“If your politicians are not serving you, get rid of them. If you don’t have anyone to vote for, run.”
Not simple platitudes, these are the words from the victory speech of DSA and Our Revolution backed Summer Lee, winner of Pennsylvania’s 34th State House District primary who ran on a campaign of single payer, abolishing cash bail, renewable energies, and a whole host of other progressive platform planks.
“It’s not even close,” Paul Costa, 58, said of the 68% to 32% margins after calling Ms. Lee to congratulate her. “Their campaign did a lot better job of getting people out to vote. They energized a lot of people, and they showed up at the polls. They ran a very aggressive campaign in getting people out to vote, they did a very good job in that. I thought we did too, but obviously they did a lot better.”
Not facing a Republican challenger in the general election in November, she will become one of the few African-American women in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Participants in Ann Arbor’s 47th annual Hash Bash found themselves under the influence of more than just cannabis Saturday afternoon, as thousands gathered at the University of Michigan’s Diag: several politicians also found their way to the city’s popular weed festival, all hoping to convince voters they were biggest supporters of legalizing it. Many participants and organizers came hoping this year’s Hash Bash will be the last before marijuana is legalized in the state of Michigan. Many believe state Congress will approve ballot proposal in November to legalize the use of recreational marijuana for those 21 and older.
Speakers at this year’s event included many notable marijuana legalization activists and professional athletes, such as Detroit Lions running back Mike James, former Detroit Red Wings hockey player Darren McCarty and former NFL player Eugene Monroe. Local political figures addressed the crowd, including Ann Arbor City Councilmember Jack Eaton, D-Ward 4; Councilmember Anne Bannister, D-Ward 1; and state Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor. State politicians such as gubernatorial candidates Abdul El-Sayed and Gretchen Whitmer also made appearances.
El-Sayed spoke on his support to legalize marijuana, stating the current law unjustly incarcerates youth.
“I’m here as a doctor and I’m here as a young servant, and I’m here because I’m done waiting while young people get arrested for something that should not be illegal,” El-Sayed said, according to MLive. “We’ve got to stand up and demand that we expunge records for marijuana possession and use … For too long we’ve watched as corporations have bought and sold our politics.”
LSA junior Amal Alzendani, the U-M campus field team leader for the El-Sayed campaign, came to the Diag to hear the candidate speak.
“It was great to see Abdul El-Sayed at Hash Bash engaging with voters to whom the issue of marijuana legalization is important,” she wrote in an email interview. “It seems clear that Abdul’s stances regarding marijuana, which include expunging the records of people who have previously been arrested for marijuana-related charges once it is legalized, should be the standard among democrats, as should the open and vocal support of its legalization that Abdul showed by having such a presence at Hash Bash.”
Voting polls close at 7pm in the IL state primary this evening. There appears to be a lot of progressive and centrist energy as there is a governor’s race at stake, and 5 Dems are vying to be on the top of the ticket. The three leading contenders are JB Pritzker, a Clinton Democrat and legacy of Hyatt Hotels family, Chris Kennedy, son of RFK, and Daniel Biss, a Northwestern math professor and Our Revolution endorsee. Update: the AP has called the governor’s race for JB Pritzker. In IL-03, Marie Newman is fighting to knock off the incumbent, Dan Lipinski, …Continue reading →
Millions of people are working longer hours for lower wages than they did 40 years ago, in both the United States and many other countries. They look on, feeling helpless in the face of a powerful few who buy elections, and a political and economic elite that grows wealthier, even as their own children’s future grows dimmer.
In the midst of all of this economic disparity, the world is witnessing an alarming rise in authoritarianism and rightwing extremism – which feeds off, exploits and amplifies the resentments of those left behind, and fans the flames of ethnic and racial hatred.
Now, more than ever, those of us who believe in democracy and progressive government must bring low-income and working people all over the world together behind an agenda that reflects their needs. Instead of hate and divisiveness, we must offer a message of hope and solidarity. We must develop an international movement that takes on the greed and ideology of the billionaire class and leads us to a world of economic, social and environmental justice. Will this be an easy struggle? Certainly not. But it is a fight that we cannot avoid. The stakes are just too high.
As Pope Francis correctly noted in a speech at the Vatican in 2013: “We have created new idols. The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.” He continued: “Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalised: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”
A new and international progressive movement must commit itself to tackling structural inequality both between and within nations. Such a movement must overcome “the cult of money” and “survival of the fittest” mentalities that the pope warned against. It must support national and international policies aimed at raising standards of living for poor and working-class people – from full employment and a living wage to universal higher education, healthcare and fair trade agreements. In addition, we must rein in corporate power and prevent the environmental destruction of our planet as a result of climate change.
For far too long our families and communities have been ignored, dismissed and disenfranchised. We have witnessed stagnated wages and good paying jobs are hard to find. Wall Street and huge conglomerates have put profits over people. This must change. We must begin doing what is right for all of us.
We have the resources to take care of the issues important to us: jobs, healthcare, education, the environment, social security, the list goes on. The choice is ours. Will we take the bold step and demand that our country represent we the people once again? Jenny Marshall is prepared to step up and fight for the people of North Carolina’s 5th District in Washington. A true voice for all
Healthcare – While the Affordable Care Act was a step towards covering more Americans who needed health insurance, many issues remain including rising out of pocket costs and high copayments/deductibles. The most troubling of all is that 27 million Americans are still uninsured. Access to healthcare is a human right that all Americans should enjoy. Our present healthcare system is organized by and for the benefit of big insurance and pharmaceutical companies and not the American people. This must change. We must strive for a single payer healthcare system including dental and vision coverage that empowers the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices of prescription drugs.
Environment – We only have one earth and we must take care of it. This means investing in clean renewable energy sources, increasing sustainable building and clean air, soil and water protections. •She will push for a •ban on fracking and eliminating the EPA fracking loophole for oil and gas companies. •reinstate the superfund tax structure so that the cleanup of such sites does not burden the citizens, but the industry who created it. •the passing of a renewable electricity standard (RES) setting binding targets for renewable energy in the near- and long-term to diversify the U.S. electricity generation mix, save consumers money, and reduce pollution.
Money, Politics and the Electoral Process – Our political system has been corrupted by corporate interests and ultra wealthy donors who abuse the system for their gain. The Citizens United ruling that absurd notion that money is speech, corporations are people, and giving huge amounts of undisclosed money to politicians in exchange for access and influence does not constitute corruption. Campaign finance reform must be accompanied by efforts to strengthen voting rights – restoring the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, expanding early voting, and vote-by-mail, implementing automatic voter registration and same day registration, moving to ranked voting, ending gerrymandering and ensuring open primaries, among others.
Making Work Pay – Many people across North Carolina are struggling to pay their bills simply because wages are too low. Our federal minimum wage, $7.25, has not come close to matching inflation. Basics like food and housing have become more expensive, but comparatively, the buying power of the minimum wage has decreased. *She will push for:•Raising the minimum wage to $15 which would mean a raise for hundreds of thousands and help to close the gender wage gap. •Ensure that people get the pay they have earned and not comp time which can be controlled by the employer. •Raise wages of service workers that rely on tips.