no title

Alliance for a Just Society brings you an Institute for Pragmatic Practice’s symposium

Building Progressive Power in Rural America

March 28-30th 2012, Seattle Washington

In order to win progressive change in the U.S. we can not concede rural areas to the right-wing.  Those working in small town America are the ones making this fight.  In order to advance, we must share best practices, methods, ideas and strategies to gain ground.

The Institute for Pragmatic Practice’s primary goal is to initiate provocative discussions on both social justice ideas and methods of action. Join activists, analysts, visionaries and revolutionaries from around the country working in small towns, small cities and rural areas to explore these questions and more:

  • What about the economic meltdown is particular to rural America?
  • What are our ideas and practices for rebuilding and strengthening local economies and living wage jobs?
  • What are the shifts in demographics that we are seeing in our states and how are we building alliances?
  • What agenda is the right-wing moving that particularly impacts our areas?  How are we responding?

Join us!

Guest speakers include: Marcy Westerling, Rural Organizing Project; Devin Burghart, Institute for Research &  Education on Human Rights; Carol Burnett, Mississippi Low Income Childcare Initiative; Scott Douglas, Greater Birmingham Ministries; Ed Whitfield, Fund for Democratic Communities; Niel Ritchie, League of Rural Voters; Edwin Bender, National Institute on Money in State Politics; Kate Kanelstein, Vermont Workers Center.

For more information and to register click here!

Broken Hearts, Broken Budgets: ICAN Valentine’s Day Action

Thanks to ICAN Intern Emma Ayers for this report.

February 14th this year, members of Alliance affiliate Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN)  had some very specific valentines to deliver to payday lending stores across the valley.  These over-sized valentines with broken hearts of pink and red symbolized a message and a demand: stop breaking our hearts and stop breaking our budgets.   Read more

Daley’s View from Washington: The Pope, Bob Dole, and the Financial Transaction Tax

What do the Pope, Bob Dole,  and the Archbishop of Canterbury have in common?  They all support some version of a proposal to tax financial speculation.

How about we try a tax idea that curbs unproductive speculation on Wall Street and raises money to pay for the governmental services?

That is exactly what the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) does. It is a very tiny tax on the sale of stocks and other investment instruments.

Some version of the FTT has been endorsed by Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, John Bogle (founder of the Vanguard Group), the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Pope. Even Bob Dole and President Bush the Elder endorsed such a tax after the crash of 1987.

So who’s not with the Pope on this one?   Read more

Small Business Owners Say Big Corporations Not Paying Fair Share of Taxes

A new nationwide poll of small business owners’ views on taxes includes some findings that turn K Street lobbyists’ anti-tax talking points on their head. In particular, the poll found that small business owners are up in arms about corporate tax loopholes, offshore tax havens, and corporations and millionaires who don’t pay their fair share.

The nationwide scientific survey of 500 small business owners was commissioned by the Main Street Alliance, Small Business Majority, and the American Sustainable Business Council.    Read more

Affiliate Highlight: The Montana Organizing Project

Alliance for a Just Society affiliate The Montana Organizing Project (MOP) is a collaboration of diverse community, civic, labor, faith groups, and community members.  Located in Missoula and Billings, MOP works on economic, racial and social justice issues, with the mission of promoting the dignity and empowerment of people with low and middle incomes who voices haven’t been heard in their communities. Led by Project Director Molly Moody and Eastern Montana organizer Sheena Rice, MOP is a statewide organization that primarilyrepresents Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Butte, rural Eastern MT towns- Baker, Glendive, including communities on the frontier, Havre and Great Falls.   Read more

ICAN Releases Idaho’s Payday Lending Industry Report

From our affiliate Idaho Community Action Network:

On Monday, Jan. 16 2012, during a protest on EZ MoneyPayday Loans at EZCORP 2911 W. State Street in Boise, members of the Idaho Community Action Network released a report titled “Predatory Lenders Trap Idahoan’s in a Cycle of Debt.

According to the report, Idaho families are: “increasingly struggling to make ends meet. Affordable small scale loans, which could tide families over, are hard or impossible to come by. Finding no alternative, families are turning to “payday” and title loans that come with high interest rates and often wind up trapping them in a cycle of debt.”

To read more about the report, please visit ICAN’s website:  http://idahocan.org/661/idaho%E2%80%99s-payday-lending-industry-report/

Keep Five Million Immigrant Children Out of Poverty

From Reform Immigration For America:

It was only a few years ago that Congress changed the eligibly of a special tax credit for American families, to include undocumented parents with citizen children. This refund, known as the Additional Child Tax Credit, has granted over 2 million families a financial break on the money spent caring for their children.

Now, in attempts to slash spending, Congress is ready to change the eligibility of families for the child tax credit, and block immigrant families from continuing to take part. Legislators would balance the budget on the backs on 5 million children.   Read more