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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FAST FOOD FAIL…AN EVENING WITH BERNIE SANDERS…DOLLAR AND RENTS…WEDDING CRASHERS…Wisconsin Voting Rights Victory…The Class of 2014…You Salt My Fry, I’ll Salt Yours…New Agenda Project Headquarters!…

FAST FOOD FAIL – Demos released findings last week that fast food CEOs make 1,200 times more than their employees, making it the industry with the greatest CEO-to-worker pay disparity in the United States. Next Thursday, May 15th, fast food workers will strike in 150 cities and stage protests in 33 countries to demand a $15 hourly wage. In wake of the failure of the Senate to vote for cloture on the Fair Minimum Wage Act, AP Action released “If You Salt My Fry, I’ll Salt Yours,” a new video skewering McDonald’s and GOP leaders for defeating a minimum wage increase and keeping millions of fast food workers in poverty. WATCH HERE.

One million U.S. veterans, 4.7 million mothers, and 3.6 million workers of color would all directly benefit from the Fair Minimum Wage Act. Hawaii became the third state this year to raise its minimum wage to $10.10, following Connecticut and Maryland. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, states that raised their minimum wage in 2014 had stronger job growth than those who did not … Meanwhile, Seattle is set to raise its minimum wage to $15.

AN EVENING WITH BERNIE SANDERSThe Nation magazine will be hosting a conversation with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Nation Washington correspondent John Nichols TONIGHT in Northhampton, MA, as part of the magazine’s Project 45 initiative. Sen. Sanders will be discussing the state of U.S. politics and his possible 2016 presidential run. The event is co-sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America and WHMP AM/FM, and is free and open to the public. FIND OUT more and RSVP HERE, or CHECK OUT the live-stream at TheNation.com HERE.

DOLLAR AND RENTS – The Center for American Progress (CAP) published a new brief linking unbridled campaign contributions and lobbying with inefficient economic policy. Such an impediment is primarily due to rent-seeking–”the process of seeking income through government favors rather than through productive economic activity.” CAP notes that rent-seeking disrupts economic growth because it focuses on funneling income to wealthier individuals rather than promoting  overall economic development. These findings come in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent McCutcheon v. FEC ruling that abolished individual spending caps on campaign contributions. READ the full report HERE.

SIGN Democracy for America’s petition urging Congress to pass the Government by the People Act–which would match small-dollar donations with public funds–HERE.

WEDDING CRASHERS — The ACLU and Orange is the New Black star Lea LeDaria will host the “My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding” reception to celebrate the contest’s five winning couples in New York City on May 19th. “My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding” was launched last December to promote marriage equality in the 33 states that have yet to legalize same-sex marriage. The five couples that came up with the most creative ways to travel across state lines to tie the knot are set to receive $5,000 towards their dream wedding. ENTER to win a free trip for two to New York City to “crash” the marquee wedding reception HERE.

WI VOTING RIGHTS VICTORY — Advancement Project Managing Director for Programs James Eichner lauded a Wisconsin federal court’s ruling that struck down the state’s voter ID law as unconstitutional: “Wisconsin has long been recognized as the Selma of the North, and this case illustrates just why the Midwestern state bears this harrowing distinction. Wisconsin’s discriminatory voter ID law is virtually indistinguishable from Jim Crow laws of earlier eras, which required poll taxes, property requirements, literacy tests and other contrived, racist measures designed to prevent African Americans from voting. We are encouraged the court concurred and took action to strike down Wisconsin’s voter ID law. For those who believe that in a democracy elections should be free, fair and accessible to all, this is a victory of monumental proportions.”

This ruling marks the first time a voter ID law has been defeated under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting practices on the basis of color, race, and/or language. Advancement Project and the pro bono law firm Arnold & Porter LLP challenged the discriminatory law on behalf of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Wisconsin; Cross Lutheran Church; Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and Wisconsin League of Young Voters Education Fund.

THE CLASS OF 2014 — College graduates who are entering the labor force this year will have reduced earnings for the next 10-15 years, according to new data released by the Economic Policy Institute. READ: “The Class of 2014: The Weak Economy Is Idling Too Many Young Graduates,” co-authored by EPI Economist and Top Wonk Heidi Shierholz.

FROM THE WONK WIRE

NAUSEATING NOSTALGIA: Demos Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Richard Brodsky shames the right for recent patterns of racism in conservative rhetoric.

DOWN TO EARTH: Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO and Top Wonk Jamie Rappaport Clark breaks down the strong history of American conservationism in honor of this year’s Earth Day.

PRICKLY PRIVATIZATION: CEPR Co-Director and Top Wonk Dean Baker interrogates the Senate Finance Committee members’ push to privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA

… Last week the Agenda Project Action Fund released “You Salt My Fry, I’ll Salt Yours,” a McMocumentary featuring Ronald McDonald as a cigar-smoking, wheeler-dealer paying off politicians so he can keep workers in poverty and on public assistance. WATCH HERE

… The Agenda Project has opened its new headquarters in Washington, DC! E-mail us for more information … Check out and FOLLOW PP’s TWITTER ** @PractProgress **

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NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE VICTORY…CALL FOR A RAISE…SPEAKING OF EQUAL PAY…THE WORST THING SINCE CITIZENS UNITED…Align Against the Pipeline…Ryan Budget Hurts Poor, Surprises No One…The Nation Live-streams Thomas Piketty TONIGHT…

NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE VICTORY — Yesterday Gov. Cuomo (D-NY) signed legislation adding New York State to the National Popular Vote (NPV) Compact. The state joins California, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington in an interstate agreement that commits their electoral college votes to the presidential candidate with the national popular vote. NPV currently has 165–or 61 percent–of 270 votes necessary to secure a majority stake in the Electoral College.

CALL FOR A RAISE – AFSCME created a patch-through hotline for people to call their Senators and urge them to support the upcoming floor vote on the Fair Minimum Wage Act. CALL 1-888-851-1916 and SHARE with people you know. Last week the Progressive States Network held a national week of action for “Real Prosperity Across America,” where 45 state legislators in 20 states participated in events highlighting the need to raise the minimum wage. NETWORK Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell: “Giving a just salary to those who work hard every day is good for our nation and good for our economy. Give America a raise so that all hardworking people can support their families.” AFL-CIO released their annual Executive Paywatch Report this Tuesday which found that on average CEOs make 774 times more minimum wage workers. Meanwhile, Maryland just voted to raise their minimum wage to $10.10 by 2018.

MIN WAGE MUST READS: “Food Stamps Don’t Keep Walmart’s Prices Low, They Keep Its Profits High,” “It’s Time to Raise the Minimum Wage,” “6 Surprising Facts About the Minimum Wage,” and “These Three Business Owners Have Happily Raised the Wage.”

SPEAKING OF EQUAL PAY …  Women’s participation in the labor market added $1.7 trillion to the GDP in the last decade, according to new findings by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and the Center for American Progress (CAP). Despite this fact, in 2013 the average female worker made $3.01 an hour less than her male counterpart. CAP Senior Fellow, Co-Author of the report, and Top Wonk Heather Boushey: “The finding that the movement of women out of the home has a measurable impact on GDP and on the middle class make the need to restructure our employment standards for the reality of the 21st century work force even more urgent.” READ: “The Economic Importance of Women’s Rising Hours of Work” and “Fair Pay for Women Starts With a Fair Minimum Wage.”

LET’S GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT — TheNation.com will be live-streaming a forum on French economist Thomas Piketty’s new book, Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, today at 6pm EST. The event is hosted by the CUNY Graduate Center and will feature University of Wisconsin-Madison Economics Professor Steven Durlauf, Princeton University Professor Paul Krugman, and Nobel Prize Winner and Top Wonk Joseph Stiglitz. READ The Nation’s review of Piketty’s book and WATCH the discussion LIVE TODAY HERE.

THE WORST THING SINCE CITIZENS UNITED — Demos Vice President of Legal Strategies slammed the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. FEC ruling that abolished individual caps on political contributions: “[The] decision shows how fatally flawed the Court’s approach to money in politics has become. It will do incalculable harm to our democracy, allowing millions of new dollars to flow. This will lead to even further domination of our politics and public policy by the economic elite, pushing ordinary Americans further out of the political process. READ Demos’ new report, “McCutcheon Money: The Projected Impact of Striking Aggregate Contribution Limits” and WATCH Demos President and Top Wonk Heather McGhee‘s reaction to the Court’s ruling.

This is the sixth Roberts Court decision in the past seven years that has weakened campaign finance laws. The Brennan Center for Justice breaks down the previous pro-money cases HERE.

SIGN Democracy for America’s petition urging Congress to pass the Government by the People Act–which would match small-dollar donations with public funds–HERE. Bloomberg Businessweek, Salon, Politico, and The Daily Beast also covered the story.

ADVANCING JUSTICE — Advancement Project will be hosting a panel discussion in honor of the organization’s 15th anniversary on April 23 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Advancing Justice: Faces of the Modern Movement for Racial Justice will be moderated by MSNBC host Karen Finnery, and feature North Carolina NAACP State Conference President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Dream Defenders Executive Director Philip Agnew, and Advancement Project Co-Directors Penda D. Hair and Judith Browne Dianis. FIND OUT more HERE.

ALIGN AGAINST THE PIPELINE – Over 100 leading scientists and economists signed a letter last week urging the President to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The group joins 200 business owners, Silicon Valley venture capitalists, professors, and more than 2 million online signees. The proposed 1,179 mile Keystone XL Pipeline would pump tar sands oils from Alberta, Canada to Texas refineries. READ NRDC’s issue brief “Climate Impacts of the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline” and SIGN the NoKXL Pledge of Resistance, organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, and the Other 98%.

RYAN BUDGET HURTS POOR, SURPRISES NO ONE69 percent of cuts in Paul Ryan’s new budget proposal come from programs for people with low or moderate incomes, according to new findings by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Meanwhile, millionaires would receive average tax cut of at least $200,000. READHow the Ryan Budget Fails Our Economy by Failing Economics” over at CAP.

The New York Times, Huffington Post, MSNBC, USA Today, and Politico also covered the story.

TRAFFICK REPORT — At an event featuring Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), sponsor of the bi-partisan End Sex Trafficking Act, CAP released a new report highlighting the difficulties law enforcement officials face in combating sex trafficking. 293,000 American youth are at risk of becoming sex trafficking victims, according to recent data by the FBI. READ: “3 Key Challenges in Combating the Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States.”

FROM THE WONK WIRE

DON’T BLOW IT: Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign and Top Wonk Mary Anne Hitt calls on Congress to vote in favor of extending the Production and Investment Tax Credits for renewable energy. The wind industry currently employees 80,000 Americans. SIGN Sierra Club’s letter to Congress HERE.

POST-RACE HICCUPS: Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow and Top Wonk Robert Kuttner explores how much the President’s race has factored into opposition against him in the past six years.

POPULARITY CONTEST: FairVote Executive Director and Top Wonk Rob Richie reports on the year’s snowball of bipartisan support for the National Popular Vote.

Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.

ON OUR AGENDA … Check out and FOLLOW PP’s TWITTER ** @PractProgress **

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