Sam Blair is the Alliance’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. He directed the Main Street Alliance small business network from 2008-2013, working with small business leaders in states across the country to bring their voices to debates on health care, immigration reform, responsible fiscal policies, and workplace benefits. Sam started organizing as an intern with the Alliance in 2002, and then moved to Idaho and joined the staff of Alliance affiliate Idaho Community Action Network from 2003-2006, working on health care access, utility rates/deregulation, and immigration campaigns. Sam is a graduate of Swarthmore College and lives in New Hampshire.
Building strength in numbers. Developing grassroots leaders. Raising independent money. Mapping power relationships. These are some of the key ingredients that go into building powerful community organizations that can win transformative change – which is why they’re core elements of the Alliance’s flagship Four-Day Organizer Training. Our training team has been leading the Four-Day program […]
Today, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed SB 405 into law, making Montana the 29th state in the country to expand health coverage for low-income residents through Medicaid expansion. Thanks to this bill, up to 70,000 Montana residents who are currently uninsured will be eligible for quality, affordable health coverage for the first time. It’s a […]
The grape boycotts organized by the United Farm Workers in the late 1960s were part of a groundbreaking strategy to engage consumers in the fight for fair treatment for immigrant farmworkers. Fast forward to 2013, and groups in Colorado campaigning for economy-boosting immigration reform with a path to citizenship are putting a new spin on […]
As the debate about immigration reform moves from the Senate, which passed a comprehensive reform package (S. 744) on June 27, to the House of Representatives, small business groups across the country are continuing to make the case for common sense, economy-boosting immigration reform.
Immigration reform supporters in Central Florida ratcheted up their work engaging key decision-makers with a string of events over the Memorial Day Recess.
Small business owners across the country are weighing in on the immigration debate. Their message: small businesses support immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship. At May Day rallies tomorrow, around the country, small business leaders will be addressing the crowds; speaking up for comprehensive immigration reform. It seems a good moment to remind ourselves […]
Multi-Partisan small business owners spoke out earlier this month, further distinguishing their interests from those of Big Business. Wednesday, in his post “Has the Budget Crisis Du Jour Got You Down?” Bill Daley pointed out that if Congress were to close one tax loophole on offshore accounts, it could be enough to create a ‘job […]
Small business owners in the Montana Small Business Alliance have been making their mark in the national tax debate.
Melanie Collins, a small business owner and leader with the Maine Small Business Coalition, traveled to Washington, DC on October 19 to speak at a press conference outside the headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Her message was simple: “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t speak for small business, and it doesn’t speak for […]
Members of the Maine Small Business Coalition are challenging the political intervention of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after it announced a $400,000 attack ad in the race for the open Senate seat in Maine left by the retirement of Olympia Snowe at the end of this year. The 3,400-strong MSBC had a clear message […]
The debate about the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of income earners (with annual household income over $250,000) is heating up in Washington, DC, and with it the rhetoric about how ending these special breaks might affect small businesses. Indeed, opponents of ending the special breaks at the top are making doomsday […]
Cross-posted from Main Street Alliance Congressional testimony may seem a long ways away from cupcake baking, but not for Jody Hall. Hall, owner of Seattle’s fast-growing Cupcake Royale and a leader with the Main Street Alliance of Washington, traveled to Washington, DC on May 31 to testify about health care reform before a House committee.
It’s tax season. And that means tax policy is at the center of the public debate. So are claims about how changes to the tax code will affect small businesses. To separate fact from fiction, the Main Street Alliance released a pair of new “straight talk” fact sheets addressing topics relating to small business and […]
Small business leaders in the Main Street Alliance network stood up to be counted on health care over the last ten days as the Affordable Care Act’s two year anniversary led into oral arguments at the Supreme Court.
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. […]
Two years ago on January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the controversial Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. In a divided 5-4 decision, the majority ruled that corporations are free to spend unlimited sums of money in our country’s elections. There’s been plenty of debate about what this ruling […]
Something amazing happened in Montana on December 30. The State Supreme Court ruled on whether Montana has to throw out its century-old ban on corporate spending in Montana elections in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. What did the state court decide? Well, to summarize in two words: […]
Over the past two weeks, the House of Representatives has been inundated with an alphabet soup of anti-regulatory legislation. Last week, the House debated and voted on the RAA (Regulatory Accountability Act) and RFIA (Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act), and this week on the REINS Act (Regulations in Need of Scrutiny from the Executive Act).
With the deadline for an agreement from the Congressional Supercommittee less than a week away, small business owners in the Main Street Alliance network are calling on Congress to support policies that bolster the 99 percent and reject any budget-cutting deal that destroys more jobs and further weakens their customer base. From New York City […]
On October 20, an all-star team of small business leaders from across the Main Street Alliance network made the trek to Washington, DC to represent the voice of Main Street small businesses in the nation’s capital. Business owners came from Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington to participate in meetings on Capitol Hill. […]
Last week, the Seattle City Council, in a historic voted, passed a new city-wide standard ensuring that workers will have access to paid sick days. The vote tally was a resounding 8-1, a testament to the broad support the proposal garnered from key stakeholders in the community – including local small business owners.
Ahead of a scheduled mark-up of H.R. 2885, a proposal that would mandate the use of the controversial E-Verify employment verification system by every employer in the country, small business owner David Borris, owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Northbrook, IL spoke at a press event outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on September 14 […]
New rules for health insurance rate increases took effect on September 1st. By giving consumers access to more information about why insurers are raising their rates – and whether experts deem the increases reasonable – the new rules aim to put downward pressure on health insurance premiums.
Changes are finally coming to states’ health insurance marketplaces. For small businesses, these changes can’t come soon enough. New rules prohibiting discrimination and strengthening oversight of rate increases will protect small businesses from rate shocks. A guaranteed essential benefits package will provide assurance of a minimum level of coverage. And new state insurance exchanges will […]
Big bank lobbyists have been putting on a full-court press in Washington, D.C. to roll back components of the financial overhaul passed last year and free Wall Street to go back to the “business as usual” that led to the financial crisis in 2008. The bankers are gunning for the new Consumer Protection Bureau and […]
This year Uncle Sam pushed Tax Day back to April 18, giving us all a three-day tax filing holiday. It’s almost enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Until, that is, you hear about GE, which apparently is on extended vacation, paying essentially nothing in taxes for 2010 despite raking in $5.1 billion […]
On January 18, New Jersey Main Street Alliance leader Odette Cohen, a pediatrician and owner of Son Light Pediatrics in Willingboro, NJ jumped on a train down to Washington, DC to testify at a hearing on the proposed rollback of the Affordable Care Act. “The health care law throws a series of lifelines to small […]
It’s been public knowledge for a while now that the health insurance industry secretly funneled money to the US Chamber of Commerce to fund its smear campaign against health care reform in 2009. What we didn’t know, though, was just how much money. Now, thanks to some good investigative reporting by Bloomberg News, we do. […]
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been all over the airwaves recently–and not just with its hefty ad buys targeting candidates in the fast approaching November elections. Last week, the Chamber earned a wave of critical press when the story broke that it was funneling donations from international corporations and overseas affiliates into the same […]
September 23 was an important day for health care–and an important day for small businesses. Exactly six months after the enactment of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), September 23 was the date on which a range of new insurance protections took effect. Across the country, small business owners from The Main Street […]
In late July, small business owners from all across the country – from Maine to Montana, Louisiana to North Dakota – left their homes and their businesses on a mission: to carry a message about small business values direct from their Main Streets back home all the way to Washington, D.C. It was the “America’s […]
Big Insurance and its Bag of Tricks The ink may have dried on the federal health care reform bill, but the health insurance industry isn’t packing up its bag of tricks and going quietly into the night. Instead, insurers actually appear to be stepping up their attempts to game the system, seeking to exploit the […]