With 12 votes needed, only 11 members of the Philadelphia City Council were willing to override Mayor Michael Nutter’s veto of the sick leave bill. For the second time in three years, corporate interests defeated a measure that would allow more than 180,000 Philadelphians to finally earn sick days.
“I’m very disappointed,” said city councilman Bill Greenlee, who tried but failed to get the 12 votes needed to override Mayor Nutter’s veto. “I’m particularly disappointed for the 180,000 workers who could have had a benefit that other cities are providing.”
Through its NutterWatch campaign, the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces has been counting down the days until Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) is required to act upon a new earned sick days bill, making the case that the legislation should be passed. Nutter has until April 4 to sign the bill or it will become law without his signature. If the law goes into effect, it would pave the way for 200,000 of the city's workers to have the opportunity to earn sick days at work.
A beat-up van pulls to a stop just up the road. A creaky screen door opens from the apartment at the end of the building. A young African American girl runs out toward the van, barely hanging onto a large gym bag that was obviously not meant for such a pint-sized carrier. The driver of the van, a middle-aged white man with glasses and a beard, throws the passenger door to the van open and the little girl tosses the bag onto the floor before climbing in. The apartment door, which had banged shut in the meantime, creaks open again as the girl’s mother waves goodbye.
“Be good. Have fun,” she tells her daughter.
“I’ll have her back by eight,” the driver replies, as the little girl shuts the van door and waves goodbye to her mom.
The latest episode of AFSCME TV describes how working families in the city are standing up to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D), who they say is siding with the wealthy and pushing policies that are harming the rest of the city's residents. In particular, they are upset Nutter closed libraries and schools and refused to negotiate with city workers, who have worked without a contract for four years.
Randi Weingarten, president of AFT, was arrested Thursday for blocking access to a school closure hearing in Philadelphia. AFT spokesman Marcus Mrowka told The Huffington Post that Weingarten was arrested with 18 other community activists for blocking the entrance to the meeting. Weingarten said afterward she knew her actions would lead to arrest, but it was a last-resort attempt to stop the Philadelphia School Reform Commission from closing some of the city's public schools, which she argues would detrimentally affect students, particularly African American and Latino students.
While government in Washington, D.C., remains divided and marked by long-term gridlock, governments in the states are much less divided. Of the 50 states, 37 now feature state governments where the governor and majorities in both legislative houses are controlled by one party—24 of those are controlled by Republicans. Extreme, anti-working family Republicans have repeatedly assaulted the rights of people in recent years and, by all accounts, the trend looks to expand in 2013. Working families are mobilized and fought back in 2012 and will continue to fight in 2013. The response to the "right to work" for less push in Michigan was so strong, that governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have since declared that they won't push for right to work in their states.
In an emergency alert sent to voters this morning over social media, radio PSAs, email and phone calls, the Election Protection Coalition told Pennsylvania voters:
Today is Election Day. Vote. You do not need a photo ID in order to vote in Pennsylvania if you have voted before. First-time voters will need to show some form of ID, photo or non-photo. Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) if you have any questions or concerns.
Ron Oliver, AFL-CIO Community Services liaison in Erie, Pa., tells us last night the local labor movement there worked with community allies to create a safe, fun Halloween party for inner-city children. Some 50 to 60 little goblins and superheroes gathered at a local church and had a great time munching chips and cupcakes. Mmmmmmmmm.
Transport Workers (TWU) from Philadelphia's Local 234 and New York City's Local 100 are collaborating to make sure that voters in critical swing-state Pennsylvania get out and vote. After Republicans bragged about how the state's new voter identification law was going to allow presidential candidate Mitt Romney to win the state, a state judge said otherwise and blocked the new measure for this presidential election. Activists were inspired to work harder than ever to make sure that the state, which could be vital in determining the outcome of the presidential election, voted once again for President Obama.