If you eat chicken … by Phyllis McKelvey via Change.org


Tell the USDA to keep our chicken sanitary by rejecting the poultry industry’s demand for fewer regulations.
Sign Phyllis’ Petition

I have 44 years of experience working in the poultry industry including as a chicken inspector. I saw meat covered in feces and worse come through my plant every day. Because of trained government inspectors like myself, this meat was kept from ever reaching anyone’s plate.

Now, the USDA is about to make a decision that could stop government inspectors like me, leaving regulation of the chicken industry to the private companies themselves. This could allow for unsanitary chickens to be accidentally approved by rushed workers without important safety oversight.

As a mother, grandmother, and retired chicken inspector, I can’t sit back and watch. I started a petition on Change.org asking the USDA to keep contaminants off of chicken by rejecting the poultry industry’s demands for fewer regulations. Click here now to sign.

USDA inspectors are crucial to ensuring safe chicken meat, and the poultry industry wants to reduce the amount of time they’re given to inspect chicken to a fraction of a second. I know from experience that not being able to inspect the full carcass means dangerously contaminated birds are often approved by rushed inspectors.

Earlier this year, a concerned mom started a petition on Change.org asking the USDA to stop using low-grade meat product in school lunches, and she won. I know that if enough people sign my petition, the USDA won’t bow to the chicken industry’s dangerous requests — it’s important to act now, because they could make a decision soon.

With your help, the USDA will stand up for consumers and reject the poultry industry’s new inspection proposal. Join me in urging them to keep meat free of deadly contamination — sign my petition now.

Thank you for your support.

Phyllis McKelvey
Former USDA poultry inspector
Albertville, Alabama

P.S. Notice anything different? We just rolled out a redesigned website — we hope you like it! We’re proud to be the world’s largest petition platform, empowering you (and 20 million other people!) to make the change you want to see. Click here to read more about who we are, and here to read about how we keep our tools completely free for people like you.

Stand up to ALEC

Access to affordable healthcare should be every American’s right. That’s what Healthcare Reform is for. Unfortunately, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is using “pay-to-play” politics to kill reform and its benefits.

Again and again, ALEC has demonstrated its obsession with putting corporate profits before American lives. It’s now lobbying lawmakers to repeal the ACA and replace it with laws that enrich drug companies at our expense.

Tell your state legislators to stop ALEC’s anti-healthcare attacks!


Lawmakers ought to serve the voters that elected them, not out-of-state interests and corporations. We need to stop ALEC from stealing our voices and stand up for the future of our country.

Let your state legislators know that the time is now to fight for Americans’ access to affordable healthcare.


Thanks for all that you do.


p.s. Hyperlinks above not working for you? Copy-and-paste ACTION.STANDUPTOALEC.ORG into your browser’s address bar and make your voice heard!  

Pre – order MJ



What to Watch for on Paid Sick Time in New York City

Paid Sick Leave means more workers will be able to maintain Employment!
Dear Friend,
Today marks the official start of new rights for workers in New York City: the Earned Sick Time Act is in effect!
That means that workers in New York City can now begin earning time to be used towards 40 hours of paid sick time in businesses with 5 or more employees—or 40 hours of unpaid but job-protected time in smaller businesses.  A Better Balance fought hard, together with our partners and supporters, to ensure that the final version of the law would include as many workers as possible.  If you look around on subways and buses, you’ll soon notice a bold new advertising campaign by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs to reach the millions of workers who are now covered by the law.
At A Better Balance, we’ve been busy conducting trainings and taking calls from employees and employers who are already wondering about how the law will affect them.  With our ear to the ground, we have been able to tell policymakers what issues are likely to take center stage as enforcement of the new law begins, and we’ve translated our knowledge into targeted outreach materials and resources:

  • Check out our new brochure and frequently asked questions on the law. Let us know if you’d like us to send you some copies.
  • Take a look at our website to find more resources for workers and employers as we continue to update it.
  • Call our free legal hotline at 212-430-5982 if you have questions or if you’d like us to conduct a training on the law for workers or employers.
Keep an eye out for more to come soon!  And please remember to keep your calendar open for our annual Spring Celebration on the evening of May 5.  We have a lot to celebrate!
As always, thank you for your support,
Sherry, Dina, Phoebe, Jared, Elizabeth, Liz, Risha, & Rachel



Give America a Raise


Six Things You Didn’t Know About The Minimum Wage

This week and next, a coalition of minimum wage activists in favor of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 are taking their message of “Giving America a Raise” on the road with an 11 state bus tour. They have already made stops in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. This issue couldn’t be more important for working families across the country and creating an economy that works for everyone.

Right now, a parent working full time earning the minimum wage and raising two children is making poverty wages. She struggles to make ends meet and can barely afford basics such as school supplies for her children. But with a higher minimum wage, workers will have more money to spend on basic needs, money that will go back into the local economy, which in turn gives businesses more customers—helping them to hire more workers. Raising low-end wages will also save taxpayers $4.6 billion a year on nutritional assistance programs.

Raising the minimum wage would be a critical step in ensuring that the economy is working for everyone. It will provide Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead while giving the economy a needed shot in the arm. It is past time for Congress to act. The federal minimum wage has not been raised in more than five years. Right here are six facts explaining why Congress needs to raise the wage to $10.10 an hour: