Know your voter rights – and where to get help if your vote is challenged

Several states are holding local elections today. It’s important to know what your voter rights are and where to seek help if you feel that anyone has blocked you from exercising your Constitutional right to vote.

A good place to turn for information about your rights is the League of Women Voters. If you have questions about voting issues call their voting rights hotline website Vote411.org. Visit the website or

Call one of these national hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic) read more

Inspiring messages of strength and hope in music videos by First Nation youth

Many Paths
Source: Many Paths … “The place where I was born is perfect”

Worth music video group shot
Source: Worth music video
Adams Lake (all girl) Indian Band’s “Worthy” carries a message of hope for youth:

The light will glow and inspire your journey … when you get a little older everything will be all right… you are worthy, you are worthy

Many Paths music video
Source: Many Paths music video
“Many Paths” with Kawacatoose First Nation youth

I’m going to keep my head up and make better decisions. You have to walk in my shoes to understand my position … If there’s one thing that a native people lack, the love and care – so unfair as I’m looking back … We walk the land of many paths, a narrow road that will lead us back to a life that we had … read more

Gov. Murphy will provide $2.1M for free legal help for NJ immigrants in need

New Americans in NJ
Source: Immigration Council
Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel. read more

Trump attacked workers’ pay and rights in 2017. Here are the worst violations.

McDonalds NYC demo
McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org

The focus of the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) report issued on January 12, 2018 is in its name: Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year: How Trump and Congress further rigged the economy in favor of the wealthy

See the article for facts about how workers are affected by each action on this list:

McDonalds NYC demo
McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org

  • Enacting tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the wealthy over the average worker
  • Taking billions out of workers’ pockets by weakening or abandoning regulations that protect their pay
  • Blocking workers from access to the courts by allowing mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts
  • Pushing immigration policies that hurt all workers
  • Rolling back regulations that protect worker pay and safety
  • Stacking the Federal Reserve Board with candidates friendlier to Wall Street than to working families
  • Ensuring Wall Street can pocket more of workers’ retirement savings
  • Stacking the Supreme Court against workers by appointing Neil Gorsuch
  • Trying to take affordable health care away from millions of working people
  • Undercutting key worker protection agencies by nominating anti-worker leaders
  • read more

    Join John Legend in the conversation to FreeAmerica

    John Legend invites you to join Free America
    John Legend invites you to join FreeAmerica
    Join the conversation with John Legend on his listening tour of American prisons for the FreeAmerica project.

    “FreeAmerica is a multi-year culture campaign initiated by John Legend to change the national conversation about our country’s misguided policies and transform America’s criminal justice system.”

    Its ambitious goal is to end mass incarceration in the United States of America. Get involved.

    Youth incarceration
    Source: freeamerica.org

    Phil Murphy apoya a Puerto Rico en su hora de necesidad

    Photo Phil Murphy, Puerto Rican Convention Sept 30
    Fuente: Roberto Bustamente
    Elizabeth – El candidato demócrata para gobernador de New Jersey Phil Murphy prometió trabajar mano a mano con los puertorriqueños en New Jersey para superar los estragos del Huracán María y reiteró su solidaridad con miles de familias, ancianos y niños afectados en la isla.

    “Yo siento la misma preocupación de ustedes, porque la crisis humanitaria nos afecta a todos”, dijo el líder demócrata durante la Convención Anual del Congreso Boricua en Elizabeth, en la cual se rindió un minuto de silencio en la memoria del lider puertorriqueño Eliu Rivera, ex -director de la agencia PACO fallecido el 30 de septiembre. read more

    Nick Cannon kills it in ‘Stand for What’ video

    Source: Nick Cannon Stand for What
    Nick Cannon’s Stand for What via YouTube
    Published Sep 24, 2017


    Stand For what?!
    You want me to stand for a song that continues to remind me of all the harms that have done me wrong?
    Stand for what?!
    For your Army that none of our sons truly belong
    Stand for what?
    The 100 years it took them to convince Congress to become the anthem after 40 failed attempts
    Stand for what?
    Your forefathers who really just Pimps.
    Stand for What?
    A song about War, not freedom
    That’s how you want to lead them
    Brainwash your people? that’s how you want to treat em
    Slavemasters whips to Cops night sticks, that’s how you continue to beat em.
    Stand for what
    the beginning of Slavery in 1619
    Or the end of those Black Marines of 1814
    That’s really what the lyrics are about
    They may have taken the word slave out
    but they forget to remove the slave connotations from their brains and they mouth The mentality to make America Greater than your imagination is how you pout
    Hating because we burned down their White House
    Gave proof through the night, that its light out
    For the old elitist white man thinking
    Drunk off they ass with power at baseball games singing and drinking read more

    Chris Pine plays #TheChimp in brilliant skit ‘Why do we put up with these people?’

    Chris Pine blocks sight

    Brilliant skit starring Chris Pine playing highly erratic and childish company president (president – get it?) points out the extremely awesome truth: we don’t need to put up with the nut or his buddies. And p.s. if these loons worked in industry, they would have been ousted long ago with minimum fuss.

    The good news? Yes, we can vote and get rid of them. Learn how and where at SaveTheDay.vote.

    Skit stars Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, J. August Richards, Jillian Morgese, Romy Rosemont, Josh Zar, Zac Oyama and David Fury. read more

    Why an American in England cried in the rain next to a statue of Abraham Lincoln

    Statue Lincoln in Lancashire
    Source: Lily Seville

    Lily Seville posted this story on Facebook August 18 and made it publicly available so it can be shared.

    I haven’t told any stories from England since I got home but it seems like maybe we could all use a good story about a civil war statue, a good story about an American President, and a good story about the power of the common people against the rich and powerful, so I’m going to start with this one. It’s probably for the best that you’re reading this here because I haven’t managed to tell this story in person without crying. read more

    Sen Gill urges Secretary of State to reject Trump commission request for NJ voter data

    What Trump Commission has asked for
    Screenshot from report by Lauren Weinstein
    Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic) today called on the New Jersey Secretary of State to reject a request by President Trump’s election commission to turn over state voter data. The commission was established to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

    The commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent letters to 50 states and the District of Columbia last week asking for information, including names, addresses, birth dates and party affiliations of registered voters in each state. It also sought felony convictions, military statuses, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting records dating back to 2006, according to published reports. To date, 44 states have already refused to comply, according to a story published today on CNN.com: read more

    Jemez Principles for democratic organizing: a guide

    On December 6-8, 1996, forty people of color and European-American representatives met in Jemez, New Mexico, for the “Working Group Meeting on Globalization and Trade.” The Jemez meeting was hosted by the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice with the intention of hammering out common understandings between participants from different cultures, politics and organizations. The following “Jemez Principles” for democratic organizing were adopted by the participants.

    read more

    Spend 2 minutes to learn why net neutrality is more important than you think

    Website throttling
    Your favorite website will be in the “Everyone Else” lane if Net Neutrality is lost Source: Iowa State Daily
    Washington Post gives a neat synopsis of what The People stand to lose if Trump appointed Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets his wish and finds a way to reverse the Obama era protections establishing net neutrality, which WaPo defines as, “the regulations that forbid Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic.”

    The rules, approved by the FCC during the Obama administration, classified Internet providers as “common carriers” — a move that allowed the agency to regulate those companies more strictly than before. In addition to banning the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic, the regulations also gave the FCC the ability to investigate business practices among Internet providers that it deemed potentially anticompetitive. read more

    NJ Sen. Loretta Weinberg hailed as champion of a free press and gov’t transparency

    Press freedom via freepress.net
    Press Freedom source: freepress.net
    Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg received the National Newspaper Association Open Government Award for her legislative advocacy to promote government transparency and accountability. The award was presented to the senator Thursday by NNA President Matt Paxton during the 2017 Community Newspaper Leadership Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

    “Whether at the state or national level, an attack on the media is an attack on our democracy. Particularly during these uncertain times, we have to stand in support of a free and independent press. I am committed to continuing the fight for government transparency and accountability and am honored to receive this award from the National Newspaper Association,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “I am also dedicated to continuing the work that I’ve done over the last several years to reform the state’s open government laws to make government more accessible to the public. A strong press and transparent government are the best safeguards for truth in our state and our country.” read more

    Update from a Standing Rock volunteer after #45 orders attack on the camp

    Protect the Sacred at Standing Rock
    Source: hpr1.com
    “Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.” ~ Dr. King

    This is an update from a Standing Rock volunteer. It’s not pleasant.

    Friends,

    I have returned from Standing Rock with my mind blown, my heart broken and my spirit troubled with foreboding of a deepening tragedy. Volunteering as a legal observer with the Water Protector Legal Collective I witnessed several confrontations between Water Protectors (WP) and law enforcement: national guard, sheriffs and private security (LE). read more

    Trump shut down NPS for climate change tweets but can’t block new unofficial Twitter account

    @AltNatParkSer
    Over at the Palmer Report, Bill Palmer tells us the way National Park employees found to stand up to Trump, who is blocking federal employees from commenting on climate change to the extent that he has issued a gag order to prevent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from mentioning it and has deleted tweets made by the National Park Service (NPS) and even suspended the Twitter account of one park account that tweeted about climate change. An anonymous group of individuals has created an unofficial Twitter account for park and climate change news that Trump can’t touch. read more