Labor

On Love and Meritocracy – Part 2

July 28, 2016 by John Lawrence

There is No PhD in Love. Instead, there’s a ‘filtering out’ system

Love in San DiegoHere’s Part 1.

The educational system promotes “progress” in western terms that produces gadgets and labor saving devices while employing smaller and smaller numbers of highly educated people to do so.

Those people who have a high capacity to love or care for others are devalued as lesser human beings if they do not have high IQs and advanced degrees from prestigious institutions. They aren’t promoted in terms of the educational system.

There is no PhD in love.

The meritocracy is seen as deserving of billions of dollars. Highly educated professionals attain the highest reaches of government from which they declaim on the virtues of people like themselves.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

July 19, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Immigration Tips And Terms From A To Z

Editor: With all the talk about immigration by politicians these days, it’s difficult to tell whether they know what they’re talking about. Here, immigration lawyer Carlos Batara lays it all out, A to Z with tips and terms.

By Carlos Batara

1. Immigration Tips And Terms A To Z is the knowledge gained after decades of practice here in San Diego and Riverside Counties.

2. Asylum is the protection granted by a nation to an immigrant who has left their native country as a refugee. To qualify for asylum, individuals must prove they have a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Reflections on What July 4th Means to the Working Class – 2016 Summer Chronicles 3

July 5, 2016 by Jim Miller

class

By Jim Miller

As the Fourth of July is the day when we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, it’s important to remember Jefferson himself believed that each new generation needed to make the American creed their own.

And everyone from slaves to women to working people did just that as we see in Frederick Douglass’s great speech “What to the Slave is the 4th of July?”, the early feminist manifesto “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Seneca Falls,” and the much lesser known “Working Men’s Declaration of Independence.”

This last is centrally important to remember because while Americans are largely aware that the battle for inclusion involved long and heroic abolition, civil rights, and women’s movements, struggles around issues of class have all-too-frequently been relinquished to the dustbin of history.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

Read the full article → 0 comments

OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

June 21, 2016 by John Lawrence
Thumbnail image for OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

The Gig Economy: Okay If the Profits Went to the Giggers

By John Lawrence

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of working a job here and a job there according to the worker’s convenience and other activities.

The problem is that the profits go to some centralized corporation rather than being spread out among all the giggers in proportion to their participation in the system.

gig economy

If Uber or Lyft were a co-op, the profits would go to all the worker/owners instead of a handful of investors.
Then the gig economy would offer not only a technique for working at one’s convenience and fitting into one’s schedule whether that schedule might be educational or child care or surfing or whatever.

Read the full article → 12 comments

A Bad Climate? The State of Social Justice Efforts in the Labor and Environmental Movements

June 13, 2016 by Jim Miller

no bakkenBy Jim Miller

Among the stories that you may have missed during the stretch run of the primary season was some significantly bad news out of labor on the national front.

Several large unions in the building trades came out against a plan by some of the biggest public sector unions to join forces with environmentalist Tom Steyer in order to fund a major anti-Trump get out the vote operation in the fall. The New York Times noted that:

Two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, labor and environmentalists, are clashing over an effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for an ambitious voter turnout operation aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump in the November election.

Read the full article → 0 comments

2016 Primary Election Results and Analysis for San Diego

June 9, 2016 by Doug Porter

Election Returns

Editor: The following election results and analysis were put together by Doug Porter on Wednesday, June 8th, for his column at San Diego Free Press – and all vote tallies are as of yesterday’s numbers.

By Doug Porter

It ain’t over ‘till it’s over. But it’s mostly over in San Diego. Most of the ballots for the June 2016 primary election have been tallied. The remaining 285,000 ballots uncounted as of Wednesday morning are provisional and late arriving mail-in ballots. A few close races may change, but if history is any guide, what you see in the way of results the day after the election is what you get.

A multi-year campaign for an increase in the local minimum wage came to a close as voters overwhelmingly approved City Proposition I. For me personally, and for tens of thousands of San Diego workers, the last item on the ballot was the most important one.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Good Things Progressives Can Do Down-Ballot

June 6, 2016 by Jim Miller

Pro-Tip: Start at the Bottom of Your Ballot

Down-Ballot

By Jim Miller

While most of the attention is on the Presidential race this primary season, there are still some important things progressive voters can weigh in on down-ballot here in San Diego on June 7th that will do some good.

Here is a short list:

Vote Yes on Proposition I: Sure, $15 an hour is coming soon in California, but voting yes on Proposition I in San Diego will immediately lift the local minimum wage to $10.50 an hour (and eventually $11.50), giving a well-deserved raise and providing five much-needed sick days to over 170,000 hard working San Diegans. It will also right the wrong that was done by Mayor Faulconer and the Chamber of Commerce crew when they screwed local workers out of this necessary hand up.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Did San Diego Police “Overreact” During Anti-Trump Protests or Did They Simply Follow “The Zimmerman Plan”

June 3, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump SD protest FG cops diners 3-ed 2

Is it true that San Diego Police overreacted during the anti-Trump protests in downtown last Friday, May 27th, or did they simply follow Chief Zimmerman’s plan to corral demonstrators and push them into Barrio Logan where they could make arrests – arrests made out of the lens of the national media?

I attended the protests and was downtown for about 6 hours that day a week ago. The following observations and opinions are my own. What I did see and experience has led me to believe that the police manipulated the anti-Trump protesters in order to declare an illegal assembly – which then gave them the authority to make mass arrests – arrests police made largely out of sight – and in the ethnic Chicano- Mexican-American community of Barrio Logan.

Knowing that the police had earlier announced that they were setting up two separate “free speech zones” – one for the Trump supporters and one for the anti-Trump protesters – …

Read the full article → 4 comments

‘Love Trumps Hate’ Rally Outside Trump Speech at San Diego Convention Center

May 26, 2016 by Source

love trumps hate

“Tear Down the Walls!” Noon rally sponsored by the ‘Love trumps Hate Solidarity Network’

By Martin Eder / Activist San Diego

The Friday May 27 rally outside the Trump speech will be part of a mobilization of several thousand. This noon-time rally at 5th and Harbor Drive, across from the San Diego Convention Center will focus on the theme “Tear Down Walls Between Peoples: Unity/Unidad and Solidarity”.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Progressive San Diego Voter Guide for June 2016 Primary

May 19, 2016 by Doug Porter

imageBy Doug Porter

Over the past few months the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have reported on the candidates and causes central to the June 2016 primary elections.

We have combined our research and analyses with information from public sources to create a progressive voter guide for electoral contests appearing on ballots in the San Diego region.

This guide includes links to candidate websites, symbols indicating endorsements and a short overview of contests, along with links to our reporting.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Who Are the San Diego Democrats Who Aren’t Really Democrats?

May 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

Feeling #theBern AND the Burn in San Diego Politics

carpet saleBy Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

This started out to be a column addressing the increasing awareness of the Bernie movement on finding like-minded progressive candidates on the ballot. It ended up be an exploration of the Dark Side of both local politics and the newly ascendant supporters of the Democratic Socialist from Vermont.

For those of interested in short lists for city offices, here it is: if you like Bernie, then Lori Saldaña for Mayor, Bryan Pease for City Attorney, Sara Saez for D9 City Council, and Jose Caballero for D7 City Council…

… Except that the Progressive Democratic Club says if you support Bernie you should vote for Ed Harris for Mayor.

Read the full article → 0 comments

The California Way of Poverty

May 16, 2016 by Jim Miller

Miller-marchers-walt-e1303747766621

By Jim Miller

Last week, I pondered the obscene spectacle of holding a mega-concert catering to the wealthy in the Southern California desert town of Indio where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line.

The truth is that events like this that underline the contrast between the heedless luxury of the affluent with the deprivation of the poor are not the exception to the rule, but rather, a basic fact of everyday life in our era of historic economic inequality. It’s just the way we live now.

And in sunny California, San Diego in particular, the poor are accustomed to watching the party from the outside.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Is It Socially Acceptable to Breast-Feed in Public Yet?

May 12, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Is It Socially Acceptable to Breast-Feed in Public Yet?

By South OB Girl

San Diego photographer Vanessa Simmons started Normalize Breastfeeding in 2014 – a project intended to bring awareness to breast-feeding through photography. This past weekend in Washington, D.C., she photographed a troop of active-duty military officers standing on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, feeding their children in uniform.

This past weekend a group of some 100 young mothers also gathered in Hong Kong to breast-feed in public. And last month, eco-conscious fashion brand Reformation featured a nursing model.

Then there’s the “brelfie,” or breast-feeding selfie, on the rise in social media especially among celebrities.

Read the full article → 1 comment

The 2016 Mayoral Contest: Lori Saldaña Aims to Offer a Choice, Not an Echo

April 29, 2016 by Doug Porter

Lori Saldana official picBy Doug Porter

If you buy into the notion, currently in vogue with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, of Democratic party orthodoxy as being little more than Republican lite, then Lori Saldaña would the logical choice to vote for in the upcoming San Diego mayoral primary.

The former assemblywoman has an activist pedigree, a history of hard-fought grassroots campaigns, and the enmity of the local political establishment.

In January Saldaña launched an independent campaign to challenge Kevin Faulconer, undaunted by a million dollar war chest (including PACs) and the advantages accompanying incumbency in America’s Finest City. The current mayor’s single greatest accomplishment thus far, in my opinion, has been directing the public relations players at his disposal in a non-stop symphony of praise for their leader, so it ain’t gonna be easy.

Environmental Activism, Plus

Read the full article → 0 comments

“This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

April 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “This Mayor Has Got to Go!” Faulconer Opponents Say at Town Council Debate

Mayor Kevin Faulconer wasn’t too popular at last night’s Ocean Beach Town Council meeting during the “mayoral dialogue”.

First, he didn’t show.

Second, both his opponents, former-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, and San Diego Lifeguard leader Ed Harris, trained their sights on Faulconer and not on each other.

And third, this was Ocean Beach – the liberal bastion of the city – which usually votes Democratic; Kevin Faulconer is a Republican.

But still, Faulconer used to represent Ocean Beach – and the rest of District 2 – when he sat on the City Council. And the crowd of the 80 or so good-natured souls in attendance probably would have applauded him if he had showed. But he didn’t and neither did his aide, John Ly.

Read the full article → 14 comments

Mayor Faulconer’s Republican Unicorns: Jobs! And the Minimum Wage Veto

April 20, 2016 by Doug Porter

Kevin Faulconer headshot colorrevers Kevin Faulconer headshot

The Committee for Slave Wages and Free Puppies for Everybody Lives On

By Doug Porter

Have you seen the Falconer for Mayor ads in social media yet? San Diego’s incumbent mayor is claiming credit –sort of– for a 34% drop in local unemployment since he was elected. If you buy into this claim, you’ll love the expected follow-up ads claiming credit for the sun rising, the sun setting, and better-than-usual surf in Ocean Beach.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Replacing Rasputin: A Subtext of the Election Contest for San Diego City Attorney

April 19, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for Replacing Rasputin: A Subtext of the Election Contest for San Diego City Attorney

By Doug Porter

Termed-out City Attorney Jan Goldsmith felt free to drop the pretense of serving all the public last week during his introduction of Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a campaign rally in Mission Valley.

“We believe in jobs, freedom and security. You know something? The Democrats don’t believe in these values,” Goldsmith said. So much for my theory that he wasn’t an ideologue.

There are four Democrats and one Republican running for the City Attorney slot. I emailed them all late last week, asking their reaction to Goldsmith’s comments. The responses are listed in the order I received them.

Democrat Bryan Pease, activist attorney who Feels the Bern:

Funny–if you switch the word “Democrats” with “Republicans” in his quote, it would be objectively accurate based on measurable criteria and outcomes of their policies.

Democrat Gil Cabrera, attorney & former chairman of the San Diego Ethics Commission (Not reappointed by former Mayor Jerry Sanders):

Read the full article → 1 comment

City Council Races Beg the Question: When is a Democrat Not a Democrat?

April 14, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for City Council Races Beg the Question: When is a Democrat Not a Democrat?

By Doug Porter

Are there candidates running for City Council in Districts 3 and 9 supported by interests with a history of backing Republicans really Democrats? Do campaign donations define a public official?

Is Bernie Sanders a Democrat? Is Hillary Clinton just a Republican in drag? How about Congressman Scott Peters after his votes on refugees and trade? Are people who used to be Republicans ever to be trusted? Where do you draw the line?

In this column I’ll explore these questions as they impact a couple of local contests…

Read the full article → 1 comment

Immigrants Shouldn’t Be Locked Up for Being Poor

April 13, 2016 by Source

jail_cell_1336162381_600x275By Michael Tan, Staff Attorney, Immigrants’ Rights Project, ACLU

In the federal criminal bail system, judges are required to consider someone’s financial ability to pay a bond and determine if alternative conditions of supervision — check-ins, travel restrictions — are enough to get the person to show up for court.

But such protections don’t apply to immigrants locked up in detention centers. The result is that people like Cesar Matias, a gay man from Honduras, end up jailed simply because they’re poor.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Statement by Ed Harris – Candidate for San Diego Mayor

April 11, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Statement by Ed Harris – Candidate for San Diego Mayor

Editor: Here we post, unedited, a statement from Ed Harris who is running for San Diego’s mayor. We do welcome statements from other candidates.

A mayoral debate has been set for the next OB Town Council meeting for Wednesday, April 27th. Harris and Lori Saldana have confirmed for the debate, but Mayor Kevin Faulconer has not.

Progress, Not Politics

By Ed Harris

Kevin Faulconer is a nice enough guy. He’s worked hard to build an image as a down-to-earth
problem solver. His political handlers claim that polls show he’s viewed favorably by most
voters. In fact, they say he’s done such a good job that he’s now a contender to be California’s
next governor.

So an obvious question is, why am I running against him for mayor in the June 7 primary
election?

Read the full article → 0 comments

Here’s to the Folks Who Demanded the Impossible and Brought Us the $15 an Hour Minimum Wage: The Labor Movement

April 11, 2016 by Jim Miller

Marching Inside Wendy's just one year ago... (SEIU Photo)

By Jim Miller

Time to give credit where credit is due. It was not the noblesse oblige of individual politicians or the Democratic Party that brought us the $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, it was the labor movement.

Surely, the governors of New York and California and their fellow Democrats in those statehouses deserve credit for listening to the cry for economic justice and having the good sense to do the right thing, but the historic victory of the Fight for $15 that we have just celebrated would never have come to pass without the bold vision and prolonged struggle of working people standing together and demanding what many called impossible.

Read the full article → 1 comment

First Look at San Diego’s June 2016 Primary Ballot

April 1, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for First Look at San Diego’s June 2016 Primary Ballot

By Doug Porter

The 2016 primary season is officially upon us. Today I’m presenting a quick review of what San Diego City voters can expect to see on June 7 (Or earlier if voting by mail). This is just the first of what will be many columns and articles over the next two months. And, yes, we’ll be talking about other contests throughout the region.

After months of hand-wringing in the pundit class, we now have two viable challengers to incumbent Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Odd-numbered city council districts are up for grabs, and three of those will choosing somebody new to represent residents.

There are ballot measures A thru I, most of which are updates to the City Charter. Just about the time your eyes will want to glaze over from all the legalese coming from Measure G, there will be two significant choices to follow. Stay Awake. These are important decisions.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Assault on Public Employee Unions Fizzles at the Supreme Court

April 1, 2016 by Doug Porter

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Gets Split Decision

By Doug Porter

Friedrichs-v.-California-Teachers-AssociationRebecca Friedrichs, the elementary school teacher honored with a ‘Torch of Freedom Award’ at the San Diego County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner last weekend, won’t be celebrating this weekend.

[On Tuesday, March 29th], in a single-sentence order, the Supreme Court announced that the judgment of a lower court rejecting an effort to defund public sector unions “is affirmed by an equally divided court.”. A four-decade-old opinion protecting public sector unions will live to see another day.

Read the full article → 2 comments

13,000 San Diegans Show Up for Bernie Sanders

March 23, 2016 by Doug Porter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Si Se Puede! Sanders Wows Young and Diverse Crowd

By Doug Porter

The big news yesterday wasn’t that Senator Bernie Sanders spoke in San Diego. It was the diverse crowd of 13,000 plus people who put their lives on hold for a day to stand up for a better world.

The line to get into the San Diego Convention Center started in the wee hours of the morning. By the time the doors opened at 4pm the line stretched forever. Halls D&E were filled with the first ten thousand or so people in line, and an overflow room was opened. And then a second overflow room was opened.

It is an article of faith among some Sanders supporters that their candidate gets short changed by the media. Today we’ll examine a sampling of local mainstream coverage of yesterday’s events.

Read the full article → 0 comments

America, Got Fascism?

March 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump supporters n text js

Okay, America – are we ready for fascism?

Is this a legit question these days? It happens that a lot of political commenters, pundits and journalists are asking the question: ‘is the good ol’ US of A ready for an American brand of fascism, in the form of the Donald Trump for president movement?’

As the presidential campaign season degenerated into racist and xenophobic diatribes by the Republican front runner, with those images of Trump supporters pledging their loyalty to him in Hitleresque salutes, after that scene in Chicago when the Trump rally was cancelled, triggering skirmishes between Trump supporters and demonstrators, it seems everybody is forming an opinion of whether Donald Trump is a fascist, comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini, and other dictators.

Those denouncing Trump as a fascist include who you’d expect – progressive and liberal journalists and commentators, like Bob Dreyfus on TomDispatch, who called Trump a “proto-fascist”, or like Robert Reich who called Trump out as a fascist. Also, moderate columnist Dana Milbank writing in the Washington Post sees Trump as flirting with fascism.

Read the full article → 26 comments

Ireland: an 800 Year Political Struggle

March 16, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Ireland: an 800 Year Political Struggle

The following article originally appeared in 1988 in Justice Speaks, a publication of Black Workers For Justice, in North Carolina.

Almost 30 years later, Ireland is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter uprising of 1916, which eventually freed most of the country from British rule.

But the nation is still one of many around the globe that has yet to complete its “Unfinished Revolution,” because that phase of the struggle ended with its northeastern region partitioned in the 1920s into a new entity, “Northern Ireland,” so that places like Strabane still remain under British domination and occupation to this day.

by Michael Steinberg

On November 29th [1988] the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a British law allowing Britain to detain suspects for up to 7 days without charging them is a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. The court’s decision is a blow to Britain’s attempts to crush the 800-year old Irish national movement. While the British government incorrectly portrays this as a religious conflict, in reality it is a political struggle for liberation and independence from British rule.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Meet Sarah Saez: Candidate for San Diego City Council District 9

March 14, 2016 by Jim Miller

Sarah-Saez-Organizer-225x300By Jim Miller

Sarah Saez is best known locally for her work on the heroic United Taxi Drivers of San Diego campaign. As labor leader Richard Barrera noted after their big win in 2014:

The victory by UTWSD comes five years after drivers, improperly classified as independent contractors and without NLRB recognition, came together and organized a strike to protest their wages, benefits and working conditions.

Despite constant harassment, retaliation and intimidation by permit holders and dispatch companies over the last five years, and despite obstruction by public agencies, these workers stuck together, fought back against injustice, and prevailed.

Read the full article → 0 comments

San Diego Raise the Wage Campaign Begins Door to Door Campaign

March 11, 2016 by Doug Porter

raise the wageAdvocates for an increase in the local minimum wage are wisely ignoring mutterings from the Chamber of Commerce ilk about a muted opposition response to an upcoming referendum.

This June San Diegans will be voting to increase San Diego’s minimum wage to $11.50 per hour and allow workers to earn up to five sick days per year. The increase of the minimum wage to $11.50 would be phased in through 2017 with indexing to inflation starting on January 1, 2019:

  • $10.50 – June, 8, 2016
  • $11.50 – January 1, 2017
Read the full article → 1 comment

Gonzalez Bill Opens the Door for Rights of Gig Economy Workers

March 11, 2016 by Doug Porter

uber graphicBy Doug Porter

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has (re-)introduced legislation (AB 1727) ensuring that independent contractors working in the gig economy are allowed workplace rights currently enjoyed by conventional employees.

Thus begins what will likely be a multi-year struggle to redefine the role of labor in the 21st century.

The rights under consideration include negotiating as a group, communicating with customers and the public, boycotting or critiquing a hosting platform’s business practices, and reporting publicly or to law enforcement any practices in violation of local, state, or federal laws.

Read the full article → 1 comment