Washington Community Action Network’s Sunny Summer Conference

On July 23, 250 Washingtonians spent a rare sunny Seattle Saturday in a leadership conference!

WashingtonCAN’s annual Summer Leadership Conference was attended by about 250 committed community members. Turnout included people from WashingtonCAN, Working Washington and other progressive organizations and labor unions across Washington. Folks from Vancouver to Tacoma to Spokane participated.

Workshop topics ranged from Holding Banks Accountable and Knowing Your Rights with Police and ICE, to Direct Actions, Building a Movement for Jobs, and Fighting Structural Racism.
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Hispanics are the Hardest Hit of the Economic Recession

A recent study released by the Pew Research Center brought to light the fact that Hispanics have been the hardest hit during this economic recession. According to this study, the decline in the housing market in 2006 and the economic recession from 2007 to 2009 were enormously felt in communities of color. For instance, the Asian median household fell 54 percent, the African American community saw a drop of wealth of 54 percent, and Hispanics experienced a drop of 66 percent – this in comparison with their white counterparts who experienced a loss of 16 percent. Read more

Let’s Not Get Fracked!

If you listen regularly to public radio’s “This American Life” (TAL), you probably weren’t surprised by their recent, in-depth examination of fracking in Pennsylvania, where natural gas companies are now ripping through the Marcellus Shale. The radio program has made a real niche in dissecting the way power works across our country, and fracking – a hazardous process of natural gas extraction – has given the TAL team a lot to sink its teeth into. Read more

Insurance Companies Weaken Language Access Regulations while Getting Wealthier

A few weeks ago, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation stipulating that insurance companies only have to provide language services to a person with Limited English Proficiency if 10% of people in their county speak their same language. This is a high bar – only 177 out of 3,143 counties in the United States have communities that would qualify under this guideline. Hundreds of thousands of people will be left out due to this unscrupulous regulation. For instance, Spanish speakers in Los Angeles County will be able to communicate with their insurance companies, but speakers of Asian and Pacific Island languages won’t because they don’t meet the 10% threshold, which amounts to having 355,581 people not receiving language services. Read more

Homeowners Present New Bottom Line to Attorneys General

Forty homeowners and clergy members traveled across the country on Tuesday to Chicago’s Drake Hotel to welcome and urge the nation’s states’ Attorneys General to stand firm for a strong settlement agreement with the big banks.

While the Attorneys General gathered for their NAAG summer meeting, members of the New Bottom Line brought along “welcome packets” that contained cookies with frosted handcuffs to symbolize that the big banks must be held accountable for their crimes, a tourist map of foreclosed homes in Chicago, and a flyer with homeowner’s demands. In addition, they held a press conference to release “No End in Sight” a new report by New Bottom Line organizational member, National People’s Action detailing foreclosures in Cook County, IL. Read more

Medicaid Matters across Generations

On July 12th, over 250 people joined with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Al Franken of Minnesota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri to highlight the important role Medicaid plays for seniors, kids, families and America and to decry recently proposed cuts to the critical program. The Alliance for a Just Society worked with Caring Across Generations, PICO, Campaign for Community Change, Community Catalyst, and Health Care for America Now! to make this event a success. Read more

Growing Resistance against Anti-immigrant Legislation

In July of 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Arizona’s infamous SB 1070, a bill requiring police in that state to check the immigration status of anyone they “suspect” of being undocumented. A year later, Alabama has taken a step further by targeting immigrant children — schools would be required to check the immigration status of children attending k-12. What next? Deporting six-year old children? Moreover, the bill also requires business to use the federal program E-verify to check the legal status of job applicants. Read more

Medicaid Makes a Difference

Alliance Executive Director LeeAnn Hall had a commentary published in Truthout about the importance of defending the nation’s Medicaid program. LeeAnn wrote:

“With wrenching unemployment and the housing market still in the tank, this may be the worst possible time to think about gutting Medicaid. Yet, the program still faces a slew of threats…

“With Congress fixated solely on cutting spending – and letting many corporations get away without contributing a dime – lawmakers are telling us who matters and who they answer to.”

Read LeeAnn’s full commentary on why Medicaid makes a difference on Truthout.