In the News

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and National Voter Registration Act of 1993 enfranchised millions of new voters. After passage of the VRA, for example, the number of black registered voters in the South increased from 31 percent to 73 percent.

“Police cannot lawfully target protestors based on the content of their speech and cause protesters to abandon the protest,” says Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, senior counsel at Demos, a progressive public policy organization. “If the NYPD is empowering an officer with a history of using questionable tactics to intimidate protesters, that's a recipe for First Amendment violations.”

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But praise for Clinton fades to disappointment because her solution to quarterly capitalism, an adjustment to capital gains tax rates, holds little promise of getting the job done. What’s needed are new restrictions on Wall Street and changes to how corporations do business, territory occupied so far by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The fact is that we have all knuckled under to Wall Street so that we have an economy that increasingly is based on finance without even asking whether Wall Street is investing in us.

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“There is no justice in America when the largest low-wage employer is not McDonald’s, it is not Burger King, it is not Walmart.

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Fortune
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Heather McGhee, President of Demos, said: "Incredibly, working a full-time job is no longer a guarantee that you will be able to afford basic necessities—much less provide for your family. We applaud Governor Cuomo’s leadership in calling for a $15 minimum wage, and the community and labor groups who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality. This proposal will lift the living standards for the many families who have been struggling to stay afloat and will bring us one large step closer to a more equitable New York.”

 

Nevertheless, Walmart has had to make concessions to the pressure upon the business, mostly from OUR Walmart. It is in the process of enacting a series of wage hikes, starting with boosts to $9 an hour this year and $10 next year for a half-million of its lowest paid workers (out of 1.4 million), changes in scheduling policy, more accommodating pregnancy policies (after OUR Walmart’s “Respect the Bump” campaign). 

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Studies have shown that even small debts can increase a student’s chances of dropping out, particularly for minorities and low-income students. Also, federal loans, which are typically capped at $27,000 over four years, often don’t cover the full expense of college. Many students also take on private bank loans or work jobs outside school.

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“There’s an assumption out there that because community and technical colleges and workforce retraining programs are lower cost than elite Ivy League institutions that borrowing isn’t an issue for those students, but it’s precisely the opposite,” said Mark Huelsman, a senior policy analyst at think tank Demos, who studies student debt. “These are students who have fewer financial means to begin with, they’re more likely to borrow, and if they borrow it’s just a fundamentally different prospect.”

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Donovan X. Ramsey, fellow at Demos, contributor to the New York Times, GQ, the Atlantic 

"The stories I've cared about for as long as I can remember are suddenly interesting to the vast majority of new consumers. The race beat is hot again, so to speak... Earlier this year, I was working with a white editor on a piece of reported analysis about mass incarceration. She decided halfway through the process to kill the piece and later emailed me to say that it would be really 'powerful' if I wrote a 'personal reflection' on incarceration. 

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How would you like to have an extra $155,000 to spend during your retirement years?