Tag Archives: United States 1 2014/02/10 Scheduled Select Step away from the whitener? Step away from the whitener? Nativegrl77 ~ Political Action

Removing these dams could save rivers

President Obama said: Crack Down on Deadbeat Dams

  By DamNation Film

Communities in nearly every state are choosing to remove high-cost, low-value dams to restore rivers, recover fish stocks, revitalize waterfronts, improve quality of life and render watersheds more resilient to climate change.

Join us in calling on President Obama to crack down on deadbeat dams, beginning with four especially harmful, federally operated dams on the lower Snake River in southeastern Washington: Ice Harbor Dam, Lower Monumental Dam, Little Goose Dam and Lower Granite Dam.

Snake River salmon and steelhead once thrived, with up to 30 million wild fish entering the mouth of the Columbia River every year. Now, every Snake River salmon stock is on the endangered species list or extinct.

Obsolete dams impose a high cost on river communities and ecosystems, our economy and tribal cultures. We have found better ways to do the work of dams, and we have a historic opportunity to restore wild salmon to over 6,000 miles of river habitat. Now is the time for action on the Snake.

This petition was created in conjunction with the documentary film DamNation, and supporting partners Patagonia and Save Our Wild Salmon.

Please visit DamNationFilm.com to learn more.

Condé Nast Settles With 7,500 Underpaid Interns for $5.8 Million

Condé Nast Settles With 7,500 Underpaid Interns for $5.8 Million

Last year, two former interns at magazines owned by Condé Nast filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for underpaying them and thousands of other interns, in violation of labor law. According to recent court filings reported by Reuters, Condé intends to retroactively compensate the pair and over 7,000 other former interns in order to settle the legal dispute. The price tag: $5.8 million.

Former interns dating back as far as June 2007 are expected to receive payments ranging from $700 to $1,900, according to the settlement. Condé Nast Chief Executive Officer Chuck Townsend, in an internal email to staff about the settlement, said he still believed the company’s magazine internships “were among the best in the media business.”

Condé initially reacted to the suit by revamping its internship program in order to meet legal requirements. This was complicated by the fact that the company had recently stopped paying current interns any kind of stipend. (Up until last spring, interns were paid $550 per semester—not a lot, but more than zero.) Eventually the publisher decided to cancel its 2014 internship program altogether.

Condé’s settlement comes less than a month after NBCUniversal agreed to pay thousands of unpaid Saturday Night Live interns between $500 and $10,000 each, for a total cost of $6.4 million. Similar lawsuits against other media and entertainment companies—including Fox Searchlight and Gawker Media—remain pending.

Photo via Condé Nast

Murder and Police Cover-Up?

Did police cover up Alfred Wright’s murder?Alfred Wright and his two sonsDemand Texas officials and the Department of Justice uncover the truth and bring justice for Alfred’s family.Take Action

an Update entry 3/13/2014

Mounting evidence suggests a police cover-up in the possible murder of Alfred Wright. Recently, a private investigator hired by Alfred’s family condemned the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department for not following basic police procedure, calling its investigation, “one of the worst in Texas history.”1

Nearly 40,000 ColorOfChange members have already called on Texas authorities and the United States Department of Justice to conduct a full and proper investigation. Unless enough of us urge federal and state officials to make Alfred’s case a high priority — and dedicate the resources necessary to uncover the truth — Alfred’s death, like so many others involving Black victims, may go unsolved.

Please join us in calling on the Department of Justice, Governor Rick Perry, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to conduct a thorough investigation into Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the case. It only takes a moment.


Matt Nelson Director of Organizing, ColorOfChange.org


1. “Family Searching for Answers After Man’s Mysterious Death,” ABC News, 02-05-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3356?t=3&akid=3331.1174326.KMvxC0

A Sabine County, TX community suspects foul play and a police cover-up after the tragic disappearance and death of Alfred Wright — a 28-year-old Black husband and father of three.1

In November, Alfred went missing in a section of Texas notorious for racial violence and hostility directed at Black residents.2 Days after Alfred’s mutilated body was located by a family-organized search party — in an area police claimed was searched repeatedly by trained dogs3 — the county medical examiner released an autopsy claiming his death was “accidental” and caused by “combined drug intoxication.”4 But a separate, family-ordered independent autopsy found evidence of severe head and neck trauma and determined there was a “high likelihood of homicidal violence.”5

Growing doubt with the official story and the two conflicting autopsies have forced the Department of Justice and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to launch independent investigations into Alfred’s disappearance and death. But this is not enough. Your voice can help ensure that the DOJ, Texas Governor and AG feel the pressure of a national spotlight, are compelled to make the investigation a high priority, and dedicate the resources necessary to find the truth and hold local law enforcement accountable.

Please join us in demanding that the Department of Justice, Governor Rick Perry and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott conduct a thorough investigation into both Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the initial investigation. It only takes a moment.

Violent and unsolved murders when the victim is Black are an old story in this part of Texas and Alfred’s family has good reason to suspect racially-motivated foul play. In 1998, just 45 minutes away from where Alfred’s body was discovered, James Byrd was beaten to death by three white supremacists, chained to the back of a pickup truck and dragged by his ankles for three miles.6 The three men responsible for James Byrd’s lynching and murder were convicted only after strong and sustained public pressure forced the government to prosecute and enact historic hate crimes legislation.7

Call on state and federal officials to conduct a thorough investigation into Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the initial investigation.

Law enforcement officers across the country often use deeply ingrained stereotypes to demonize Black men and boys as drug addicts and “thugs” in order to justify the violence perpetrated against them.8,9 These dangerous notions lead to a culture of impunity where Black folks like Alfred are seen as undeserving of police resources, including a thorough investigation.10

Due to the Sabine County police department’s egregious history of racially-motivated attacks against Black residents, few in that community trust that the Sheriff’s Department can conduct a proper investigation when the victim is Black.11 In 1987, a Black man named Loyal Garner was arrested in Sabine County, charged with drunk driving and taken to the county jail where he was severely bludgeoned, hospitalized and eventually died from the brutal assault. The three white police officers responsible for Loyal Garner’s death were quickly acquitted of civil rights charges.12

Our elected officials and leaders in government have a duty to hold law enforcement to a high standard of conduct and ensure that the murders of Black people do not go unsolved.

Please join us in demanding a thorough investigation into Alfred’s death and the Sabine County Sheriff’s Department’s mishandling of the investigation. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.

Thanks and Peace,

–Matt, Rashad, Arisha, Aimée, Jamar, and the rest of the ColorOfChange team    February 28th, 2014

Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way.


1. “Alfred Wright’s Death Shrouded In Mystery,” Huffington Post, 02-07-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3277?t=10&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

2. “A Missing Man and Familiar Old Wounds in Jasper,” Texas Observer, 11-21-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3278?t=12&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

3. “Death of East Texas Man Shrouded in Mystery,” ABC News, 02-08-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3279?t=14&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

4. “County-paid autopsy report lists ‘drug intoxication’ as cause of Alfred Wright’s death,” KLTV, 01-08-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3239?t=16&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

5. “Another Tragic Murder of a Black Man Near Jasper, Texas #Justice4AlfredWright,” BK Nation, 10-09-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3304?t=18&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

6. “Cover-up? A mysterious death in Texas,” CNN, 02-16-14 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3303?t=20&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

7. “Today marks the 15th anniversary of the murder of James Byrd Jr.,” Dallas Voice, 06-07-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3344?t=22&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

8. “No Country for ‘Black Teens’,” Huffington Post, 04-05-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3284?t=24&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

9. “Black Man Vs. Criminal,” New York Times, 03-13-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3285?t=26&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

10. “Why black people don’t trust the police,” CNN, 03-23-12 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3286?t=28&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

11. “A Missing Man and Familiar Old Wounds in Jasper,” Texas Observer, 11-21-13 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3278?t=30&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

12. “Race and Justice: A Killing in East Texas – A Special Report; Death as a Ripple in Deep Racial Current,” New York Times, 05-11-90 http://act.colorofchange.org/go/3345?t=33&akid=3316.1174326.45AtPJ

Comcast/Time Warner Cable

Al Franken - U.S. Senator, Minnesota

You have a minute to watch a really important video?
Take a second to watch Al’s video on how bad a Comcast/Time Warner Cable acquisition would be.

Al knows this deal would likely drive up costs, drive down service quality, and result in even less choice for consumers.

And he knows you’re with him.

ACA Enrollment and the day after March 31st


4 Key Points About The New ACA Enrollment Numbers

The Department of Health and Human Services released the latest Affordable Care Act enrollment numbers yesterday, showing that 942,000 people enrolled in private health plans through the insurance marketplace in February. That brings the total number enrolled in private plans to over 4.2 million people with a month left until the March 31 enrollment deadline. After the deadline, those without coverage will be fined $95 or 1% of their taxable income, whichever is greater.

But these top line numbers don’t tell the whole story. Here are four things you need to know about the latest enrollment report:

1. Per-day enrollment increased from January to February. The Washington Post headline after the enrollment numbers came out yesterday read “Obamacare enrollment drops off in February.” But while January enrollment was 170,000 above February’s, it’s not that simple. When you take into account the fact that February has fewer days than January, and that January actually included a few days in December in its reporting period, the per-day sign-up rate actually increased. As the March 31 deadline approaches, more and more people are learning about the benefits of the law and are signing up for coverage.

2. The rate of young adult enrollment is steady. Young adults comprised 27 percent of the marketplace sign-ups in February, holding steady from January and up from 24 percent from October to December. (This is not surprising given young people are expected to wait until closer to the deadline to enroll.)  Some have worried that too few younger, healthy people in the exchange would result in “adverse selection” — an exchange disproportionately filled with older, sicker individuals. But studies have shown that even in a worst-case scenario, which has already been overcome, premiums would likely increase by just a couple percentage points.

3. People are taking advantage of financial help to lower their costs. Of those who have selected a plan, 83 percent have qualified for financial assistance to reduce the cost. In fact, most uninsured people don’t know how likely they are to qualify for financial help to help lower the cost of enrolling. There is even an insurance subsidy calculator to help figure it out.

4. Things are ramping up for a big March surge. The expectation all along has been that there will be a spike in enrollment as the deadline approaches. And we are already starting to see that take place. In a creative and hilarious appeal to get young people to enroll, President Obama appeared on an episode of Zach Galifianakis’s show Between Two Ferns, a popular spoof of public access TV by the comedy website Funny or Die. By the afternoon, administration officials reported the comedy site was the number one driver of traffic to healthcare.gov, and today they said traffic jumped 40 percent from the previous day. In addition to creative marketing, advocacy groups around the country have put together over 4,000 events related to enrollment before the end of March (helpfully arranged at ACAfinancialhelp.com if you or someone you know needs to enroll!).

BOTTOM LINE: Millions of Americans are signing up for affordable coverage using the individual marketplace, and the latest enrollment numbers demonstrate that momentum is building for a big March. Stay tuned, and make sure everyone you know gets covered!

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