CPD partner Organize Florida joined with local allies to organize an emergency action on January 29 in Ybor City, Tampa, a city built by Cuban and Italian immigrants. A crowd of more than a 100 showed up chanting to protect immigrants and refugees.
Three local officials - House Representative Sean Shaw, City Council Member Guido Maniscalco, and newly elected City Council Member Luis Viera each spoke about the urgent need to stand up for justice. Two women from CAIR, a Syrian American and a Lebanese American, told their stories to the crowd. Standing behind a banner that said “Because We Love We Will Resist” held by Muslim women, all 450 attendees took up both lanes of traffic marching down 7th Avenue, the busiest main street in Ybor, successfully holding up traffic for more than an hour in front of the gathered media.
Check out photos of the action on Organize Florida’s Facebook page!
On January 28 and 29, a number of CPD partners organized protests around the country in response to Trump’s immigrant ban. In NYC, Make the Road New York organized a rapid response action with the New York Immigration Coalition and Arab American Association of New York at JFK Terminal 4 to protest the Muslim ban executive order, with thousands of protesters attending.
Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to reverse an earlier decision to restrict passage aboard the JFK Airport AirTrain to ticketed passengers and airport employees only. He also instructed state police and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to assist with security and transportation for protesters. "The people of New York will have their voices heard," Cuomo said.
In Washington, D.C., CPD Partner CASA organized the rally at Dulles airport and participated in another protest at BWI airport. CASA also organized a rally and press conference in Annapolis with Maryland Attorney General Frosh and local senators and delegates. Furthermore, CASA is now working on sanctuary or welcoming ordinances in York, PA, and in Baltimore, Montgomery, Prince George and Howard Counties.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights organized two days of protests at Chicago’s O'Hare airport. Over 1,500 people showed up for the protest which resulted in all detainees being released. In New Jersey, Make the Road New Jersey organized a 1,000 person demonstration in front of the Elizabeth Detention Center in Elizabeth, NJ to celebrate the New Jersey elected officials who have pledged to make their cities Sanctuary cities and the state of New Jersey a Sanctuary State. Senator Cory Booker also joined the protest in Elizabeth.
In Orlando, FL, Organize Florida worked with CAIR to organize a protest at Orlando International Airport, which drew a crowd of 1,500 people.
Read more about these actions in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and CNN.
On Tuesday, February 14, the Fed Up campaign held a rally with members of its coalition and concerned members of the public before Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s congressional testimony. Partners in attendance included One Pennsylvania, Make the Road Action, New York Communities for Change, SPACES, Action NC, and MORE. During the rally, community members dressed as Donald Trump and as a Goldman Sachs swamp monsters to illustrate how the Financial CHOICE Act would crash the economy and stop the Fed from pursuing full employment.
During the rally, which was held inside the Dirksen Senate Office Building, coalition members discussed how the proposed Financial CHOICE Act undermines workers’ ability to get the wages and jobs they need, as well as its potential to lead the U.S. economy to another devastating financial crisis. Maria Rubio of Make the Road NY spoke of her life as an immigrant and a domestic worker. Tyrone Ferguson of One Pennsylvania spoke of how he lost his home due to the last financial crash.
The Fed Up coalition brings the voices of working families and communities of color to economic policymakers at the Federal Reserve and in Congress. The coalition urges policymakers to focus on full employment and communities left behind by the recovery from the financial crisis.
If enacted, the Financial CHOICE Act will lay the groundwork for further corporate control over the Federal Reserve and undermine the full employment mandate. This combination of deregulation and interference with the Federal Reserve would mean millions of jobs lost, lower wages, and devastation for workers.
Check out photos and video from the rally on the CPD and CPD Action Twitter feeds.
After Uber attempted to break a taxi worker strike following Trump’s Executive Order travel ban, CPD affiliates, and other community organizations organized #UberRidesWithHate protests at Uber offices around the country on February 3, demanding that the ride-sharing company stop collaborating with the Trump administration. The protests took place across California including, Palo Alto, Oakland, San Francisco, and San Diego, as well as New Orleans, LA, Seattle, WA and Hoboken, NJ. The protests were met with a swift and direct response, as Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick announced he would step down from Trump’s economic advisory council.
Following the success of the Uber protests, CPD is calling for a continuation of resistance efforts in response to Trump’s divisive and discriminatory policies. On Tuesday, February 14, CPD and its allies including Organize Florida and ACCE, together with a host of national allies, protested against the Disney Corporation at locations across the country. Following the lead of Orlando Disney workers and Orlando community groups, the social justice groups called on Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger to step down from his role as a member of Trump’s economic advisory council. The coalition collected over 390,000 petition signatures, demanding Iger leave the council.
“Disney has the power to take a stand against Trump and support a happy ending for all families. They must follow in Uber’s footsteps and quit the economic advisory council instead of collaborating with Trump and his authoritarian, hateful, anti-immigrant regime,” said Jennifer Epps-Addison, Network President and Co-Executive Director for the Center for Popular Democracy.
This is only the first step in what will be a long term fight to protect the health and well-being of all our communities — immigrants, people of color, minimum wage workers, and the LGBT community. Disney is one of more than a dozen other corporations still on Trump’s economic advisory council. CPD aims to hold each and every one of them to account.
Check out photos from protest in Orlando and New York City on our Facebook page!
Today, as the previously unthinkable becomes a terrifying and sad reality, let us pause for a moment to reflect on the United States we love and believe in.
We believe in a country where all workers deserve a living wage and a safe, dignified place to work. Our America is one that welcomes and protects immigrants. Our America does not discriminate against people based on the color of their skin or the faith they profess, but instead looks to nurture the hopes and aspirations of all. Our America is one where women and LGBTQ individuals have full and equal access to all our society’s rights and privileges. Our America is one where all Americans, regardless of race or wealth are entitled to full participation in our democracy, and where government works for the many, not the few. Our America sees inequality, injustice and poverty and asks how has this come to pass and demands better.
In our America, society is built on the principles of love and respect, not hatred and greed.
We know that building and exercising collective power at the local, state and federal levels can and will transform the political landscape, bringing our vision of America into being.
CPD builds the power of communities to ensure our country embodies our vision of an inclusive, equitable society: where people of color, immigrants, working families, women, and LGBTQ communities thrive together, supported by a fair and resilient economy, and political institutions that reflect our priorities. CPD’s role is especially important at a time when our communities are being threatened and the institutions that sustain us are under attack.
The transformative promise of community-based people-power is why we won’t stop. We must continue to strengthen our collective power to promote and protect our communities.
Whether you’ll be hitting the streets with the hundreds of thousands of others marching across the country or finding your own way of taking action, we need you to get involved with CPD.
Pledge to fight back with our sister organization, CPD Action, and subscribe to their email list. You’ll be kept updated on actionable items and events, receive resources for contacting your elected officials, and contribute to campaigns that expand the voice and power of workers, communities of color, and immigrants on issues of economic and racial justice.
Of course, none of this is possible without generous financial support. If you’re able to, please help CPD strengthen our community organizing efforts with a contribution to our network today.
Through our collective action we can and will transform America to the country of our hopes and aspirations.
Let’s do this! This is our America.
SUPPORT OUR WORK
Thousands of people gathered last Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia to protest plans by Republican members of Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The protest coincided with the first meeting of President Donald Trump and House and Senate Republicans at the annual Republican congressional retreat. The protest began with a march from the Thomas Paine Plaza to the Loews Hotel, the location of the Republican retreat.
CPD affiliates, One Pennsylvania and Make the Road PA, anchored the coalition work that brought together members of VOCAL NY, NYCC, CASA, DACA, MRNY, MRNJ, MRCT, our friends at SEIU Healthcare PA, and many others that showed up in full force, loud, feisty, and proud. The protesters convened to protect the health and well-being of all people— including immigrants, people of color, minimum wage workers, and the LGBTQ community.
Protesters also challenged Trump’s executive actions to build a border wall with Mexico, de-fund sanctuary cities, and illegally curb immigration from Muslim countries. “This is not an agenda that represents the people. We are a nation of immigrants and diverse communities that only make this country stronger. We reject President Trump’s platform of fear and intolerance and are united in defense of our communities,” said Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy.
“Any attempts to take away our health care will be met with stiff resistance,” Salewa Ogunmefun, Political Director for One Pennsylvania. “We will not stand for an agenda that perpetuates greed and division at the expense of insuring millions of our most vulnerable citizens. Today we made it clear that we will continue to stand together in the face of this injustice. We will not go backwards.”
CPD helped organize the action and lent digital support with 250,000 people tuning in on CPD Action’s live Facebook stream, reaching more than one million timelines over 18 hours. The action was also a top Twitter moment! Check out photos from the day’s event here.
Just before the Christmas holiday, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, along with attorneys general from seven others states and D.C., announced that six major retailers have agreed to stop using on-call shifts for employees in their stores following an inquiry by the multi-state coalition of AGs. An estimated 50,000 workers nationwide will benefit from the agreements to end the burdensome scheduling practice, which requires employees to call their employer - typically an hour or two before as scheduled shift - to find out if they will be assigned to work that day.
The six companies - Aeropostale, Carter’s, David’s Tea, Disney, PacSun, and Zumiez - were among 15 large retailers who received a joint inquiry letter from the nine attorneys general in April of 2016 seeking information and documents related to their use of on-call shifts.
The collaboration among attorneys general stemmed from their collective concern about the impact of on-call shifts on employees and their families, as well as the national scope of the retail companies involved.
This inquiry follows a similar one launched by Attorney General Schneiderman last year that prompted six retail brands including the Gap, Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch to end on-call scheduling. More than 300,000 retail workers have been impacted from these the AG actions.
The letters were signed by representatives of the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, D.C., Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Rhode Island. Several offices signed only letters to retailers located within their states.
CPD community partners in these states have been at the forefront of the movement for a fair workweek, and many brought the issue of erratic work schedules to the attention of their state Attorneys General. In Connecticut, Julio Lopez, Lead Organizer at Make the Road, stated: “Providing reliable schedules enables workers to reach their full potential, letting them thrive in today’s changing economy. We will continue to put the heat on employers until schedules across the industry are reliable and fair.”
Unpredictable work schedules take a toll on workers and their families. On-call shifts in particular mean that employees have to put their lives on hold, and then scramble to be available to work with just a few hours notice. This wreaks havoc on families adding stress and makes healthy routines with kids even more difficult. On-call scheduling also makes it hard to for people to hold down a second job or keep up with school. Retailers are moving to end the practice of on-call scheduling because of mounting public concern for employees well-being – and because it is an unnecessary labor practice that actually hurts business.
“This latest announcement shows the sweeping positive impact that Attorney General Schneiderman’s actions have had on the lives of people working in retail,” said Carrie Gleason, CPD’s director of the Fair Workweek Initiative. “Today, we are seeing retailers across America take steps to curb unnecessary and unfair on call-scheduling. We are especially glad that employers like Disney and Carter’s, whose brands promote putting families first, will stop using on-call shifts that are notorious for wreaking havoc on families’ balance and puts undue stress on children. It’s impossible to arrange for childcare with just a few hours’ notice, and so it’s good to see thousands more working parents no longer have to scramble to work enough hours to support their families.”
Angered by Trump’s key appointments from Goldman Sachs, hundreds of community members launched a multi-day resistance to confront Wall Street’s influence on Capitol Hill. It started in New York as New York Communities for Change (NYCC) members took the fight to Goldman Sachs to protest a Government dominated by Wall Street and quickly took off from there. VOCAL NY and other allies joined in creating a swamp encampment around Goldman Sachs in NY. Over 100 community leaders endured chilly, wet conditions and about 50 braved the night through the pouring rain. The encampment of sleeping bags and tarps included people dressed as Goldman Swamp creatures taking our government.
ACCE in Los Angeles took to the streets in front of Goldman and marched to the mansion of Steve Mnuchin. One Pennsylvania took up the call of No #GovernmentSachs in Philadelphia, and FRESC also hit the pavement in Boulder, Colorado.
From the appointment of Steve Bannon (Chief Strategist) to Steve Mnuchin (Treasury Secretary) to Gary Cohn (National Economic Council Director) and most recently, Jay Clayton (SEC Chairman), we now have the most Wall Street driven administration in history. Under this Goldman regime, our policies will be dictated by the very same people that created the foreclosure crisis as they continue to destroy jobs, evict families, criminalize bodies, and profit from incarceration, and put land and water at risk.
CPD supported and helped nationalize these actions with communications, digital and national coordination support. The actions coincided with a series of actions opposing Trump's appointments in particular those focused on Mnuchin. CPD's digital team has lead a petition drive opposing Trump’s cabinet appointments that have promoted white nationalism, attacked climate science, and used their power as Wall Street insiders and corporate lobbyists to fleece working families.
The action drew not only attention from Goldman employees and pedestrians but also from the media. Check out coverage of the encampment in The Guardian, New York Daily News, Bloomberg, and Reuters. Stay up to date with #GovernmentSachs on Facebook.
On Saturday, January 14, thousands of immigrant families, union members, progressive leaders and allies joined together in a national day action on behalf of immigrants and refugees. The “We Are Here to Stay” day of action generated close to 65 events across the country, and brought together progressive organizations, labor unions, faith leaders and immigrant families, to send a strong message of unity and resistance to Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.
The day was coordinated by United We Dream and the FIRM network. Many of CPD partner organizations led the planning of the national strategy, and helped anchor and mobilize thousands of people across the country.
Over 3,000 people gathered at the historic AME Church in Washington DC, and were joined by progressive leaders from labor, reproductive justice, civil rights and LGBTQ rights organizations and more. Close to 1,000 members from CASA, and almost 500 members from Make the Road NY-NJ-PA-CT brought their energy, stories and powerful resolve to stand together. The church was filled to capacity, with hundreds rallying outside in the rain.
In Chicago, more than 1,000 people poured into a Teacher’s Union hall in a gathering organized by ICIRR. In Oregon, PCUN members joined close to 400 people that convened at the steps of the state capitol to send a strong message to the governor and legislature. In Houston, TOP members led a town hall meeting in partnership with UWD members to launch “four years of resistance”. In Florida, New Florida Majority members helped lead a rally in Miami’s little Havana. Many other CPD partners mobilized hundreds of people to events across the country to make sure this national day of action was a success, including WAPUSA in San Jose, CA; LUCHA in Phoenix, AZ; Action NC in North Carolina, and more.
Several national progressive organizations helped mobilize and promote the “#WeAreHereToStay” day of action, including The Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, NextGen, AFT and MoveOn.org and others.
As the shocking results of the 2016 election culminated in the Inauguration ceremony and protests last week, it is important to recognize the positive work and accomplishments of CPD partners at the state and local levels.
CPD partners registered hundreds of thousands of voters, mobilizing New American Majority voters and fighting, and winning, economic justice ballot initiatives that raise the bar for working families in states across the country.
In 2016, CPD Partners:Knocked on three million doors in 28 states across the country Won ballot measures to increase the minimum wage and/or mandate earned sick time in four states Registered 600,000 voters, including new voters, and re-enfranchised voters
Powerful and sophisticated ballot initiative campaigns won big in this cycle. CPD partners were successful at passing statewide increases in the minimum wage in Colorado, Arizona, Maine and Washington. In two of those states, paid sick leave provisions were included in the initiative.
In San Jose, Working Partnerships USA passed the country's first Fair Scheduling ballot measure with more than 63% of the vote. This victory lays the groundwork for similar efforts in other cities around the country.
Our partners' voter registration and mobilization drives made significant strides at changing the electorate in 2016. In several states, massive registration drives by groups like LUCHA, New Virgina Majority, Ohio Organizing Collaborative, Organize Now and New Florida Majority led to hundreds of thousands of new voters joining the roles.
Our partners developed innovative programs, both in voter registration and mobilization, to increase their membership and volunteer base as part of an integrated civic engagement approach for long-term power building in the States. We are excited to see the outcomes of this work over the next two to four years and are confident that they have laid the groundwork for progressive change across the electoral map.