Despite a slate of state legislation attacking the rights of voters, a number of states are advancing legislation that would enhance the ability of U.S. citizens to exercise their right to choose their representatives. Among the most likely advances in voting rights in the states:
More than 160 state and local labor federations and central labor councils have passed resolutions in support of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for aspiring citizens already in the United States. The labor organizations that have passed resolutions so far come from 39 different states and represent more than 6 million workers.
President Obama sent a request to Congress asking for $60.4 billion to fund Hurricane Sandy storm recovery efforts. The request is expected to be introduced in legislation next week and will be debated after that.
While the election and other stories have taken Superstorm Sandy out of the headlines, millions of Americans who were in the storm's path are still in need of assistance. Don't let the the short attention span of the news cycle delay necessary aid to those whose lives have been permanently altered.
Thousands of AFT members immediately volunteered in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy to help the affected communities in any way they can. AFT represents about 365,000 workers in the area damaged by the storm, and many members who felt Sandy's impact still jumped in to help out others in need.
An unknown number of workers who are helping with the recovery after Superstorm Sandy may have difficulty casting their votes today because they are away from their home states. New Hampshire elections officials are doing what they can, as required by state law, to help make sure those workers can cast their ballots.
The recovery from Superstorm Sandy could be one of the most expensive in American history, with estimates climbingtoward the $50 billion mark in property damage alone. As Americans all across the country pitch in, most of the work repairing and rebuilding the storm-ravaged areas will be done by talented and hardworking union members. Many of the organizations dealing with Sandy’s devastation emphasize the importance of union workers’ expertise and skill, as well as of sufficient government financial support for rebuilding physical structures and roads and, in many cases, people's lives. Here is what our members have been doing to help with the recovery:
In addition, Union Plus Disaster Relief Grants of $500 are available to help participants in the Union Plus Credit Card, Insurance or Mortgage programs who are facing financial hardship because of recent severe weather. Visit www.unionplus.org/sandy.
After a long workweek, it can be hard to imagine dedicating your time to another cause. But, for union members such as Fatima Rojas and Theresa Ashe, getting out and getting people to vote is worth the effort.
As large right-wing groups double down on spending and continue to pour huge sums of money into this year’s election, it is the work of union members like Rojas and Ashe at the grassroots level that will truly make the difference come Nov. 6. In fact, so far, Connecticut union members have managed to visit the homes of more than 16,000 people and reached more than 2,500 by phone.
AFT’s "Your Vote–Your Right–Their Futures” bus tour is rolling through Florida this week building support and getting out the vote for President Obama and other working family candidates. AFT President Randi Weingarten, AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson, along with local and state AFT officials and members, will meet with union and community election volunteers and activists for rallies, marches and neighborhood walks.