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Can Obama Win Back the Youth Vote?

Photo by greenforall.org/Flickr

This is a cross-post from The Huffington Post by Amy B. Dean, a fellow at The Century Foundation and co-author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement.

In 2008, young people in America—including many who voted in their first presidential election—rallied behind a youthful senator from Illinois campaigning on the promise of change and hope. Now the incumbent in the White House, Barack Obama, faces a difficult challenge in recapturing the youth vote for his re-election. Early this month, The New York Times reported that enthusiasm for Obama among voters aged 18 to 24 has fallen sharply since the past election cycle. And many of the young people interviewed in the article spoke of feeling alienated from politics.

So what is behind young people's disaffection? And what must President Obama do if he is serious about winning back the country's youth?
 

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Young People Succeed in Keeping Student Loan Interest Rate Low

Photo courtesy of the Young Invincibles blog

This is a cross-post from Young Invincibles.

Last week, Congress took an unusual bipartisan step and voted to keep interest rates low on popular subsidized Stafford Loans.

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Activists Train at AFL-CIO’s Union Summer

Lindsey Lunsford enjoys the sunshine outside the AFL-CIO.

Lindsey Lunsford, 21, has a personal connection to the labor movement but didn’t see its relevance to her life until this week, when she participated in the AFL-CIO’s Union Summer training.

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AFT Launches Largest Online Teacher Resource: Share My Lesson

AFT Launches Largest Online Teacher Resource: Share My Lesson

Teachers helping teachers—that’s what the AFT is all about and that’s the goal of the union’s brand-new website. Share My Lesson, launched yesterday, is slated to become the nation’s largest online community for U.S. teachers to collaborate and share teaching resources and innovative ideas, according to AFT.

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Another Bad Bill for Ariz. Working Families Bites the Dust

Add another bad Arizona measure to the growing list of bills being dropped because of public outcry. Yesterday, after public pressure from Arizonans, extreme lawmakers in the House decided to kill a resolution that would have forced a ballot measure to repeal the state's minimum wage and hurt low-wage workers in the process.

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Young Workers Still Struggling to Find Jobs

As we noted back in August, one of the groups facing the toughest jobs climate right now are young workers, those who are new to the job market or about to enter it.

At the Economic Policy Institute’s Snapshot Blog, Heidi Shierholz writes that although the 16-24 demographic has seen some improvement in recent months, employment numbers for this group of young people remains rather dismal.

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Alabama Law Dictates ‘Who to Be Friends With’

Sarah Seltzer writes for Alternet and other online publications and sends us this. Follow Sarah on Twitter.

As the AFL-CIO documented in a study, the situation for immigrants in Alabama has grown increasingly dire: A “humanitarian crisis” has resulted from a Draconian anti-immigration law, HB 56, one of the nation’s harshest.

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Arizona Legislature Wants to Pay Young Workers Less than Minimum Wage

Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.

Raise your hand if you were supporting yourself and maybe helping to support your family when you were 18. I know I was, so I can’t fathom what the Arizona Legislature is thinking by putting forth a ballot referendum that would allow employers to pay workers under 20 years of age substantially less than the state’s minimum wage. Currently it is at $7.65 an hour but this recent measure, if approved by voters, would allow businesses to pay teens and young adults as little as $4.65 an hour.

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Fired Latino Workers at Pomona College Fight Back

Sarah Seltzer writes for Alternet and other online publications and sends us this.

When a group of longtime food service employees of Pomona College in California—a prominent liberal arts school—lost their jobs due to their immigration status, it got an already tense campus talking. This wasn’t an ordinary firing, or even an unfortunate casualty of the nasty wave of anti-immigration sentiment. To people on campus who had been helping the workers speak up for their rights, it felt like union-busting. The terminated workers had been employed on campus for years, but only after they began a drive toward unionization with UNITEHERE! was their immigration status investigated by the college.

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iSlaves: Forced Labor Key to Apple Profits

More horrors out now from the Chinese serf-labor system involved in creating Apple products like iPads and iPhones. It turns out many of the workers churning out millions of the devices in unendurable conditions at Foxconn and other factories are also forced laborers as young as 16.

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