In the News

“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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“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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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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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.”

 

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

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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“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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The governor's support for a $15 minimum wage stateside is a departure from his stance earlier this year.

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Of all the nation’s poor, 82 percent experience circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to secure income, a new analysis by policy think tank Demos shows. The author of this analysis, Matt Bruenig, calls this population “the vulnerable poor.”

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