Posts tagged with "vote"

Digital Divide illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Digitally Disconnected

DIGITALLY DISCONNECTED

13 TIPS FOR HELPING BRIDGE THE DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

While social, racial, and economic disparities have always existed within the educational system, the COVID-19 pandemic is exasperating these inequities and widening gaps between students at a drastic rate. For families who can’t afford home computers, laptops, or high-speed internet access, remote learning is nearly impossible, and for students who already found themselves struggling before the pandemic, the prospect of more than a year of lost classroom time is a devastating blow. However, there are steps parents can take to shrink this digital divide, and there are resources available via schools, non-profits, and government initiatives that can help children access the technological tools they need to succeed. Indeed, Dr. Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder of Children and Screens, notes that “the inclusion of 17.2 billion dollars for closing the ‘homework gap’ in the recently passed American Rescue Plan is a watershed moment for digital equity.”   
 
Several of the leading figures in the fields of public health, education, psychology, and parenting have weighed in with their suggestions on the best ways to combat the digital divide, and many will participate in an interdisciplinary conversation and Q&A hosted by Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development on Wednesday, March 24, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Moderated by the Director of Internet and Technology Research at the Pew Research Center Lee Rainie, the panel will engage in an in-depth discussion about the digital divide and actionable steps we can all take to bridge the gap. RSVP here.
 
1. DON’T WAIT, ADVOCATE 

While schools across the country are doing everything they can to make sure that children have access to the technology and connectivity they need for remote learning, the unfortunate reality is that many families still lack adequate resources. If your family is among them, says author and MIT Assistant Professor of Digital Media Justin Reich, know that you’re not alone and that there are steps you can take to advocate for what your children need. “Start with your school staff,” Reich recommends. “They’re often overwhelmed during this challenging time but be polite and persistent. If you run into a dead-end with your school system, consider reaching out to school libraries and youth organizations like The Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA to see what kind of support they might be able to offer.”
 
2. SCALE DOWN 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Dr. Wayne Journell agrees, pointing out that sometimes, despite their best efforts, teachers and administrators may not always know which students are struggling with connectivity issues. “Let teachers know if you have slow internet at home,” says Journell. “Sometimes detailed graphics and animations that look cute but have little relevance to the actual lessons being delivered can cause problems for students with unreliable internet. If teachers are aware, then they can scale down the ‘frilly’ stuff and still get the important content across.”
 
3. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF  

While it’s important for parents to speak up on behalf of their children, RAND Senior Policy Researcher Julia Kaufman, Ph.D., highlights the importance of encouraging children to express their needs, as well. “If your child does not have access to technology at home and is falling behind, make sure your child’s teacher knows the obstacles they’re facing and ask what accommodations will make it easier for your child to do assignments offline,” says Rand. “At the same time, help your child feel comfortable expressing any technology concerns or confusion to their teachers, including cases where they have the technology but cannot use it well.”
 
4. CHECK YOUR ASSUMPTIONS 

One critical step that educators and policymakers can take in addressing the digital divide is to check their assumptions. They cannot – and should not – assume that students do or do not have access based solely on demographics such as family income level. “In addition, they cannot assume that providing access alone creates equity,” adds Dr. Beth Holland, a Partner at The Learning Accelerator (TLA) and Digital Equity Advisor to the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). “This is a complex and nuanced challenge that needs both a technical and a human solution to ensure that students not only have access to sufficient high-speed internet and devices but also accessible systems and structures to support their learning.”

5. SURVEY AND MODIFY  

For teachers who are on the ground and in the classroom, checking your assumptions can be as simple as asking a few basic questions at the start of the term. “Survey students to determine the percentage of your population that doesn’t have home Internet access,” recommends former AAP President Dr. Colleen A. Kraft, MD, MBA, FAAP. “Once you know the divide, you can address it,” adding, “When planning 1:1 projects and choosing devices, for example, you can consider a device’s capacity for offline use. For those without Wi-Fi, a public library in the child’s neighborhood can also be an excellent resource.”

6. VOTE FOR CHANGE 

That parents and teachers need to worry about the digital divide at all is a failure on the part of our elected leaders, says Bates College Associate Professor of Education Mara Casey Tieken. “Contact your elected officials—local, state, and federal—and complain,” she suggests. “Write letters, call their offices, attend their legislative sessions, and make your voice heard. Join with other families whose children are impacted by this divide to amplify your message and use your vote to support lawmakers who understand the impacts of this divide, have a clear plan to address it and are willing to take action.”
 
7. MAKE BROADBAND A UTILITY  

Reich agrees, reminding those families who already have their needs met that they share in the responsibility to advocate for the less fortunate. “It’s our job as citizens to demand that we as a society give families and children the tools and resources that they need for remote learning now and in the future,” says Reich. “We need to advocate for a society where broadband is treated as a utility rather than a luxury good, and young people enrolled in schools and educational programs have access to computers for learning.”

8. CONCRETE INITIATIVES  

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, advocates four concrete initiatives. “Establish a permanent broadband benefit, increase access to affordable computers, digital literacy and technical support, improve broadband mapping (including residential cost data), and support local and state digital inclusion planning.” By implementing these changes, Siefer says, policymakers can start to mitigate the digital divide. 

9. USE TECH FOR GOOD 

There are many reasons to consider equitable solutions along a “digital continuum” rather than the “digital divide;” a binary description leaves less room for nuanced and customized interventions. It may be imperative to fortify existing institutions, implement new governance structures and promulgate policies to confront disparities regarding working families. Antwuan Wallace, Managing Director at National Innovation Service, suggests that legislators consider a Safety and Thriving framework to increase family efficacy to support children with protective factors against the “homework gap” by utilizing technology to train critical skills for executive functioning, including planning, working memory, and prioritization. 
 
10. LEVEL THE FIELD 

Emma Garcia of the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that guided technology education will be of great value after the pandemic. She says, “it will need be instituted as part of a very broad agenda that uses well-designed diagnostic tests to know where children are and what they need (in terms of knowledge, socioemotional development, and wellbeing), ensures the right number of highly credentialed professionals to teach and support students, and offers an array of targeted investments that will address the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on children’s learning and development, especially for those who were most hit by the pandemic.”
 
11. APPLY FOR LIFELINE 

Research also shows that the digital divide disproportionately affects Latino, Black, and Native American students, with the expensive price of internet access serving as one of the main obstacles to families in these communities. “Eligible parents can apply for the Lifeline Program, which is a federal program that can reduce their monthly phone and internet cost,” suggests Greenlining Institute fellow Gissela Moya. “Parents can also ask their child’s school to support them by providing hotspots and computer devices to ensure their child has the tools they need to succeed.”
 
12. GET INVOLVED 

Learning remotely can be difficult for kids, even if they have access to all the technological tools they need. Research shows that parental encouragement is also an important aspect of learning for children, notes London School of Economics professor and author Sonia Livingstone. “Perhaps sit with them, and gently explain what’s required or work it out together.” She adds that working together is a great way that parents with fewer economic or digital resources can support their children. “And if you don’t know much about computers, your child can probably teach you something too!”
 
13. NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL 

When it comes to encouraging your children, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “Reflect on the more nuanced ways your children learn and leverage accessible resources (digital and non-digital) to inspire their continued curiosity,” says University of Redlands Assistant Professor Nicol Howard. Leaning into your child’s strengths and interests will help them make the most of this challenging time.
 
While the move to remote learning may seem like an insurmountable obstacle for families that can’t afford reliable internet or dedicated devices for their kids, there are a variety of ways that parents can help connect their children with the tools they need. For those privileged enough to already have access to the necessary physical resources, it’s important to remember that emotional support is also an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to children’s educational success, especially during days as challenging as these. Lastly, it falls on all of us to use our time, energy, and voices to work towards a more just world where the educational playing field is level and all children have the same opportunity to thrive and succeed, regardless of their social, racial, or financial background.
 
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness. For more information, visit Children and Screens website or contact by email here.
 
The views and opinions that are expressed in this article belong to the experts to whom they are attributed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, or its staff. 

Illustration for 360 Magazine by Rita Azar

Montana’s Anti-Transgender Bills’ Negative Impact

On Thursday, Leader Kim Abbott, the ACLU of Montana, the Free and Fair Coalition, local Montanans, and the Human Rights Campaign detailed their opposition to two anti-transgender bills (HB 112, a bill that would ban the participation of transgender women in women’s sports, and HB 113 which would restrict transgender access to medical care) being rushed through the legislative process in Montana.

HB 112 passed the House Judiciary Committee and HB 113 is expected to see the same result, with both likely to be voted on by the full House within the week after preliminary hearings were held on the federal holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Opponents of the bills on today’s press call discussed the discriminatory nature of both bills and the adverse personal, social, economic, legal, and medical impacts the passage of these bills have had in other states. Those opposed include local legislative voices and those that would be personally impacted by the legislation in question.

“Montana is the first state this year to be giving serious consideration to anti-transgender legislation and unfortunately we don’t expect it will be the last,” said Cathryn Oakley, Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director. “Last year was historic for anti-transgender bills and we expect this year will be as well. These bills went through a rushed legislative process. Why the rush? These are made up issues. As a federal court has already recognized, bills like these are unconstitutional and motivated by anti-transgender animus. This — not COVID or economic relief legislation — is their priority and their motivations are 100% political.”

“This bill would harm pediatricians and other medical professionals by levying steep fines,” said Dr. Lauren Wilson, from the Montana Chapter of the American Association of Pediatrics. “House Bill 113 represents one of the most extreme political attacks on transgender kids in history. Transgender kids are kids. They don’t deserve a ban against participation in sports. We know that transgender kids who can  live with gender they identify with have a lower rate of suicide. These bills undermine the work and rules that schools already have. It would also violate federal law and threaten federal funding. Transgender kids have the best chance to thrive if they can get the care they need and are allowed to be an active part of their community.”

“I am the proud daughter of two kids. My son is transgender. Being transgender is not a choice, and being transgender is not negotiable,” said Jaime Gabrielli, the parent of a transgender child in Montana. “Impulsivity is not part of the equation of transgender affirming health care. These are necessary, planned, informed, thoughtful processes that do not happen quickly. It’s a choice that often comes as one of two remaining options: end your life or transition. When suicide is an option, you do everything you can as a parent to help. I see him beginning to thrive because he’s finally able to be who he is. Making necessary medical care that transgender kids rely on illegal does not make them more safe. My plea to lawmakers is to protect trans youth in Montana by voting ‘no’ to HB 112 and HB 113.”

“I am among the more than 160 businesses in Montana that stand against these bills,” said Chelsie Rice, Owner of the Montana Book Company. “It’s projected that the loss from the North Carolina bathroom bills was upwards of $3 billion. Montana businesses do not support these bills. We face a loss of revenue that we can’t afford. More than that, we want to be businesses that are welcome to all in our state.”

Public policy polling by the Human Rights Campaign in partnership with the Hart Research Group across swing states in the 2020 election showed that support for transgender access to medical care had more than 90% support, including significant support among conservative voters. Idaho, which was the first and so far only state to pass  legislation banning transgender women from participation in sports, has been enjoined from implementing that law pending the final determination of the case as a federal district court found the transgender athlete challenging the law has a significant likelihood of winning her case.

Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and South Carolina show that there would be devastating economic fallout. The Associated Press projected that the North Carolina bathroom bill would have lost the state $3.76 billion over 10 years. During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, the Texas Association of Business estimated $8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting event cancellations, a ban on taxpayer funded travel to those states, cancellation of movie productions, and businesses moving projects out of state. Together, these real-life previous implications of attacking transgender people put Montana’s economy and reputation at risk.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Georgia Comes Alive Virtual Music Festival

On Saturday, December 26th, Live For Live Music in partnership with HeadCount presented Georgia Comes Alive. The one-day virtual music festival presented performances by 50+ artists and aimed to promote voter participation in the upcoming Georgia runoff elections, taking place January 5th, 2021. Conceptualized to support local grassroots organizations like Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda and CivicGeorgia, the event garnered over one million viewers, and raised over $170,000 through 8,000 individual donations (averaging $20 per donation).

The event, powered by Nugs.net and Plus1, was the latest virtual festival from the team behind Democracy Comes Alive, Quarantine Comes Alive, and Justice Comes Alive, events which collectively raised close to $300,000 for various charitable causes and garnered nearly two million views.

As with past Comes Alive events, the lineup of performers throughout the day spanned an eclectic range of genres, presenting everything from bluegrass to singer-songwriters, neo-soul to rock n’ roll, funk, R&B, electronic, and more. Highlights included the debut of The Lame Ducks, a one-off supergroup project featuring Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Jeff Chimenti (Dead & Company), and Jay Lane (Wolf Bros, Primus); collaborative sets including Phil Lesh & Friends and R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills with BIG Something; long-running musical institutions like Blind Boys of Alabama and Preservation Hall Jazz Band; dance music sets by Diplo and Big Gigantic; and a range of hit-making artists, Grammy winners, and cult favorites from across the musical spectrum including Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Big Freedia, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ben Folds, The Revivalists, Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones), Tank and the Bangas, Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), Musiq Soulchild, Amos Lee, Bobby Rush, Warren Haynes, Portugal. The Man, Samantha Fish, Grouplove, and Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers).

While live music dominated the nine-hour event, some of the day’s biggest highlights came during the many illuminating guest conversations with host Ari Fink (SiriusXM). Featured speakers included Jake Sherman (Politico, MSNBC), Helen Butler (Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda), Kevin Shanker Sinha (CivicGeorgia), MaryPat Hector (HeadCount), Andy Bernstein (HeadCount), Kam Franklin (The Suffers, HeadCount), Rachel and Jessica Jackson (HeadCount), Dayna Frank and Dave Weingarden (National Independent Venue Association), Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), and more.

Americans turned out in record numbers to vote during the 2020 elections, largely thanks to dedicated activism of grassroots organizations and the historic participation of underrepresented communities in battleground states like Georgia. Neither Georgia Senate seat garnered the 50% +1 majority vote during the general election, triggering a runoff election set to take place January 5th, 2021. While the Georgia runoffs will be decided by local voters, the results will have national implications by deciding which party controls the Senate. For more information on the specifics and implications of the Georgia Senate runoff elections, click here. Georgia residents can find information on polling places, early voting, mail-in ballots, and more here.

“Georgia Comes Alive was a work of art encapsulating the year 2020 for live music that I believe will go down as a defining moment of this period,” shares the founder of Live For Live Music and the Comes Alive event series, Kunj Shah. “The artists put so much creativity, time, and precaution into recording these segments during a pandemic whether from their own homes, by sending each part to one another remotely, carefully playing outside six feet apart with masks on, or in empty venues around the country observing safety measures like COVID testing and masking for video operators. We will hopefully never need to host an event in this manner again, but in the context of rock and roll history, Georgia Comes Alive will be remembered as the embodiment of the fortitude of live music during this unprecedented time.”

“This was an amazing end to a challenging but unforgettable year,” adds HeadCount co-founder and executive director, Andy Bernstein. “Each of the livestream performances were unique moments in history. The artistry was really apparent in each segmentߞthe musicians really put their hearts into every performance and the cause itself was at the forefront. I hope every viewer got a sense of the grassroots organizations getting the vote out in Georgia and why they are such worthy recipients of the charitable funds raised.”

Georgia Comes Alive was produced by Kunj Shah (founder, Live For Live Music), Don Strasburg(president, AEG Rocky Mountains), and Paul Peck (president, Fandiem; co-founder Okeechobee Music Festival, formerly Bonnaroo) in partnership with HeadCount, the non-partisan organization focused on voter empowerment. Committed to promoting involvement in democracy, HeadCount uses the power of music to register voters, reaching both young people and music fans where they are. Since 2004, it has registered over 600,000 voters through partnerships with touring musicians like Ariana Grande, Dead & Company, and Beyonce, to name a few, at events like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and more.

Connect with Georgia Comes Alive

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Georgia Comes Alive Featured Performances By:

The Allman Betts Band

Allman Brothers Band (archival set)

Amos Lee

Andy Frasco and the U.N.

Ben Folds

Big Freedia

Big Gigantic

Big Head Todd

Billy Strings

Blind Boys of Alabama

Bobby Rush

Chuck Leavell

Dave Matthews

Diplo

Dragon Smoke

The Foo Fighters

Fruition

Futurebirds

G. Love

Galactic

Grace Potter

Grouplove

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Houndmouth

Jackie Venson

Judith Hill

The Lame Ducks ft. Bob Weir, Dave Schools, Jeff Chimenti & Jay Lane

Lawrence

Lee Fields

Los Lobos

Midnight North

Mihali

Mike Mills ft. BIG Something

Moon Taxi

Mt. Joy

Musiq Soulchild

Nathaniel Rateliff

Nicki Bluhm

Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)

Phil Lesh & Friends

Peter Yarrow

Portugal. The Man

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Revivalists

Roosevelt Collier

Samantha Fish

Shah

The Soul Rebels

The Suffers

Tank and the Bangas

Taylor Goldsmith (DAWES)

Warren Haynes

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Drug Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Oregon Decriminalizes Drugs

By Justin Lyons

This year’s election will go down as a legendary one in the history of the United States of America, and for some of the bigger fights, the country still doesn’t have an answer.

Where answers do exist seem to be in propositions and measures, and the big winners are those hoping for the decriminalization of drugs. Mississippi, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona all approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The biggest victory for those in favor of drug decriminalization probably came in Oregon, where the penalty for small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs was lessened.

According to Ballotpedia, Oregon’s Measure 110 would reclassify the possession of controlled substances such as those listed above from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation, which would result in a $100 fine or the necessity of a “completed health assessment.”

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission estimated that convictions for possession would decrease by 90.7%.

Addiction recovery centers conduct the health assessments, which will include a screening from a certified alcohol and drug counselor and must be completed within 45 days of the Class E violation.

The funds for the assessments and the recovery programs will come from the Oregon Marijuana Account and money the state of Oregon saves from reductions in arrests, incarceration and official supervision. The recovery centers will provide treatment 24 hours per day along with health assessments, intervention plans, case management services and peer support and outreach.

The possession quantity of the now decriminalized drugs to be classified as a Class E violation are as follows: one gram of heroin or less, two grams of cocaine or less, two grams of methamphetamine or less, one gram or five pills of MDMA or less, 40 or fewer user units of LSD, less than 12 grams of psilocybin, fewer than 40 user units of methadone and fewer than 40 pills, tables or capsules of oxycodone.

A person carrying more than the specified amounts may face a misdemeanor with less than a year imprisonment, a $6,250 fine or both.

According to Yes on Measure 110, more than 125 Oregon-based organizations endorsed the measure, including Oregon Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon School Psychologists’ Association and Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

Ballotpedia also said the Democratic Party of Oregon, Multnomah Democrats and Working Families Party of Oregon support the bill, right alongside 11-time-GRAMMY-Award-Winning artist John Legend.

The measure is to be implemented no later than Feb. 1 of 2021.

Election illustration for 360 magazine

Pornhub Launches Voting Campaign

Pornhub, the premier online destination for adult entertainment, has announced its “Give A F**k, Get A F**k,” campaign to encourage American users to vote. On Election Day, Pornhub will be reserved only for those who have voted in the United States. 

“Roughly 43 percent of eligible voters – equal to 100 million people didn’t vote in the 2016 U.S Presidential Election, according to turnout estimates from the U.S. Elections Project. We want to encourage people to do their civic duty this year by casting their ballot and having their voice heard,” said Corey Price, Vice President, Pornhub.

Leading up to the campaign officially launching on Nov. 3, Pornhub will be running a social campaign with an assortment of high-profile models. This includes Pornhub Brand Ambassador Asa Akira, Domino Presley, Natassia Dreams, Janice Griffith, Lance Hart, Soverign Syre and Lotus Laine. They are posting videos encouraging people to get out and vote and also teasing them that “if they don’t give a f***, they don’t get a f**k.” 

When the campaign officially kicks off on Nov. 3, Pornhub users in the United States will be greeted by an overlay page which will appear over the Pornhub website from 10 a.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST reminding them to vote before entering the site that day. 

Of course, nothing can actually be done to prevent Americans from watching porn since there is no way for citizens to provide pornhub with any proof they voted. However, the campaign is clever and a helpful reminder to users that their voice matters. 

Pornhub tweeted about the campaign on its official Twitter account. “Election Day is around the corner and we’re here to make sure you give a F**K! So on Nov.3, only those who give a F**K will get a F**K on Pornhub!” the tweet read. The video attached to the tweet has over 45 thousand views.

Pornhub’s “Give A F**k, Get A F**k” campaign is a collaboration with Just For Fun, a creative agency. “In 2016, over 100 million eligible voters had zero f**ks to give about the election. This year, to encourage everyone to get off the couch and head to the polling places, we knew we needed to hit them where it hurts – their pants,” said a spokesperson for Just For Fun.

The two companies are working together to promote voting for the 2020 election. Some people have even said is one of the most important elections so far in their lifetime. Their goal is to get as many eligible voters to vote as possible.

Oprah Winfrey Virtual Town Halls

Oprah Winfrey announced plans Monday to host virtual town halls in states that look to play a large role in the upcoming election.

As part of OWN’s OWN YOUR VOTE get-out-the-vote initiative, the town halls will be a non-partisan effort to encourage, inspire and support voters across the country before Nov. 3.

The events are free and open to the public, and you can register in advance by clicking right here.

She will host an event for voters in Wisconsin Oct. 26, voters in North Carolina Oct. 27, voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania Oct. 28 and voters in South Carolina Oct. 29. All of the town halls will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Winfrey will speak with local voters in an effort to acquire adequate resources, information and inspiration to create a more informed voting base. Local voters, national thought leaders, voting rights experts and others who can provide insight and resources to voters will join her.

Speakers at the town halls include Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Representative Gwen Moore, Kristen Clarke, Vi Lyles, Kamilia Landrum, Andrea Hailey, Tameika Isaac Devine, Arisha Hatch, Tamika D. Mallory and Sherrilyn Ifill.

Representatives from women’s organizations will also attend, like Dr. Glenda Glover, Beverly E. Smith, Melanie Campbell, Glynda Carr, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Dr. Kimberly Leonard, Rasheeda S. Liberty and Valerie Hollingsworth Baker.

For this event, OWN YOUR VOTE has partnered with the following organizations: 

Advancement Project National Office

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

AME Church Social Action Commission

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Fair Fight Action

Higher Heights Leadership Fund

Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights

The Kapor Center

The King Center (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Links, Incorporated

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

National Council of Negro Women

National Urban League

Power Rising

Power to the Polls

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated

Sistahs in Business Expo

Vote Run Lead

Vote.org

VoteAsIf.org

When We All Vote

Woke Vote

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated

You can also learn more about OWN YOUR VOTE by clicking right here.

California Ranks 3rd in Nation for Clean Energy Jobs

Clean energy jobs paid 25% more than the national median wage in 2019 and were more likely to include health care and retirement benefits, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of federal occupational wage and benefits data prepared for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) by BW Research Partnership.

The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector. According to the report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019 compared with the national median wage of $19.14. In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows.

Clean Jobs, Better Jobs comes amid the growing national dialogue around clean energy as federal and state leaders look for ways to restart the economy. The findings underscore the opportunity to advance smart clean energy policies that create higher-wage opportunities putting Americans back to work quickly rebuilding a cleaner, more resilient and more equitable economy. The report also provides detailed wage, benefit, education and demographic data for 15 specific clean energy occupations, and how they compare with similar jobs in other industries outside of clean energy.

Overall, median wages in clean energy are significantly higher than median wages in sectors such as retail, services, recreation and accommodations, especially when it comes to entry-level wages. Solar energy workers earn $24.48 an hour, while wind and grid modernization jobs pay on average more than $25 an hour. Energy efficiency – the largest employer in the nation’s energy sector – supports a median hourly wage of $24.44, about 28% above the national median.

Many clean energy jobs also paid better than fossil fuel jobs. Jobs in coal, natural gas and petroleum fuels paid $24.37 an hour, while solar and wind jobs combined for a $24.85 median hourly wage. Clean energy industries also employed about three times more workers than fossil fuels did in 2019, and, unlike fossil fuel jobs, clean energy jobs are available in every state, regardless of geology or geography.

Before COVID-19, clean energy had been one of the nation’s fastest-growing sectors. At the end of 2019, clean energy employed nearly 3.4 million workers across 99% of U.S. counties, according to E2’s Clean Jobs America report.

Bob Keefe, Executive Director at E2, said:

“This is just one more indication that focusing on clean energy is the smart thing to do as lawmakers look to rebuild our economy and get Americans back to work.

“These jobs pay better, come with better benefits – and they’re also helping fight climate change and the growing economic costs that come with it. We need policies that ensure these good-paying jobs continue to grow and are available to every American in every state.”

Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), said:

“More renewable energy means more high-quality jobs with good pay and better benefits for more Americans. Investing in these jobs is both smart for the economy and essential for the climate. With the right policies in place, the renewable industry can put people to work powering our nation’s economic recovery – as it did in 2009 – and play a critical role in achieving the greenhouse gas emissions reductions scientists say are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Becca Ward, Acting Executive Director of CELI, said:

“Emerging leaders know the future of energy is clean energy. This report illustrates that clean energy careers are already a critical part of the economy and the recovery from COVID-19. Now the essential work is to ensure that in the greater energy transition, these benefits and opportunities are centered in equity and the frontline communities most impacted by climate change, COVID-19, and ongoing racial injustices.”

Phil Jordan, Vice President and Principal at BW Research Partnership, said:

“The U.S. economy has shed millions of jobs since the onset of COVID-19. Clean energy investments can create new opportunities for these displaced workers, in jobs that pay more and are more likely to include benefits than the average jobs lost during the pandemic.”

State Findings

Clean energy industries in six states paid wages at least 20% higher than the statewide median, led by California (29.2%), Texas (27.6%) and Louisiana (24.9%). Six states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) had median hourly wages above $25 an hour in clean energy, led by Massachusetts ($29.80), D.C. ($27.60) and California ($27.50).

Other Report Findings

  • The unionization rate across all clean energy occupations (9%) was slightly higher than the national private-sector average (6%)
  • Common occupations – such as electrician, construction laborer, and welder – typically pay a premium when they’re involved in clean energy industries. Electricians who work in clean energy, for instance, make a median $29.64 per hour – about $2.60 more per hour than electricians overall.
  • Wage premiums for clean energy occupations are highest for entry-level positions.

For expanded findings, including detailed profiles on 15 specific clean energy occupations, download the full report here.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Mail-in Ballots

People For the American Way’s Latinos Vote! Radio in Iowa

People For the American Way’s Latinos Vote! Program announced a Spanish-language radio ad buy in Iowa, focused on Senator Joni Ernst’s failures, disastrous record on health care, the importance of protecting Iowans with pre-existing conditions and the call to vote her out in November. People For’s Latinos Vote! program was one of the first groups to air Spanish-language ads about Ernst’s record.

“Seguro médico,” a 60 second ad, which began airing last week, will air several times a day, through October 25, across the state on Spanish-language radio stations including stations in Des Moines, Sioux City, and Cedar Rapids.

The ads begin airing amid growing concern about the lack of outreach to Latino communities during this 2020 presidential election cycle. There are an estimated 32 million eligible Latino voters nationwide and an estimated 67,000 eligible Latino voters in Iowa, which represents 3 percent of all eligible voters in the state–enough to turn the tide in a state where polling suggests both Joni Ernst and Donald Trump are losing ground. This year Latino voters will be the largest racial or ethnic minority participating in a presidential election. Only 12.65 million Latino voters went to the polls in 2016.

“For nearly four years, Latinos in Iowa have watched Joni Ernst stand behind Donald Trump’s hateful, bigoted policies and rhetoric while simultaneously working to dismantle their health care,” said President of People For the American Way Ben Jealous. “Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, Joni Ernst has indicated she will vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, a notoriously anti-health care judge, to the Supreme Court. Enough is enough. These ads are a reminder of what another term with anti-health care, Trump-enabling Joni Ernst looks like.”

“Latinos in Iowa and across the country, who have felt a disproportionate impact from the coronavirus pandemic, count on their health care”  said People For the American Way board member, civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta. “Joni Ernst has worked with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, end protections for pre-existing conditions, and make it harder for Iowans to get the health care they need. It is time for her to go.”

RADIO SCRIPTS

English:

Raquel: Pablo – I’m worried about dad’s healthcare insurance. He has pre-existing medical conditions and the Republicans don’t seem to care about covid! He’s not up to date with his medications and he could get ill with the virus! Little brother, we have to do something!

Pablo: Raquel I know. Republican Senator Joni Ernst has failed us so much. She values money and her millionaire friends more than the community. She voted against people with pre-existing medical conditions … all to make more millionaire friends.

Raquel: That’s why we have to vote for Teresa Greenfield because she will advocate/fight so that all of us have access to healthcare in order to have medical insurance for our families. Have some spirit little brother! To improve things, we must vote for Democrat Teresa Greenfield for the Senate!

Disclaimer: People For the American Way is responsible for the content of this advertising. Paid for by People For the American Way independent of any candidate or candidate committee.

Spanish:

Raquel: Ay Pablo – Me preocupa el seguro médico de papá. Tiene condiciones médicas preexistentes y a los republicanos parece no impórtarles lo del covid! No está al día con sus medicamentos y se pueda enfermar con el virus. Hermanito tenemos que hacer algo!

Pablo: Lo sé Raquel. La Senadora republicana Joni Ernst nos ha fallado tanto. Ella valora más el dinero y sus amigos millonarios que a la comunidad. Ha votado en contra de personas con condiciones preexistentes médicas…todo para hacer más millonarios a sus amigos.

Raquel: Es por eso tenemos que votar por la Teresita Greenfield, porque ella si va a luchar para que todos tengamos cuidado de salud accesible y podamos tener seguro médico para nuestras familias. Animo hermanito. Para mejorar las cosas, votemos por la demócrata Teresa Greenfied para el Senado!

Disclaimer: People For the American Way es responsable por el contenido de este anuncio. Pagado por People For the American Way independiente de cualquier candidato o comité de candidatos.

ABOUT LATINOS VOTE

People For the American Way’s Latinos Vote! program exposes and counters anti-immigrant, anti-Latino rhetoric and policies. Through electoral work and issue-based campaigns, we hold groups, leaders and influencers accountable for the harm they do to immigrant and Latino communities. For nearly ten years, we’ve run bilingual paid and earned media campaigns in swing states where the Latino vote can be decisive.

El programa Latinos Vote! de People For the American Way expone y combate la retórica y las políticas anti-inmigrantes y anti-latinos. Nuestro programa se organiza mediante trabajo electoral y campañas basadas en temas especificos. En estas areas hacemos responsables a los grupos, líderes y a personas de influencia por el daño que causan a las comunidades inmigrantes y latinas. Por casi diez años, hemos realizado campañas pagadas y logrado campañas ganadas en medios bilingües destinadas a ganar en los estados claves donde el voto latino puede ser decisivo.

ABOUT PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: HERE.

Presidents Illustration for 360 Magazine by Maria Soloman

Safe and Secure Use of Ballot Drop Boxes in CA

California will make ballot drop boxes more widely available in the November 2020 election than in any previous election.California Common Cause supports this unprecedented expansion in voting access because voters in the the November 2020 election must contend with dual threats:

1. The pandemic, which will make many uneasy with voting at a polling place or vote center.
2. Decaying trust in the United States Postal Service and the vote-by-mail process, because of sustained but unsubstantiated attacks from loud voices in our national politics.

Ballot drop boxes solve both problems. They give voters a safe, secure method to return a vote-by-mail ballot that is controlled and operated by the county elections office, without requiring voters to visit an in-person site or use the mail.

California voters should use official ballot drop boxes with confidence. County-run ballot drop boxes are tamper-proof, are governed by a strict set of safety protocols, and are required to meet language and disability access requirements. Ballots picked up from ballot drop boxes are managed with tight chain-of-custody controls.

Voters should look up official, county-operated ballot drop boxes located near them

Unfortunately, the California Repubulican Party has created informal or unofficial ballot drop boxes that may confuse or mislead voters and create distrust in official ballot drop boxes.

Background and context are important. In 2016, California passed a law expanding voters’ ability to transmit their ballot to a third party for return. Previously, only a family or household member could return a voter’s vote-by-mail ballot. Under revised law, any third party trusted by the voter can return the voter’s vote-by-mail ballot, provided that the third party is not paid to do so on a per-ballot basis. A relevant example would be a resident of a care home, who can authorize a trusted staff member of the home to return the resident’s ballot on their behalf. The California GOP has argued that its informal drop boxes are legal under this expanded ballot return law.

More importantly for California voters, informal ballot collection sites that are disguised as official ballot drop boxes may trick community members who wish to return their ballot at an official ballot drop box. These unofficial “official” ballot drop boxes create confusion about and erode trust in voting procedures. Interfering with voters’ ability to cast their ballots is unlawful under California law.

California Common Cause encourages every California voter to:

  • Look up where official, county-operated ballot drop boxes are located near them
  • Sign up for Ballot Trax, to get email and text alerts about the status of their ballot, and to confirm that their ballot is counted

Voters in California have several options for returning their ballots. In addition to using an official ballot drop box, voters can return their vote-by-mail ballots by mail or at any voting site on Election Day or in the early voting period. Voters can also vote in person, on Election Day or in the early voting period. County voter information guides and county elections websites should list in-person voting locations.

PFAW x Enough of Trump

People For the American Way and Amsterdam News, the oldest Black-owned news business in the country, are excited to announce the completion of a major public art installation on the exterior of the Amsterdam News’s historic Harlem building. 

The installation includes images from prominent artists participating in the Enough of Trump campaign, including some of the most influential Black and Brown artists in the country. The installation, which includes a permanent 30’x 70’ mural by world-renowned artist, Carrie Mae Weems, covers the full front facade and north facing wall of the Amsterdam News headquarters at 2340 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY. It also features pieces by artists Shepard Fairey, Beverly McIver, Amalia Mesa-Bains and Angelica Muro.

“Today, we are three weeks away from the most important election of our lifetime and for a historic Black newspaper to blanket their building in Enough of Trump art, in the middle of Harlem, sends a clear message to the nation and the world that people have had enough of Trump,” said PFAW President Ben Jealous. “The issues driving the mostly Black artists and artists of color who are participating in the Enough of Trump campaign, include his continued mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, his blatant racism, and his unconscionable encouragement of violent and deadly policing. We are really excited that the historic Amsterdam News is supporting artists participating in the Enough of Trump campaign.”  

“Art has always been an influential tool in creating social change,” said Amsterdam News Publisher Elinor Tatum. “That’s why I’m thrilled to partner with People For the American Way and its Enough of Trump campaign at this critical time. Given the stakes in this historic election, it is more urgent than ever to inspire voters to transform their dissatisfaction over the increased polarization of this country, and the racism that this administration is perpetrating, into votes on Election Day.”

“America is at a tipping point,” said artist and project curator Carrie Mae Weems. “Either we move forward by electing Joe Biden, or we continue to regress with four more years of Donald Trump. It is that simple. Our hope is that this project serves as a reminder to residents of Harlem and Americans everywhere of the bigotry, hate and corruption brought on by four years of Donald Trump and the importance of voting him out next month.” 

The national Enough of Trump campaign, which is a project of PFAW, features work from 17 different artists whose pieces are being shared on multiple platforms. The campaign’s mission is to motivate people to share what they have had “enough” of in the Trump era, and to get out and vote in November.

The campaign’s focus is on battleground states but its scope is national. In addition to the Amsterdam News art installation, PFAW recently announced “Enough” themed billboards in Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, and Michigan locations, with more to come. 

The ENOUGH of Trump campaign website features a full gallery of artist images as well as a store for purchase of ENOUGH art, prints, and collectibles.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: http://www.pfaw.org.

See images of the installation HERE