DO NOT ALLOW THIRD WAY CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS TEAR DOWN OUR NEW DEAL AND WAR ON POVERTY PROGRAMS AND HAND ALL CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT TO CORPORATIONS.....
Philadelphia Parents, Lunchroom Staff Begin Fast for Safe Schools
Posted by Kyle Schafer on June 17, 2013 Fasters encamp on steps of Governor’s Philadelphia office; call for Commonwealth and City act. Unite Here
A group of Philadelphia public school parents and lunchroom staff today launched a fast for safe schools. The elimination of more than 1,200 student safety staff from schools across the district, including those on the federal “persistently dangerous” schools list, places Philadelphia’s students in danger. The group has encamped on the steps of Governor Tom Cobertt’s Philadelphia office, where the fast will continue without food or juice until the Commonwealth and City act to prioritize school safety.
“I care about my daughter and grandson,” said faster Earlene Bly, mother of a 9th grade student and grandmother of a soon-to-be 1st grader in PSD. “I am making this sacrifice to make sure they have safe schools. I am fasting to show my family and the city how serious this situation really is.”
SUPPORT THE FAST, SEND AN EMAIL TO GOVERNOR CORBETT!
The School District of Philadelphia announced the layoff of over 3,700 employees on June 7th. Student safety staff make up the largest group slated to be cut. Employed in school hallways and lunchrooms across the district, they are often the first workers to defuse tensions, maintain order and deescalate conflicts between students.
In the next two weeks, the Pennsylvania state legislature and Philadelphia City Council will decide whether to supplement school funding, which could allow student safety staff and other school employees to return in the Fall.
“I am fasting for the children,” said faster Patricia Norris, a food service worker at Cayuga Elementary. “When the children won’t go to the principal, when they won’t go to their teacher, they go to the student safety staff. They give them love and knowledge. Without them, school would be a disaster waiting to happen.”
“They want us to succeed, because we are the future,” said Shakur Miller, 17, a Junior at Mastbaum High School. “I support the fast because our student safety staff talk to us, which is something we need to be safe and to succeed.”
- See more at: http://www.realfoodrealjobs.org/2013/06/phillyfastlaunch/#sthash.mGmHd8qB.dpuf
What we are seeing in both of these articles from Philadelphia are simple examples of what are happening in cities all across America, especially in Baltimore. Large chunks of the cities are being bought and handed to these Wall Street investment firms and then allowed to sit until the area is blighted all the while filled with dangerous housing and and lost services. SOUND FAMILIAR? YOU CAN BET BALTIMORE IS IN THE SAME SHAPE!
Met this guy across from Philly City Hall. Think his name is Greg. Said he's outraged the only person being prosecuted by the city is the African American worker who was operating the equipment. Says he's going to be in front of the courthouse with his sign on Wednesday, June 26 at 9am, when Sean Benschop appears before a judge. Benschop was just following orders as a worker. The Contractor Griffin Campbell was clearly unqualified to do this type of demolition. Government officials reluctant to regulate business and enforce safety standards must be considered as a contributing factor. But the the wealthy property owners are ultimately responsible for the disaster: STB Investments Corps. The properties being demolished next to the crushed building were owned by STB, whose officers are Richard Basciano, Scott Wexler, Frank Cresci Jr. and Anthony Trumbetta, based in New York City at 300 W. 43rd St.
Who wants to join Greg and me on June 26th?
Philly: Inspector said collapse 'wasn't my fault
By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated PressPosted: 06/14/2013 03:26:31 PM MDT
PHILADELPHIA—A building inspector who had visited a demolition site before a brick wall collapsed onto an adjacent thrift store, killing six people, left a cellphone video message before his apparent suicide this week saying the collapse "wasn't my fault," the mayor's spokesman said. However, inspector Ronald Wagenhoffer also said he wished he'd been more diligent, spokesman Mark McDonald told The Associated Press on Friday.
Wagenhoffer inspected the downtown site before and after demolition work began in February and visited an attached, related job site on May 14 following a complaint.
A four-story brick wall collapsed at the site June 5, burying 19 people inside a one-story Salvation Army thrift shop next door. Besides the six people who died, 13 were injured.
Wagenhoffer, a veteran inspector, was found dead in his truck Wednesday night, hours after finishing his last shift. Police said they believe he shot himself in the chest.
According to McDonald, Wagenhoffer first secured his cellphone on the dashboard and made two brief videos, each 20 to 30 seconds long. The first was for his wife and young son, McDonald said, and the second described his thoughts on the collapse.
"He says that he can't sleep," said McDonald, who said he viewed both videos Friday afternoon. "He says that he was devastated by the deaths and injuries at the scene."
McDonald said Wagenhoffer then says briefly on the videos he "wished that he'd been; more diligent." "He wished that he'd gotten out of a truck at some point in time," he said, "but it's not connected to any particular event. There's no mention of May 14. And he never says that he never inspected the site."
McDonald said Wagenhoffer used the words: "It wasn't my fault."
The demolition site included three attached storefront buildings, all owned by Richard Basciano, once dubbed the pornography king of Times Square.
Records from the Department of Licenses and Inspections state that Wagenhoffer visited the site on May 14 over a complaint that the contractor's permit wasn't visible.
However, a resident has said his complaint alleged far more serious problems about the safety of the demolition work underway. And another person took a video on June 2, a Sunday, that shows workers using equipment to pull down the facade and bricks spilling down on the sidewalk, which remained open and has a staircase to an underground transit stop.
Demolition subcontractor Sean Benschop, accused of being impaired by marijuana and painkillers while operating heavy equipment just before the collapse, has been charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter. He also had his right hand in a cast, but his lawyer has said he was fit to work.
Demolition contractor Griffin Campbell also was onsite, and Basciano was believed to be there. Basciano's lawyer has declined to comment. Campbell's lawyer has said Benschop was supposed to be taking the wall down by hand, to protect the Salvation Army store.
Wagenhoffer started working for the city as a carpenter in 1997 and worked his way up to his post as an inspector, earning just over $60,000 a year, city records show. He was nominated for a top safety award in the Department of Licenses and Inspections in 2011.
His family did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.
We are glad for the energizing but what we are seeing are unions backing different candidates. This same thing happened in Los Angeles and all they had running were Third Way corporate democrats......
GET LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES IN THESE PRIMARY RACES AND NOT THE SAME FACES!
Energized by Bloomberg's Exit, Labor Chiefs Try to Sway Race:
[Metropolitan Desk]HernÁNdez, Javier C. New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) [New York, N.Y] 19 June 2013: A.1. Turn on hit highlighting for speaking browsersAbstract (summary)Translate Abstract
Unions across the city, after years of low morale and stalled contract negotiations, are roaring back to life this election season, excited by the prospect of installing a friend of labor in City Hall when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg leaves office at the end of the year. Public officials across the country, including Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent, have cast doubt on their motives, and pushed back against demands from municipal workers for retroactive raises and more generous health benefits.
After more than a decade of sitting out the fiercest race in town, leaders of the United Federation of Teachers are plotting a comeback.
They have so much polling data that they can pinpoint the views of Puerto Ricans and Chinese immigrants alike. They can tailor messages based on brands of toilet paper voters buy. Normally busy handling complaints from teachers, they are now scouring financial records and questioning candidates about $4,000 restaurant bills.
And on Wednesday, the union will throw its sophisticated political machine behind a candidate for mayor of New York City.
Unions across the city, after years of low morale and stalled contract negotiations, are roaring back to life this election season, excited by the prospect of installing a friend of labor in City Hall when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg leaves office at the end of the year.
Some groups, like the teachers' union, are expected to spend several million dollars on the race. Several labor leaders are weighing advertising blitzes aimed at the broader public. Political organizers are training callers, social media activists and door-to-door canvassers.
"Politics in the city are shifting," Michael Mulgrew, president of the teachers' union, said. "It's not a pipe dream. We're going to be a force."
Labor leaders face several challenges as they seek to reassert themselves as political heavyweights in a city that has not elected a Democrat for mayor since 1989. In a crowded field, they are split over whom to endorse, causing concern that they might cancel one another out.
At a time of declining union membership and lingering economic turmoil, the strength of organized labor is unclear. Public officials across the country, including Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent, have cast doubt on their motives, and pushed back against demands from municipal workers for retroactive raises and more generous health benefits. And a new pro-business group in New York is preparing to spend millions on City Council races.
Still, political experts say there is potential for organized labor to sway the mayoral election. Analysts expect only modest turnout -- around 650,000 voters, or about one-fifth of registered Democrats -- in the Democratic primary in September. A runoff election is widely expected, raising the stakes.
Each of the city's large unions can be valuable to different candidates. Unions representing lower-paid service workers might be able to deliver black and Latino voters for candidates who will rely more heavily on them, like William C. Thompson Jr., a former comptroller, and Bill de Blasio, the public advocate. The teachers' union, whose membership is more middle-class, says it has a database of 171,000 teachers, retirees and their relatives.
"Unions know their membership and can motivate them," said Edward F. Ott, a lecturer at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at the City University of New York. "The impact may be reduced and spread across a lot of candidates, but they'll definitely have an impact."
Exactly how much the unions will spend in the mayoral race depends on several factors, including whether they face competition from other unions or from political action groups seeking to dampen the influence of organized labor.
"It could be the wild, wild West," said Neal Kwatra, a Democratic strategist whose clients include unions, "or it could be business as usual."
The teachers' union endorsement is considered a prize because of its politically engaged work force, a treasury of at least $2.5 million and a team that has refined its political operations after years of bitter feuds with Mr. Bloomberg.
The seven leading Democratic candidates for mayor are mostly in line with the union's ideology, backing its calls to reduce testing and offer more support to failing schools. In recent days, some have stepped up their efforts to court the union's leaders.
Mr. Thompson, a former president of the city's Board of Education, recently announced a plan to give each teacher a $200 budget for classroom supplies. On Tuesday, he picked up the support of the principals' union, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators.
Mr. de Blasio, another leading candidate for the teachers' union's endorsement, stood with Mr. Mulgrew last week to denounce high-stakes testing.
The union last made an endorsement for mayor in 2001, when it selected Mark Green, a Democrat, over Mr. Bloomberg, then a Republican. It did not enter the contests in 2005 and 2009, wary of Mr. Bloomberg's vast financial resources. Some union officials regretted the decision to skip the 2009 race, after Mr. Thompson, then the Democratic nominee, came within striking distance of Mr. Bloomberg, who spent more than $100 million of his fortune on that race alone.
When Mr. Mulgrew became the union's president in 2009, he set out to modernize its political operations. In the past, he said, candidates were chosen based on personal relationships. Now union officials look to polls and focus groups, tossing around terms like "burn rates" and "propensity models."
The union has become adroit in scrutinizing public spending records to gauge which candidates are more efficient stewards of campaign money. It can examine, for instance, how much a candidate earns at a fund-raiser relative to how much he or she spends on catering, entertainment and facilities.
With a trove of data on the table, conversations between the candidates and Mr. Mulgrew have turned into cross-examinations. He has set benchmarks for each of them, asking them to prove they could build support among crucial demographic groups, like Hispanic voters in Upper Manhattan.
"It's all about a path to victory," he said.
On Wednesday, Mr. Mulgrew will recommend a candidate to union delegates, who are expected to approve the choice that day. He is said to be focusing on two candidates -- Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Thompson -- though he has also expressed admiration for Christine C. Quinn, the Council speaker. He faces pressure from Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union, the city's largest union, which has lobbied him to create a broad labor coalition by following its lead and endorsing Mr. de Blasio. Another influential union, District Council 37, has endorsed John C. Liu, the city comptroller.
A central part of the union's strategy for this election is to use tools more common in national campaigns. It has put together a database of its members, and bought access to information like the purchasing history of people who use chain-store rewards cards. For example, the union might focus calls and mailings on people who buy top-shelf brands of toilet paper or other products, which typically suggest that a person has a higher income and is more likely to vote. It could also use the information to tailor advertisements to certain groups of voters, like placing a container of Cherry Garcia in an ad directed at people who buy Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
This year, public sector unions are bolstering their political operations after several years of failed negotiations. More than 282,000 unionized workers are without a contract, representing 95 percent of the city's work force. Workers are seeking as much as $7.8 billion in retroactive raises for the time they have been without a contract. Mr. Bloomberg has said the city does not have the money.
In response, union leaders representing those workers are letting the clock tick as they build political support. Several unions joined together to produce a $200,000 advertising campaign recently. A radio ad said in part: "The people who keep this city running: hard-working, middle-class New Yorkers. They count. They vote."
Harry Nespoli, leader of a committee of unions representing municipal workers, said they wanted a mayor who would work with unions to find savings in the city budget to pay for wage increases.
"We don't expect the new mayor to give away the store," he said. "We expect the new mayor to recognize the fact that we are the city and that we should have negotiations in good faith."
Even if the city's labor leaders do not coalesce around one candidate, Mr. Nespoli said, they are united in their frustration with Mr. Bloomberg, who on Monday compared the endorsement of the teachers' union to the "kiss of death."
Union officials now have their own retort. They have taken to repeating three numbers, 12-31-13, a reference to the mayor's final day in office.
WHILE THEY PRETEND THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY IS STAGNANT THEY ARE EXPANDING OVERSEAS LIKE CRAZY AND IT IS ALL CAUSED BY PUBLIC POLICY WRITTEN AND ENFORCED BY THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS!
The US is struggling economically because we have had tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud moved offshore out of our economy and that is enough to stall any economic growth. We have waited for 4 years for the Justice Department to bring back these tens of trillions but we are dealing with suspended Rule of Law in America..that's right, a former first world allowing it Treasury be looted!
Add to that the Fed policy that gives away free money to corporations so they can make billions playing the market rather than actually working/hiring and you have stagnation. Public policy could not have been implemented to stagnate the economy more! The objective is to simply hold the domestic economy captive to high unemployment and low wages for the long term as corporations use all that money from the Fed on expanding globally as this article says. Now, if you are going to keep American workers poor to maximize profits then they cannot be the consumers needed to grow the economy..we all know that. It is the policy of impoverishing workers and feeding free money to corporations allowing them to expand globally that is creating the mess we have in America today. It is all policy and it is now being dealt out by Third Way corporate democrats. Thought it would go away went you voted democrat? Not with these neo-liberals..
RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!
Retailers expanding globally turn to developing markets
Lorraine Mirabella 7:30 a.m. EDT, June 17, 2013
Retailers plagued by slow sales might want to seek customers outside the U.S. -- places, for instance, such as Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
Those countries top a 2013 ranking of developing countries for retail investment by consultant A.T. Kearney.
"South America is blossoming," the report says, thanks to increased consumer confidence amid a strong and growing middle class, controlled inflation, sustained economic growth and continued economic and political stability.
Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Yves Saint Laurent, Emporio Armani and Calvin Klein opened or have plans to open stores in Uruguay. Gap opened its first store in Uruguay in December, the report says.
The global retail development index, published each year since 2002, ranks the top 30 developing countries based on 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables. The study found that while developed markets have weak or stagnant growth potential, opportunities lie in developing markets.
Turkey, the sixth-ranked country, is luring international retailers with a growing economy and favorable consumer demographics. Apple is opening its first store in Istanbul this year.
In Mexico, which rose by seven rankings to land at 21st, Payless ShoeSource will open 41 stores though a Mexican franchiser in the next three years. Apparel chain H&M has opened its first Mexico City store.
And sub-Saharan Africa continues to build momentum, with Botswana and Namibia in the rankings.
Because five of the 12 most populous countries will be in Africa by 2100, "there is no doubt that this continent is a dramatic retail opportunity for those that can navigate the business and political risks," the report says.
For luxury retailers, some up-and-coming hubs are on the horizon. Small-population countries with wealth and a focus on consumers were ranked highly, among them Uruguay; ranked third, Mongolia, seventh; Georgia, eighth, and Armenia, 10th.
The index also found examples of global retailers reversing course after aggressive expansions, including in China, where "many are scaling back plans for new stores and choosing sites more carefully," the report says.
Meanwhile, in Latin America and Central Asia, more retailers are opening in smaller countries before deciding whether to enter larger markets.