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 ONE — 69 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. READ “How the Ryan Budget Fails Our Economy by Failing Economics” over at CAP.
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.
Find out more at www.TopWonks.org.
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