix the Crisis They Made. The book examines the austerity fervor plaguing political discourse worldwide and supplies strategies for preventing future crises. The WINNER will be REVEALED in PP on September 11! E-MAIL PP Editor Hannah Hendler at hhendler@agendaproject.org with the subject line “AGAINST AUSTERITY submission.”

BUSINESSES BACKING $10.10 – Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and Main Street Alliance launched a national campaign that provides businesses with free decals and posters to show their support for a federal minimum wage of at least $10.10. Business for a Fair Minimum Wage CEO Holly Sklar: “Biz owners are much less partisan than Congress when it comes to a fair minimum wage, and this decal is a great way the business community can show support for raising the wage.” ORDER a free decal or poster HERE.

THE TOLL OF COAL — The Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new analysis revealing that proposed coal-export projects in the Powder River Basin will result in as much carbon pollution as 35 million new cars. READ more HERE.

PP MUST READ: “Unaccompanied Children at Our Border: Why They Are Coming, What Happens Once They’re Here and How to Help” over at American Constitution Society’s blog.

A USER’S GUIDE TO ECONOMICS – The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is hosting a discussion and book signing with economist and CEPR Associate Ha-Joon Chang about his new book, Economics: The User’s Guide. The event will take place at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. on September 18th. FIND out more HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

A FAIRER FLORIDA: FairVote Executive Director and Top Wonk Rob Richie proposes two new solutions for Florida’s gerrymandering woes.

DISEASED DEMOCRACY: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich argues that our democracy is infected by the power of monied interests and urges Americans to take power back with voices and votes.

SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY: CEPR Director of Domestic Policy and Top Wonk Nicole Woo warns that in 20 years social security will likely be able to pay only three-quarters of promised benefits to retirees unless the wealthiest start paying the same payroll tax rate as the rest of us.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP is back with WEEKLY ISSUES! … visit our twitter  @PractProgress …

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NORTH CAROLINA VOTING BLOCK…TEAM COCO H20…A YEAR OF ACTION…WITH LIBERTY TO MONITOR ALL…ECONOMIC GROWTH, FROM THE MIDDLE OUT…PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS…Jamie Dimon’s $13 Billion Secret…A Feminist Take On Piketty…Commemorating Freedom Summer…

NORTH CAROLINA VOTING BLOCK — Rock the Vote, Demos, The Brennan Center for Justice, USAction, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, UltraViolet, Color of Change, Demos, Advancement Project, and over 40 other organizations launched a petition to #ProtectVoting in the wake of a North Carolina Federal Judge’s ruling that upheld the state’s highly restrictive voting law. The law reduces early voting from seventeen to ten days, eliminates same-day registration during the early voting period, and prohibits counting provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct. The Nation Magazine Contributing Writer Ari Berman: “North Carolina is the perfect case study for what happened after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act.”

READThe Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014: A Constitutional Response to Shelby County” over at the American Constitution Society and SIGN Demos and MoveOn.Org’s petition to Congress to enhance and pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act HERE.

TEAM COCO H20 — Comedian and talk show host Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter teamed up with the NRDC and Save Our Water–California’s drought awareness program–for a series of comedic PSAs highlighting water conservation amidst the state’s historic drought. WATCH the PSAs and FIND OUT if you are as water smart as Conan O’Brien HERE.

A YEAR OF ACTION7 million workers will benefit from wage increases in the 13 states and the District of Columbia that have raised the minimum wage since early 2013, according to the new progress report on raising the minimum wage released by the White House. Meanwhile, women in female-dominated industries are fighting back against wage theft, unfair schedules, and other unjust practices: Cheerleaders from three NFL teams are taking a stand against wage theft and demeaning requests, hotel workers are are seeing the benefits of their fight against illegally low wages, and domestic workers are taking back their rights in California, Massachusetts, and New York.

READ: “5 Things That Have Changed Since the Federal Minimum Wage Was Last Increased” over at AFL-CIO.

WITH LIBERTY TO MONITOR ALL — Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the ACLU published a new report exposing the increasingly dangerous impact that large-scale surveillance has on journalism, law, and democracy. HRW and ACLU Aryeh Neier Fellow and report author Alex Sinha: “The work of journalists and lawyers is central to our democracy. When their work suffers, so do we.” READ: “With Liberty to Monitor All.”

ECONOMIC GROWTH, FROM THE MIDDLE OUT – Center for American Progress Policy Analyst Brendan Duke argues that overtime reform would help grow the economy from the middle out. Guaranteed overtime rights would help solve three critical economic problems: low consumer demand, slow hiring of the long-term unemployed, and stagnating human capital growth. READ more HERE.

PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS — The Other 98% launched a petition urging the SEC to create new rules in order to protect corporate whistleblowers before another financial crisis. SIGN HERE.

PP MUST READ: “Jamie Dimon’s $13 Billion Secret: The Inside Story of JPMorgan Chase’s Landmark Mortgage Settlement” over at The Nation.

A FEMINIST TAKE ON PIKETTY — Roosevelt Institute Campus Network Director Joelle Gamble joined Center for American Progress Chief Economist and Top Wonk Heather Boushey and other feminist and economic thinkers to examine Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century in the latest installment of The Curve. READ the full column HERE.

COMMEMORATING FREEDOM SUMMER — Advancement Project will be hosting a screening for Stanley Nelson’s new documentary Freedom Summer on August 21st at BusBoys and Poets in Washington, DC. The event will also feature a panel discussion with Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair, as well as other civil rights activists and leaders. REGISTER HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

A PRECARIOUS NEW POPULISM: Campaign for America’s Future Co-Director and Top Wonk Robert Borosage warns that powerful moneyed interests threaten the stability of the alleged victorious new populism.

BIG COAL’S AMNESIA: NRDC Policy Director and Top Wonk David Doniger exposes the false history propagated by coal giant Peabody Energy.

DON’T BLAME THE MARKET: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker explains that the wealth of most of the financial sector is the result of deliberate policy decisions rather than a product of market forces.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP is back from hiatus with WEEKLY ISSUES! Check back every Thursday at 10:30am (EST) … Visit our twitter @PractProgress!

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DETROIT’S WATER WARS…EVEN MARY POPPINS CAN’T LIVE ON THE MIN WAGE…DON’T KILL THE INTERNET…JUSTICE AGAINST GERRYMANDERING…Victory For LGBT Workers…Summer For Respect…American Dreaming…PP Congratulates Champions of Change!…

DETROIT’S WATER WARS — Detroit placed a temporary halt on dangerous water shutoffs following concerted action by the Detroit Water Brigade, People’s Water Board Coalition, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, We the People of Detroit, and many more. READDetroit’s Water War” over at Demos and SIGN the petition urging Detroit to permanently end water shutoffs HERE.

FIVE YEARS SINCE THE LAST MIN WAGE INCREASE — Minimum wage workers have faced cuts to their purchasing power since the federal wage was last raised in 2009, amounting to $6,090,903,277–and quickly rising–according to CEPR’s new Minimum Wage Workers Pay Cut Clock. To commemorate the anniversary, 66 paycheck fairness advocacy organizations including NELP, CAP Action Fund, MomsRising, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, EMILY’s List, NWLC, EPI’s Policy Center, Smart Capitalists for American Prosperity, and the Agenda Project challenged Congress to live off $77 for this week–the standard budget for full-time minimum wage employee. Participants include Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), and Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13). FIND OUT more about the Live the Wage Challenge HERE and TWEET #LiveTheWage.

Funny or Die released a new video parody of Mary Poppins quitting because she can’t live on the minimum wage … WATCH HERE! … COULD YOU live on the minimum wage for 30 days? PLAYSpent” to find out HERE!

DON’T KILL THE INTERNET — Protesters from Color of Change, Common Cause, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and MoveOn.org gathered Wednesday outside a high-profile fundraiser with President Obama to urge the Administration to act and protect net neutrality. Over 1 million people submitted comments to the FCC before the comment period ended last Friday. READ: “The FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal Explained” over at The Nation.

JUSTICE AGAINST GERRYMANDERING — A Tallahassee judge just ruled that Florida’s re-drawn congressional map intentionally favors Republicans and is thus in violation of anti-gerrymandering standards implemented in 2010. FairDistricts Florida Alliance Chairman Chris Findlater tells PP: “Sharing the Fair Districts victory to provide Florida citizens with representation demonstrates that our democracy lives on.” READ MORE about the ruling HERE.

VICTORY FOR LGBT WORKERS — American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Executive Director Anthony D. Romero lauded President Obama’s Executive Order barring workplace discrimination for LGBT workers: “This is one of the most important actions ever taken by a president to eradicate LGBT discrimination from America’s workplaces.” The order applies to 30,000 companies employing 28 million workers — one-fifth of the US workforce.

SUMMER FOR RESPECTOUR Walmart and Columbia University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) sent 20 students from across the country to help amplify the voices of Walmart workers and to organize them for higher wages and better working conditions. Participant Brian Kundinger tells PP: “Walmart really sets the bar for how other places decide how to treat their workers…we’re seeing the effects of Walmart strategically destroying the middle class in a very real way.” READ more about the project and LISTEN to Walmart employees’ stories HERE.

AMERICAN DREAMING — Living the “American Dream” would cost the average family of four $130,000 a year … only one in eight households made that much in 2013. READ more HERE.

UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIPS The Good Fight Host Ben Wikler sat down with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to discuss his alliance with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in pursuit of criminal justice reform. The unlikely duo has teamed up to push for passage of the REDEEM Act, which would remove barriers that non-violent offenders face upon reentering society post-incarceration. SIGN the MoveOn.org petition urging Congress to support the REDEEM Act HERE.

PREDATORY LENDING – Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new report exposing the dangers posed by short-term predatory lenders. The report offers policy recommendations for more efficient regulations and less risky credit alternatives for vulnerable consumers. CAP Director of Asset Building and Report Author Joe Valenti: “All too often, consumers find that the loan they thought would solve their problems only makes things worse.” READ the full report HERE.

THE STATE OF THE STATES – The Center for Reproductive Rights (CERR) released the State of the States, a 2014 Mid-Year Review on reproductive rights policies across the country. CERR Policy and Advocacy Advisor Kelly Baden: “From Arizona to Georgia, and many places in between, lawmakers are continuing to spend their time making women’s lives harder instead of addressing the real problems their constituents face.” READ: “11 Things you Need to Know.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

BANKING SENSE: Nobel Prize winner and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz celebrates the new BRICS Bank as a powerful challenge to the US-dominated World Bank and IMF.

WORKING HARD OR HARDLY WORKING?: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich debunks the myth of meritocracy in his examination of the rise of the non-working rich.

GLASS HALF FULL: NRDC President and Top Wonk Francis Beinecke examines the diversity of voices calling for action on climate change, exposing a drastic shift in the national conversation.

FATHER KNOWS BEST?: Alliance for Justice President and Top Wonk Nan Aron slams the Supreme Court for its latest paternalistic treatment of women, citing three recent decisions that subject women to conditions never applied to men.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … PP congratulates Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United Co-Founder Saru Jayaraman and National Employment Law Project Executive Director Christine Owens for being named Raise the Wage Champions of Change by the White House! …

PP will be on hiatus until August 14th when we will be BACK WITH WEEKLY ISSUES … in the meantime check out our twitter @PractProgress for your daily dose of progress! …

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HOBBY LOBBY GUTS WOMEN’S RIGHTS…ACT NOW TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY…THE FIGHT AGAINST VOTER SUPPRESSION…WAGE WAR…Black Women In Politics…The Real Government Dependents…Patriotic Millionaire Nick Hanauer: The Pitchforks Are Coming…

HOBBY LOBBY GUTS WOMEN’S RIGHTS — Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northrup slammed the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. ruling, stating: “This astonishingly backward-looking decision makes one troubling pronouncement after another, turning back the clock on what should have been an historic measure of progress for women’s health and empowerment.” The devastating ruling dictates that “closely-held” for-profit secular corporations are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act … to combat the ruling, Planned Parenthood launched a text helpline for those affected. TEXT “birth control” to 69866 to report denial of coverage and receive information about how to get access

Democratic Senators Patty Murray (WA) and Mark Udall (CO) are expediting the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act–nicknamed the “Not My Boss’ Business Bill”–that would override the SCOTUS ruling and ensure that employers cover contraception for their workers. SIGN Planned Parenthood’s petition to Congress HERE.

HOBBY LOBBY MUST READS: “Where Will the Slippery Slope of ‘Hobby Lobby’ End?,” “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Was Right, and We Already Have Proof,” and “Alito’s ‘Hobby Lobby’ Opinion Is Dangerous and Discriminatory” over at The Nation.

ACT NOW TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY — The ACLU, CREDO Action, Free Press, MoveOn, and the National Organization for Women (NOW), and nearly 100 other progressive organizations sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the President urging against the Chairman’s proposal that would end net neutrality. If approved, Internet service providers would be able to slow and potentially block online content, effectively creating a two-tiered Internet. The FCC’s comment period to hear arguments from the general public ends NEXT TUESDAY, July 15th. COMMENT at the FCC, CALL your member of Congress, and SPREAD the word to save net neutrality.

READThe FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal Explained” and WATCH Gov. Howard Dean’s public comment to the FCC HERE.

THE FIGHT AGAINST VOTER SUPPRESSION — A North Carolina NAACP-backed legal team began arguments on Monday in a federal hearing to stop the worst effects of the state’s restrictive voting law, H.B. 589. The legal team, which includes attorneys from Advancement Project, is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the law from disenfranchising voters in the 2014 midterm elections by arguing that it violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that it disproportionately impacts African American voters. Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair: “Even with all of the statistics and legal arguments about North Carolina’s voter suppression law, this case is about voters. Throughout the hearing we will lift up their stories because so much is at stake.”

SIGN Rock the Vote’s “Don’t Block the Vote” petition HERE.

WAGE WAR – Top restaurant industry CEOs made 721 times more than minimum wage workers in 2013, according to new findings by the Economic Policy Institute. Meanwhile, the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) released a new report revealing that states that raised their minimum wage in 2014 had stronger job growth than those that did not. READ: “A Cure For Bloated CEO Pay,” by CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker.

BLACK WOMEN IN POLITICS — Higher Heights, Center for American Progress, and Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics released a new report indicating that black women are consistently underrepresented at all levels of political office. The report includes a strategy for making black women’s voices heard and expanding their political leadership. FIND OUT MORE about Higher Heights and READ the full report HERE.

SUMMERTIME SADNESS – Ten percent of all water samples collected last year from 3,500 US beaches contained bacteria levels that fail safety tests, according to a new study by the NRDC. They also published a tip sheet exposing eight summertime woes that will worsen without a climate change intervention. These summertime hazards include more heat waves, more disease-carrying insects, worse air quality, and increasingly dangerous swimming conditions.

THE REAL GOVERNMENT DEPENDENTS — Center for American Progress released a new report revealing that the government subsidizes the wealthy in the form of a subsidy for inherited wealth and low tax rates for capital gains and dividends. If it weren’t for these two tax expenditures, federal revenues would be more than enough to pay for all federal programs over the next 10 years. READ the full report HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

A NEW NEW DEAL: Center for American Progress Senior Economist and Top Wonk Heather Boushey outlines a new agenda for American families and the economy, inspired by FDR’s New Deal and adjusted to reflect the increased role of women in the workplace.

THE RESULTS ARE IN: University of Chicago Professor of Law and Top Wonk Aziz Huq releases broad-based survey results indicating that the majority of Americans oppose religious rights for corporations.

RICH PEOPLE, POOR CHOICES: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich explains how the super-rich are working against their own economic self-interest.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … Investor and Patriotic Millionaire Nick Hanauer warns that pitchforks will come for plutocrats if inequality continues to rise … READ more HERE!

Visit our twitter @PractProgress!

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FREEDOM SUMMER…THE TRUE COST OF RETAIL…A FAMILY AFFAIR…WITNESS WEDNESDAYS…KOCH BROTHERS EXPOSED…A Changing American Electorate…Does Feminism Have a Class Problem?…More from the Wonk Wire!…

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FREEDOM SUMMER – Fifty years after hundreds of student volunteers joined forces with Mississippi organizers to register African American voters, the North Carolina NAACP has launched Moral Freedom Summer, a program placing fifty highly-trained youth organizers to fifty counties throughout North Carolina to register African American voters and to engage in voter education.

Meanwhile, youth organizers from around the country are heading to Jackson, Mississippi this week for the Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference. The conference will lay out an inter-generational action plan for today’s civil right’s movement, and will also be attended by members of a youth organizing network called The Freedom Side–which includes Dream Defenders, Black Youth Project, United We Dream, Better Schools Better Jobs, and Advancement Project. CHECK OUT the full agenda HERE.

THE TRUE COST OF RETAIL1.3 million women working in the retail industry live in or near poverty, according to new findings by Demos. Women currently lose an estimated $40.8 billion annually due to the gender gap in retail … Earlier this month working moms employed by Walmart walked off the job in 20 cities across the US to demand better pay and working conditions, organized by OUR Walmart (Organization United for Respect). FIND OUT more about the group HERE.

Meanwhile, Roosevelt Institute breaks down why CEO pay is not only harmful to the average worker but also general economic stability. READ: “Taking Stock: Why Executive Pay Results in an Unstable and Inequitable Economy.”

A FAMILY AFFAIR — Demos will host a panel discussion on the political and practical lessons New Yorkers can glean from the implementation of paid family leave in New Jersey and California. The panel will include experts Donna Dolan, Sherry Leiwant, and CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk Eileen Appelbaum. The event will take place tomorrow, June 24th, at the Demos offices in New York. RSVP HERE.

WITNESS WEDNESDAYS — The Center for Effective Government, the National Employment Law Project, the Coalition on Human Needs, and the National Women’s Law Center are organizing Witness Wednesdays, a national effort to push for the passage of federal long-term unemployment benefits. Witness Wednesdays take place at the House Triangle at 12:30 EST every week through July 30th.

Center for Effective Government President and CEO Katherine McFate: “This should not be a partisan issue — there are unemployed Republicans as well as unemployed as well Democrats, all of them hardworking Americans who are wondering why we’ve abandoned them in their time of need.” 

NO VACANCY — Alliance for Justice released a new report indicating that Senate Democrats have reduced the number of judicial vacancies to a five-year low. READ the full findings HERE.

KOCH BROTHERS EXPOSED — A new report by The Nation exposes the Koch Brothers’ billionaire summit, offering a behind-the-scenes look at what happens when the world’s richest and most powerful conservatives meet behind closed doors. READ more HERE.

MoveOn.org is organizing a set of viewing parties for “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition.” FIND a party near you HERE.

A CHANGING AMERICAN ELECTORATE — Center for American Progress released a new report analyzing the potential effects of the growing Latino electorate, pointing to the rising influence of American-born children of Latino immigrants. These new voters will make it increasingly difficult for anti-immigration Republicans to win elections. READ the full report HERE.

DOES FEMINISM HAVE A CLASS PROBLEM? — The Nation launched a new project called The Curve, a bimonthly roundtable blog exploring questions related to the intersection of economy and gender. The Curve will feature voices of the nation’s leading economy and gender experts, including Demos President and Top Wonk Heather McGhee. READ The Curve’s first installment HERE.

THE CASE FOR PLACE, NOT RACE — The Brennan Center for Justice will host a conversation with Sheryll Cashin on her new book, Place, Not Race, this Thursday June 26th in New York. Cashin’s book provides a new framework for achieving truly equal opportunity in education, including proposals for making standardized testing optional and replacing merit-based financial aid and need-based financial aid. RSVP HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

WHAT MIDDLE CLASS?: Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner examines the disappearance of the American middle class and investigates the steps we can take to rebuild it.

CAPPING CARBON: NRDC President and Top Wonk Frances Beinecke praises the EPA’s new limits on carbon pollution, calling it the most important step the nation can take to fight climate change.

REGISTRATION AS REPARATION: NAACP President and Top Wonk Benjamin Todd Jealous argues that communities of color have the potential to shift the balance of power in southern states if Democrats make large investments in voter registration.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … Visit our twitter @PractProgress! …

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RAISING AMERICA’S PAY…GREEN IS THE NEW COAL…ARRESTED FOR A SCIENCE PROJECT…Patriotic Millionaires Sponsor Warren and Piketty…Smart Capitalists on CNN’s Inside Man…

RAISING AMERICA’S PAY — Wal-Mart’s lowest paid workers could have an extra $5.13 an hour in their pockets if the company repurchased $6.6 billion of sold stock and invested it in raising wages, according to new findings by Demos. Meanwhile, taxpayers currently spend $7.8 billion a year subsidizing the retailer and the Walton family. Yesterday the Economic Policy Institute launched Raising America’s Pay, a three-year initiative to make wage growth an urgent national policy priority. FIND OUT what your wages would be if they had grown with productivity with EPI’s Potential Wage Calculator HERE.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson just came out in support of a minimum wage hike and Seattle made history by raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

MIN WAGE MUST READS — “Retail’s Choice: How Raising Wages and Improving Schedules for Women in the Retail Industry Would Benefit America” and “Raising America’s Pay: Why It’s Our Central Economic Challenge.”

GREEN IS THE NEW COAL – NRDC President and Top Wonk Frances Beinecke lauded the EPA’s proposal to set a national cap on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants: “Strong carbon pollution standards will be good for our health, good for our economy and good for our children and all future generations.” The new standards could save Americans 37.4 billion on electric bills and create 274,000 jobs, according to new findings by the NRDC.

READ CAP’s “Fundamental Facts of the EPA’s Climate Protection Proposal” and “The GOP Is Freaking Out Over the EPA’s Carbon Rules. Why Aren’t Power Companies?” over at The Nation.

ARRESTED FOR A SCIENCE PROJECT — Advancement Project launched a new video detailing the experience of Kiera Wilmot, a 16 year-old honors student of color who fell victim to the school-to-prison pipeline when she was booked on felony charges and later expelled after her science experiment went awry. Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis summed it up: “Kiera’s experience is indicative of a larger school discipline crisis … All young people make mistakes; it’s part of growing up. We need disciplinary policies that help students learn from their mistakes, not pay for them for the rest of their lives.” WATCH HERE.

CORPORATE CONFESSIONS — Over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies channeled profits into tax havens last year, according to new findings by Citizens for Tax Justice.  FIND OUT more HERE.

MITIGATING INEQUALITY — The Roosevelt Institute released a new report by economist and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz revealing the concrete ways that tax reform can be used to combat income inequality. The findings challenge the supposed tradeoff between growth and equity by detailing the tax reforms that can effectively achieve both. READ more HERE.

VOTING BLOCK – Advancement Project and Co-counsel Arnold and Porter challenged Wisconsin officials on Monday for their push to rush implementation of a new state law that would erect voting barriers for seniors and people of color. Despite the fact that a federal court recently struck down the state’s voter ID law as an unconstitutional violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Governor Scott Walker and state officials took exception to the ruling. Advancement Project Co-Director and Top Wonk Penda D. Hair: “As the leading democracy in the world, it is our responsibility to ensure states do not put in place laws that hinder citizens’ inalienable right to vote. States across the nation have an obligation to ensure that citizens have equal access to the ballot.”

CITIZENS DIVIDED — The Brennan Center for Justice is hosting a book talk with Robert C. Post on his new book, Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution. The book examines the two sides of the debate around the controversial Citizens United v. FEC decision and presents a constitutional theory that seeks to reconcile the two opposing camps. The event will take place on Wednesday, June 18th at NYU Law’s Lipton Hall. RSVP HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE OF OUR TIME: Former Secretary of Labor and Top Wonk Robert Reich exposes the striking resemblance between the current plight of low-wage workers and the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.

THE DANGERS OF DOWNSIZING: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker warns that downsizing the presently efficient social security system would make it look a lot more like the Department of Veterans Affairs.

DENIAL IS NOT JUST A RIVER IN EGYPT: Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner critiques Republicans’ present party platform of denial, exemplified by the Grand Old Party’s recent denial of both climate change and income inequality.

FRIGHTENING FRIENDSHIPS: Demos Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Nomi Prins explores the hidden alliances between Wall Street and the White House that drive American policymaking in her new book All the President’s Bankers.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA

The Patriotic Millionaires sponsored a landmark discussion between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and economist Thomas Piketty last Saturday. WATCH the conversation in full HERE

The Smart Capitalists were featured on CNN’s Inside Man, hosted by famed Super Size Director Morgan Spurlock. The segment followed the Smart Capitalists throughout their February lobby day and to witness the President sign an executive order raising the minimum wage of federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour. WATCH HERE

… PP mourns the loss of poet, activist, and Presidential Medal of Honor recipient Maya Angelou … READ: “Maya Angelou: A Hymn to Human Endurance” …

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SAVE THE INTERNET…DO YOU WANT FAIR WAGES WITH THAT?…JUSTICE AGAINST GERRYMANDERING…BROWN V. BOARD TURNS 60…AP Action Releases Stop the Greedy Clown…Patriotic Millionaires and Huffington Post Host Piketty and Warren on May 31st…

SAVE THE INTERNET — Members from MoveOn, CREDO Action, and Free Press rallied outside of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Washington, D.C. headquarters and in 19 cities last Thursday to protest FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal that would effectively create a two-tiered Internet and eradicate Net Neutrality by allowing Internet service providers to slow and/or block content. After a 3-2 vote to proceed with the proposal, the FCC has opened a 120 day comment period to hear arguments from the general public. COMMENT at the FCC, CALL your member of Congress, and SPREAD the word.

The ACLU, CREDO Action, Free Press, MoveOn, NOW, and nearly 100 other organizations sent a letter to Chairman Wheeler and the President urging against the proposal. A group of 50 noted musicians, actors, and other members of the creative community sent a similar letter.

READVerizon, the FCC and What You Need to Know About Net Neutrality” and “The Next Four Months Will Decide the Future of the Internet,” and SIGN a petition to the FCC demanding protection of net neutrality over at The Nation.

DO YOU WANT FAIR WAGES WITH THAT? — Last Thursday fast food workers in 150 cities and on six continents walked off the job to protest for fair wages and the right to unionize. The demonstrations, coordinated by Fast Food Forward, were the largest to date since the movement began at a New York City McDonald’s in 2012. 52 percent of front-line fast-food workers are enrolled in one of more public programs, compared to 25 percent of the US workforce as a whole. Meanwhile, fast food CEOs make 1,200 times more than their employees. SIGN Low Pay Is Not Ok petition, calling for $15 an hour wages and the ability to form a union without intimidation, HERE.

On the eve of the protests, The Agenda Project Action Fund released “STOP THE GREEDY CLOWN,” a behind-the-scenes look at Ronald McDonald working Republican politicians, trading campaign contributions for bad policy. WATCH HERE and TWEET #StopTheGreedyClown.

JUSTICE AGAINST GERRYMANDERING – A two-week civil trial began in Tallahassee on Monday to investigate how the boundaries of Florida’s congressional map were redrawn in 2012 by Republican-led state lawmakers. This is a landmark court battle over the state’s once-a-decade redistricting task under the 2010 Fair Districts amendments, which prevent lawmakers from redrawing congressional maps to influence the outcome of elections. FairDistricts Florida Alliance Chairman Chris Findlater tells PP: “I would have never thought I’d be thrilled to be in court.”

BROWN V. BOARD TURNS 60 — Last week Advancement Project–on behalf of the Journey for Justice Alliance, a grassroots coalition of community and education justice organizations across 21 cities–filed three complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the use of federal funds. The complaints allege racially discriminatory school closures in Newark, Chicago, and New Orleans. Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis: “In each of the cities where we filed Title VI complaints, African-American children are being uprooted, shuffled around and ultimately sent to schools that are no better than the one that closed. Districts are shirking their responsibility to educate our children and instead are giving multi-million dollar contracts to companies to do the job. In each city, African-American students’ hopes of equal educational opportunities are being dashed.”

The filings came on the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark decision that struck down the “separate but equal” doctrine from public schools. Journey for Justice Alliance released a new report in conjunction with the filings, revealing that public school closures and the growth of charter schools expand the school-to-prison pipeline, undermine educational quality, and compromise children’s health and safety. READ: “Death by a Thousand Cuts: Racism, School Closures, and Public School Sabotage.”

INEQUALITY FOR IMMIGRANTS — Center for American Project (CAP) released new findings that expose the high costs of the Department of Homeland Security’s detainee bed quotas. 30 percent of the 34,000 immigrants detained each day would be eligible for release if not for the quota set by Congress in 2009. The arbitrary quota also costs taxpayers more than $2 billion per year. READ: “Congress’ Costly Detention Quota.”

(NOT SO) GREAT EXPECTATIONS — The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are in court challenging legal restrictions in Alabama that would place unrealistic operational burdens on three of the five licensed health care centers that provide abortions. The law, signed in 2013, requires doctors to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, effectively forcing the health care centers to close. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards: “We all want to protect women’s health and safety. This law won’t do that — in fact; it will do the opposite.”

THE REAL IMPACT OF PRIVATE EQUITY — Senior Economist at the Center for Economic Policy Research and Top Wonk Eileen Appelbaum published Private Equity at Work, a new book that examines private equity firms’ real impact on the companies that buy and sell. The book reveals how private equity firms’ business strategies disproportionately benefit the firm’s partners at the expense of other stakeholders and taxpayers. READ more HERE.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

PIKETTY SPLIT: Demos Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Richard Brodsky defends Thomas Piketty against naysayers, arguing that the book marks a paradigm shift that will definitively alter the national inequality debate.

NOT IN MY BACKYARD: Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign and Top Wonk Mary Anne Hitt warns that power plants’ coal ash waste might be contaminating mass water supplies.

SUPREME GOLDFISH: Brennan Center Fellow and Top Wonk Ciara Torres-Spelliscy connects the dots between goldfish and the US Supreme Court when it comes to campaign finance laws.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA ...

The Patriotic Millionaires and the Huffington Post will be co-hosting a conversation with French economist Thomas Piketty and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at Boston’s Old South Meeting House on May 31st. The event is open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, but will also be aired on HuffPost Live. To submit a question for Warren and/or Piketty, E-MAIL ryan@huffingtonpost.com or TWEET @ryangrim. FIND OUT more HERE

… The Agenda Project has opened its new headquarters in Washington, DC! E-mail us for more information … Visit our twitter @PractProgress …

 

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