CLIMATE MARCHES HEAT UP — 400,000 people gathered in Manhattan last Sunday for the People’s Climate March, the largest demonstration of its kind in history. The event was organized by over 1,500 organizations including 350.org, Alliance for Global Justice, Amnesty International, Auburn Seminary, Clean Water Action, Common Cause, CREDO, Defenders of Wildlife, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, NAACP, NRDC, Rainforest Action Network, The Other 98%, and SEIU. New York City Environmental Justice Alliance Executive Director Eddie Bautista: “We said it would take everyone to change everything–and everyone showed up” … The following day 3,000 people dressed in blue and flooded Wall Street, demanding accountability for corporations and banks that are worsening the climate crisis. Top Wonk Naomi Klein told the crowd: “We don’t just want action from our elites, we demand justice from below.” READ her article ”Climate Change Is a People’s Shock” over at The Nation.
…MEANWHILE, MAJOR CORPORATIONS DUMP ALEC: Following such concerted action, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, and Yelp all followed Microsoft’s lead and announced this week that they will not renew funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) due to the Council’s position on climate change–the latest major blow to the conservative group. Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt: “We should not be aligned with such people. They are just literally lying” … The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also recently announced that it is joining a philanthropic coalition to divest $50 billion from fossil fuel investments. Sierra Club Executive Director and Top Wonk Michael Brune says it best: “Climate deniers are the new tobacco executives–nobody wants to be seen with them.”
ROCK THE VOTE — Members from a coalition including the NAACP, ACLU, and People for the American Way gathered last week to deliver a petition with over 500,000 signatures supporting the Voting Rights Amendment Act to Speaker John Boehner, who responded by locking his door … Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. REGISTER to vote HERE.
IT’S ON US — The White House launched It’s On Us, a campaign to address sexual assaults on campuses across the country. The initiative is in coordination with Generation Progress and supported by the NCAA and student leaders from 200 college campuses. SIGN the It’s On Us pledge HERE and WATCH the PSA featuring Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington, Connie Britton, Questlove, and many others HERE.
WORKING WAGE ROUNDUP — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand summed up the state of working women and the economy at a recent Center for American Progress (CAP) event: “The number one thing we could do to help our economy grow is tap into the full economic potential of women who need and want to be in the workforce.” WATCH the discussion, also featuring Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Patty Murray, and CAP President Neera Tanden HERE … The gender wage gap remains virtually unchanged, according to the 2013 Poverty and Income Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week. READ: “7 Actions that Could Shrink The Gender Wage Gap” and “The Top 3 Things You Need to Know About the 2013 Poverty and Income Data.”
CAP’s Half in Ten initiative released an interactive poverty map. LEARN about inequality statistics in your area HERE.
EDUCATION EQUALITY — Officials at the U.S. Department of Education opened a Title VI federal civil rights complaint filed in May by Advancement Project on behalf of Journey for Justice Alliance, a grassroots coalition of community and education justice organizations across 21 cities. The complaint alleges racial discrimination in the closing of schools in New Orleans that serve predominantly black students. This is the third Title VI investigation concerning school closures–all filed by Advancement Project and Journey for Justice–that the Education Department has opened in the last two months.
PP MUST READ: “Five Ways Occupy Wall Street Is Still Fighting” over at Rolling Stone.
INVERSION UPDATE — Citizens for Tax Justice Director Robert S. McIntyre reacted to President Obama’s regulatory action announced on Monday that will discourage tax avoidance through corporate inversions: “The Treasury Department’s new rules will make it harder for corporations to get away with claiming they are foreign to avoid taxes, but only congressional action can stop it in its tracks … The victims of inaction will be ordinary patriotic Americans, who pay their taxes every year.”
WHICH STREET? — The Center for Economic and Policy Research will host “When Wall Street Manages Main Street: Shining a Light on the Shadow Banking System” on October 21st at 7:00pm. CEPR Senior Economist and Top Wonk Eileen Appelbaum and Cornell Professor Rosemary Blatt will speak. DETAILS HERE.
FROM THE WONK WIRE …
… KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF PRISON: Brennan Center for Justice Program Director and Top Won Inimai Chettiar suggests that federal prosecutors should shift their focus away from conviction rates and instead use reduction of violent crime, prison populations, and recidivism as measures of success.
Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.
… ON OUR AGENDA … PP congratulates U.S. Department of the Interior President Rhea Suh for her new role as NRDC President when current President and Top Wonk Frances Beinecke retires in January after 40 years with the organization … Suh: “I’m honored to join NRDC, our nation’s intrepid defender of clean air, safe water, and wild places” …
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