Posts tagged with "work"

Filmstrip illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Best Places to Live × Work

The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021—InternationalLiving.com

While just about every country is willing to provide a tourist visa that lets visitors hang around for a few months, most will not grant permission to live and work within their borders without a job offer from a local employer. Some offer long-term residence visas that let expats legally live in the country, but they don’t typically allow for work. A new report from the editors at International Living highlights four countries where it’s possible to find easy access to a residence visa—and the permits that allow for work as well.

Source: International Living

It’s clear that an increasing number of Americans want a different life and are looking for countries where they can live and work legally. But the options are limited without a local employer willing to provide a job.

Expats able to earn from anywhere do have a few good options, however, according to International Living’s report. While a small collection of countries welcomes outsiders, who can qualify for the necessary visas, four in Latin America and Europe stand out as the best options in terms of cost, ease, and timing.

Panama

If your goal is to live and work remotely overseas, but remain close to U.S. borders, Panama is your best bet. Direct flights land in Panama City from at least nine U.S. cities and take between three and seven hours, depending on where you’re coming from.

Beyond proximity, Panama offers what it calls the Panama Friendly Nations Visa, a special program whereby nationals of certain countries (including the U.S. and Canada) can apply for permanent residence, which comes with a Panamanian cédula, the local ID card. That cédula is permanent, allowing holders to come and go as they please, as would a born-and-bred Panamanian. Separately, the program also allows holders to request a work permit through the Ministry of Labor, though that’s part of a different process.

Obtaining a temporary cédula takes about eight days. It will take another two days to obtain a multiple-entry visa that’s necessary so an individual can come and go as they wait out the roughly five-month process for the government to issue a permanent cédula. Once a cédula has been obtained, a person can then apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Labor, which will take about a month.

To start the cédula process, you’ll need basic documents—passport, proof from the FBI that there is no criminal record—and $5,000 in a Panamanian bank account, plus $2,000 for each dependent. And to obtain a work permit, then you’ll need to set up a Panamanian corporation (which can be disbanded after a year).

Uruguay

If speed is more important, then Uruguay is a great choice. Here, expats can land at the airport with the correct collection of documents, and if they already have a pre-scheduled filing date with the immigration office that day, they can file their paperwork and have a temporary cédula that afternoon or the next day. All that’s required is a birth certificate and an apostilled police record (meaning it has been authenticated and is acceptable across international borders). They will also need to show that they have the financial means to support themselves with a provable stream of income from anywhere in the world.

With a temporary cédula, they will also have immediate access to the state healthcare system, or they can immediately buy access with a local, private healthcare plan, which will cost about $70 to $350 a month, depending on the bell and whistles they want.

To manage the process themselves, expect to pay about $600 to $700. But they will also need to have a proficient level of Spanish, as none of the paperwork is in English. Otherwise, hire an attorney. It will be quicker and more efficient and will cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

­Portugal

Portugal has two visas that would apply to someone wanting to live and work on the Iberian Peninsula: D2 and D7. Technically, the D2 is for independent workers and entrepreneurs, while the D7 is for those who are retired or earning passive income. In practical terms, the D7 will make sense for most people, even if they’re not retired, because it’s based on income. The D2 requires proof that an expat can support themselves as a freelancer and can begin issuing Portuguese invoices on which the business will be taxed, though the tax rate is fixed at 20% for 10 years.

With the D7, instead, a person will need only to show that they have €8,000 (about $9,700) per person in a Portuguese bank account and that they have the equivalent of €30,000 ($36,400) in a bank account back in their home country.

To apply for either a D2 or D7 visa, an expat must enroll in the Portuguese tax system and become a tax resident. That requires obtaining a Portuguese tax number before they can even apply for a visa. And for that, they will need a sponsor, which can be a law office, accounting office, or migration office.

For that reason, they’ll need to hire a pro to walk them through the process and be their sponsor for the tax number. All in, that will cost you between €1,000 and €2,500 (about $1,200 to $3,000). The process will require two to four months to complete.

As a freelancer, an expat will also want to apply for Non-Habitual Resident status, or NHR, which is issued to people who’ve never lived in Portugal before and move to the country. With NHR status, income earned outside the country is exempt from taxes. They will have to file a Portuguese tax return and declare the income, though they’ll owe no taxes on it. The other benefit of this is that it shows Uncle Sam they’re a tax resident of another country, which then helps trigger their eligibility for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

A person is eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship and a passport after five years of residence, though they have to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Czech Republic

It’s a two-step process in Czech Republic. First step: apply to join the živnostensky (zivno) list. This isn’t specifically for foreigners. It’s a trade license for any Czech resident who works independently, be that a plumber, masseuse, artist, or whoever. That will take a week at most. Zivno in hand, they can then apply for a one-year, temporary residence visa.

They must apply for a residence visa at a Czech embassy outside of the Czech Republic, show they have housing (a notarized lease agreement) for the full-length of the visa they seek, up to one year. That means they’ll need to visit the Czech Republic to arrange that. Some expats will move to Prague, obtain their housing and zivno, then take the train to nearby embassies in Berlin, Vienna, or Bratislava and complete their application.

They will need a signed letter from their bank stating that they have the equivalent of 125,000 Czech crowns on deposit (about $5,700). That will need to be translated into Czech, which a visa agency can handle. Be sure the account has a debit card, which must be presented at the application meeting at the Czech embassy, because officials will want to see it—it’s proof that a person can access the account.

An FBI criminal background check is required, though as an American an expat can also go to the U.S. embassy in Prague and sign an affidavit attesting to their criminal-free background. Along with a passport and an application form, that’s pretty much all the documents an applicant needs.

To hire a local agency to help with the process, it should cost less than 15,000 crowns (about $685) for everything. The embassy fee is a separate 5,000 crowns (about $230).

Once the temporary visa expires after a year, it can easily be traded in for a renewable, two-year long-term residence visa. After five years as a legal resident, a person is eligible to apply for Czech citizenship and a Czech passport, which like the Portuguese passport, is an EU passport and thus gives them free rein to live and work anywhere in the EU.

The full report on the best places to live and work in 2021, including more information for immigration experts in each of the countries mentioned, can be found at: The Best Places to Live and Work Abroad in 2021.

International Living has launched its new “Work From Anywhere” resource, devoted to coverage of innovative money-making strategies, ways to build a portable income, tips for boosting health and well-being, methods to maximize Social Security, and so much more. More information can be found, here.

business illustration by Rita Azar for use by 360 Magazine

3 Tips For Leaders To Steady The Ship When Employees Lose Their Balance

Company leaders and managers have a big responsibility in overseeing employees. But they can’t see everything, and sometimes there’s more going on in a worker’s life than meets the eye.

Employee disengagement or burnout isn’t always apparent, and some employers may be in for a surprise if and when the COVID-19 pandemic winds down. One study shows that 57 percent of U.S. employees say they are burnt out, with many likely to leave their job after the pandemic is over. And a Gallup survey reveals that the percentage of engaged employees – those enthusiastic about their workplace – is under 40 percent.

What the numbers mean is leaders need to learn how to spot and help out-of-balance employees, says Mark McClain, CEO and co-founder of SailPoint and the ForbesBooks author of “Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People).”

“One challenge leaders and managers routinely face is to recognize when the people around them – peers, colleagues, but especially subordinates – are out of balance or are heading in the wrong direction,” McClain says. “Beyond the potential impacts on their personal lives, you want to try to head off the negative effects such imbalances can have on their roles in the company.

“This may seem imposing, but you have to pay attention as a leader. No employee can run at a crazy pace forever, yet some companies let people run themselves right out of the building. Other workers who are disengaged can be harder to spot initially.”

McClain offers these tips for leaders to spot, address, and help out-of-balance employees:

  • Make work-life balance part of your culture. “You can expect much from your employees, but you don’t want them to fry themselves,” McClain says. “You don’t want them to harm their health, their family, or their relationships. If you have good people, ideally you’ll grow them and help them work toward their vision of a healthy work-life balance. The sooner leaders confront imbalance in the equation, the more meat they put on the bones of company culture.”
  • Screen out for potential burnout. Some companies hire knowing they will overwork people or take advantage of their ambition to work extra hard and advance up the corporate ladder, McClain says. But that approach can lead to burnout and departure, which costs companies in terms of replacing them. “There are always going to be ultra-motivated climbers,” McClain says. “But exploiting them is beyond bad. Those who can’t stand it get out, and the HR departments plan on the fact that every four or five years, only 15 to 20 percent of those hires will be able to move up the ranks. These types of organizations instead should invest in pre-hiring assessments to screen out those who value a life outside of work. Doing so would save the companies money and turnover.”
  • Be a counselor. It’s not an invasion of privacy for a manager to show concern in an employee, McClain says, and probing is necessary to help the employee. “Like it or not,” he says, “being a counselor of sorts is part of managing people. Getting to know them as people, and their work styles, is what makes spotting imbalances possible. It’s why good managers pull employees aside and say, ‘Hey, you’re here, but you’re not engaged. Is something going on?’ Managers who take that step are able to uncover issues and steer their employees to the help they need.”

“Many companies talk about caring for workers until they’re blue in the face,” McClain says. “But when you put in place the pieces to help them succeed, leaders walk the walk – and everybody wins.”

About Mark McClain

Mark McClain, ForbesBooks author of “Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People)”, is CEO of SailPoint, a leader in the enterprise identity management market. McClain has led the company from its beginnings in 2005, when it started as a three-person team, to today where SailPoint has grown to more than 1,200 employees who serve customers in 35 countries.

Smartphone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Smartphone Subscriptions

Smartphone Subscriptions Have More Than Doubled In 5 Years – 11% CAGR from 2016-2020

Smartphones have become abundant in today’s society, giving us the ability to control many aspects of our lives with just our fingertips.  Today’s smartphones act as a portal to our everyday needs and desires; from banking to shopping, from work to leisure, from hobbies to passions, our smartphone allows us to connect with the world more than ever before. According to data presented by BuyShares, smartphone subscriptions in 2020 has more doubled since 2015 to 6.1B units globally, growing at a CAGR of 10.54% in the 5-year period from 2016-2020.

Smartphone Subscriptions Have Doubled From 2015 to 2020 – 6.1B in 2020

The title of the very first smartphone belongs to the Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) which was produced and launched by IBM in 1994. A few of the SPC’s main features still remain as staples of modern-day smartphones, but the SPC would be unrecognizable as a smartphone among today’s generation of devices.

The iPhone’s launch in 2007 is what many consider the first version of the smartphone as we know it today. It was the first phone to offer access to the internet in its entirety and not a scaled-down version of it. For the first time ever, you could browse the internet just like you would on your desktop computer or laptop.

Smartphones became mainstream soon after the iPhone’s launch and are now ubiquitous in today’s society.  Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson, estimates there to be 6.1B smartphone subscriptions in the world in 2020, over 101% more than 2015’s smartphone subscriptions. In the 5-year period from 2016-2020, smartphone subscriptions grew at a CAGR of 10.54%.

In the year that the first iPhone was released, it is estimated that 122M units of smartphones were sold to end-users. In 2018 that figure ballooned to a record 1.56B smartphones sold. 2019 posted similar numbers to 2018 but experienced a 10.5% YoY decrease in the pandemic ravaged year of 2020. The number of smartphones sold to end-users is projected to bounce back and increase by 11.4% YoY in 2021.

China Has the Most Smartphone Users with Almost 1 Billion

China has an estimated 912M smartphone user in 2020, the most in the world. China’s smartphone penetration rate in 2020 stood at 63.4% which is the 8th highest in the world. Of the top 20 countries with the most smartphone users, the USA had the highest penetration rate of 81.6%. 15 other countries from the top 20 list, posted smartphone penetration rates of above 50%.

As of 2020, Newszoo estimates that there are 3.6B smartphone users worldwide. The same estimates project smartphone users to rise by almost 20% by 2023 to 4.3B. The smartphone penetration rate globally in 2020, stood at 46.45% compared to just 33.5% in 2016.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information here.

The “Magic” of the Disney College Program 

By Hannah DiPilato

“The Magic Kingdom is now open!” a loud voice blares over the intercom at the entrance of the most famous park at Disney World. Hoards of people rush towards the small gates to journey into the land of magic. Upon entering, the magic hits like a wall with Mickey Mouse balloons and a Main Street lined with buildings that look like they were pulled from a storybook. This all leads up to the glistening masterpiece that is Cinderella’s castle. 

But how magical is this experience when you have to do it daily as a burnt-out college student working to make ends meet? For thousands of college students, this is their daily life, but the magic gets dull with each screaming child and cranky parent they encounter. Does the magic truly vanish while working for the Disney College Program, or is all the hassle worth the enchantment that encompasses Disney? 

What it Takes to Work for the Mouse

Although it may seem like no one would be begging to work in a theme park, the Disney College Program gets thousands of applicants every year and only ends up accepting less than 20% of those students. The Disney College Program offers programs at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. There are five basic qualifications students must meet before they should begin to apply.

According to the Disney Program website, students that hope to apply to the program must be “enrolled and taking classes at an accredited program or institution” at the time they hope to apply. Students must have already completed at least one semester of classes or have graduated within 12 months. The program is specifically designed for undergraduate students, but graduate students are able to apply. Some individual universities have special requirements for students to meet such as a specific GPA, so students should meet with an advisor at their school before applying. 

The program also requires all applicants to be at least 18 years old by the time the program starts as well as possess an unrestricted work authorization. Finally, students that have done the program before must wait at least four months from their departure date to return to the program again. 

However, the program requirements go deeper than this. Since the program is so competitive applicants need to do their best to stand out. The first step of the application process is a general questionnaire that’s similar to many basic job applications. After passing this step, applicants move on to a more in-depth web interview. Finally, a phone interview makes the final decision if someone is selected for the program. 

The Captivating Cast Member Positions

There’s a variety of positions available for students that register for the program. The jobs range from working in the parks to working in the hotels and are assigned by random or based on applicants’ prior experience. These positions are no walk through wonderland, they’re full-time positions and students need to be available to work days, nights, weekends and holidays. The wage depends on the position, but most of the employees only make around $9 an hour or a similar amount close to minimum wage. The paychecks certainly aren’t fit for royalty. 

One past cast member who was a part of the Disney college program, Rebecca Condon, worked Merchandise at the Emporium on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. This retail experience allowed her to become a manager at Lilly Pulitzer at the young age of 22. Northeastern alumni, Kayla DiPilato also participated in the program as a seater at Be Our Guest, a themed restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. She believes she received this position because of her prior experience as a hostess at Top of the Hub in Boston. 

As both of these jobs seem to capture the whimsical essence of Disney, many positions in the program are not as sought over. Some roles such as custodial or food prep, are minimum wage jobs that can be found at most basic establishments all around the country. However, what would be a part-time job in a fast-food restaurant or a business turns into hours on hours in an amusement park to make ends meet. Depending on which job an applicant is selected for could determine whether they love or hate the program. Although, one person’s job nightmare could be a dream come true for somebody else. 

Not a Castle Nor a Carriage 

The housing and transportation for the program has not received stellar reviews from past cast members. Members of the Disney College Program are housed in apartments and rent is taken weekly from their paychecks. Rent can cost anywhere from $114 to $205 a week depending on what housing a person is placed in. Many times cast members have to share a room as well as sharing the apartment with a few other workers. The rules of housing are apparently incredibly strict, with restrictions against alcohol as well as overnight guests of the opposite gender. 

“My least favorite part of the job was the apartments they housed us in,” said Rebecca Condon. “My apartment was the oldest Disney property and had tons of issues. My toilet overflowed 7 times during the program because of bad pipes in the wall to the point where it flooded our whole apartment with about 2 inches of water.” The rent might be cheap, but in the end you get what you pay for. 

If students were unable to bring their own car, they had to rely on the transportation provided by Disney. The college program in Orlando provides a shuttle service to help transport cast members, but the Anaheim program only provides cast members with a free city bus pass. Although the shuttle sounds like a convenient option, it was much less practical than having a car on the property. 

“It is unbelievable how they are able to transport thousands of us,” expressed Condon. “Although, with that being said, it was really hard because I would have to leave two hours before my shift to make sure I got there in time and I often wasn’t home until two to three hours after my shift.” After an incredibly long day of working in a busy park, a two-hour commute is much longer than anyone would want to endure. 

The unreliable shuttle was one reason DiPilato decided to drive her car all the way from Massachusetts to use during her time in the program. “I knew how disastrous it would be to take the shuttle for commuting,” she said. “I also wanted to have the freedom to explore Orlando.”

Experience the Magic but Fight the Villains 

Disney has its perks as well as its downsides just as any normal day job does. DiPilato said her favorite part of the job was making magic for guests, especially for kids that were part of the Make A Wish program. However, she also recalled that families would often get hot and tired after a long day in the park and take out their frustrations on her.  

There were also a lot of strict rules such as never being allowed to point with one finger, never calling guests “people” instead of guests, not being able to have piercings besides one on your earlobes and not being able to wear too much makeup. 

“Once I got yelled at because a child threw his shoe into our moat. How was that my fault?” recalled DiPilato. “Although, I did get to meet Josh Gad in promotion of the Beauty and The Beast live-action movie that was set to come out at the time, so that was a super cool experience.”

Condon recalled one occurrence where the cast members got to experience an exclusive party for the cast members. “Disney opened up one of their water parks for cast members after hours,” she recalled. “They hired a DJ and catered with some of the best Disney Treats, especially the Mickey Bars!”

Every day working at Disney for the Disney College Program is a unique experience. DiPilato mentioned that guests would often sprinkle ashes of relatives within the rides and cast members would have to clean them up. “Yeah, that happened a lot, mostly in the Haunted Mansion,” she said nonchalantly. She also touched on the fact that kids would often get separated from their families, throw up randomly and scream… a lot. “Giving kids a magical experience is amazing, but it comes with so many more problems than would come with working strictly with adults,” she said. 

Is the Work Worth the Pixie Dust?

It takes a special and dedicated person to participate in the Disney College Program. Days are full of long hours of work and lots of cranky families. However, the perks and experience a cast member receives from the job will last a lifetime. 

“I absolutely loved the program and feel like I grew so much from it,” concluded Condon. “The skills I learned from working for this Fortune 500 company is something I carry around with me every day.” 

If you could walk through the streets of Magic Kingdom daily without it ever getting old, or eat a Mickey Ice Cream bar every day without ever getting sick of them, you could have what it takes to become a cast member. To many, it is the job of a lifetime to be able to play an important role in millions of children’s most magical memories and the free park entry doesn’t hurt either. 

If you can get over the job’s flaws, you could have Mickey Mouse as your coworker. And hey, don’t all jobs have their downsides? 

Business illustration for 360 magazine article

5 Morning Hacks to Make Getting Ready for Work a Bit Easier and Faster

There are around 115 million employed people in the United States, and a staggering 29% of them are late for work at least once a month!

Are you one of the people struggling to get leave the house on time in the mornings?

We take a look at how getting ready for work can be faster and easier to get you where you’re going on time. 

Getting Ready For Work

Everyone hates getting out of bed in the morning for the rush to work. But with tips from prepping the night before to popping on your favorite tunes, we have you covered.

1. Super Charge Your Alarm

You know how you feel when your favorite song comes on? Set your alarm to something fun and upbeat to make you want to get out of bed and start dancing to it.

A sure-fire way to help you ditch the snooze button and get pumped the second you open your eyes. 

2. Plan Your Outfit

It only takes a few minutes to check the weather app on your phone and plan your outfit for the next day. Get all the items out and ready for the morning.

In the winter you could even hang them over your radiator so they’re nice and toasty for you to put on. A bonus tip is so pop your clothes on before you leave the bedroom. It saves on time coming back to dress later and is a good morning routine!

3. Ditch Breakfast

If you think you can manage it, ditch breakfast first thing. It’s actually good for your body to be able to wake up before eating and will help you get ready faster.

Pre-plan your breakfast on the go so you can grab it as you leave and enjoy it on your journey or even when you get to work. 

4. No Makeup

Are you brave enough to leave the house without your face on? Take charge of how beautiful you are and try skipping makeup once in a while.

If that’s not your thing, you could apply your foundations on the bus. Be careful with your lipsticks, eyeliners and mascara though, it can be tricky to stay steady on public transport!

Another option is to pop apply makeup when you get to work, or just reduce the amount of product that you use. 

Pre-planning what you need and having it laid out in order will also help. You might find liquid foundation takes too long so switch to powder. You can also make sure your nails etc are done the night before. 

5. Shower Before Bed

If you shower the night before it saves tons of time and makes getting ready in the morning a breeze. If that’s not an option, try in shower moisturizers to be even quicker and brush your teeth while you’re drying off and give hair plopping a go to get your locks dry in no time. 

No Excuses!

Unfortunately, you now have no excuse for leaving the house late! Check out our other great articles and leave your top tips for getting ready for work faster in the comments below. 

Salad Illustration for 360 mag

5 Popular Activities during Lunch Break

Spending lunch breaks in the best possible way could be one of the best things one could do for his or her body. Although this could be challenging as it’s time for eating but it is important to shape those feeding habits. Some of the common activities include funny traits like eating whirl typing during lunch breaks and so on.

The major – have a lunch

The real definition of the word lunch-break in the diet if I may say. This is an exclusive time where you are supposed to re-energize your body so as to be able to handle the remaining part of the day with ease. 

Most people go by the word at this time and do a favor to their bodies by going for lunch, most people go to favorite places where they will get served with the foodstuff of assorted varieties. It is advised that at this time you get your meal and relax a bit before continuing with daily chores.

Get in touch with your friends

This one of the best times to catch up with most of your old friends who you might have missed for some long period of time. Meeting such people will keep reminding you of the small duties you might have left on the way and it shall be high time to talk of the same. These will remind you of accomplishing such missions which are positive to your side.

Have a rest-watch your favorite blog

It is also a good time for you to take a rest after lunch of course. Then it is equally important for you to keep a keen eye on your social activities including what you do on the internet. At this time, it is recommended that you spend your time effectively and one way of doing this is by going through your blog posts. 

You may update a post or even go through a few of your past postings to see how people responded to that and so on. This will help you to keep a good track of your blog posting.

Try your luck and spin some slots

In other words, gambling could as well utilize your lunch break well. You can land on any reputable casino and register to start enjoying this nice gambling feeling. Slots are the best in this short period of time and could earn you some cash even at casinos with 5 dollars deposits in a short period of time. You may land huge prizes here like a number of cash prizes and free spins. 

All these come together with numerous promotions and tournaments which can make the experience more than what you had previously expected.

Be healthy and go for a walk

You may decide to add extra years to what you have by simply having a free walk as part of your exercise to enhance your health status. The lunch hour break could be utilized in a way you might decide to go for a nature walk and so you will be keeping your body fit. This also keeps your brains fresh and energetic to handle the remaining part of the day with ease. You can also try to check some entertainment in Wellington or in any other city. 

Constant exercises keep our bloodstream flowing hence allowing sufficient exchange of oxygen in the blood, this gives us extra energy to work and remain in good health condition. By the time you resume your duty, you will be set to work as the time you have spent walking must-have in a way or the other freed up most of the issues you could be having in mind

Conclusion

Lunch breaks could be spent in the best productive ways as discussed above to achieve good health standards. All these could have a positive effect on anyone practicing it at a time. Our health is more important than anything and so our bodies require the best we can offer.

Gabrielle Marchan illustrates Dianne Morales for 360 MAGAZINE

Dianne Morales

As of late, one of our team members had the opportunity to sit down with New York City mayoral candidate Dianne Morales for an interview. After eight years under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City will see someone new in the position in 2021, and Morales, a member of the Democratic Party, is jumping at the opportunity.

360: What are the major points of inspiration throughout your life, so far, that have led you to where you are today?

Morales: At my core is a commitment to community, and I learned community at home. I am the youngest of three girls and the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. My mother, a secretary for the Leather Workers’ Union, and my father, a building manager on the waterfront, created a working-class life for us in Bed-Stuy. But our home was not just for me and my sisters. My grandmother, Mami, lived with us my whole childhood. In fact, she and I shared a bed until the day that I left home for college. Our home was a resting place, a layover, a transition point for whoever needed it. There was always someone new sleeping on the couch or joining us at the dinner table. Whether they had just arrived from Puerto Rico, were in between jobs, had just returned from the military or from being incarcerated, there were always other people staying with us while they “got back on their feet.” My parents opened their arms and their front door to whoever needed it. I never questioned this way of life. I was taught, “If you have, then you provide.” We took care of each other. I saw, firsthand, the opportunity created when we each take responsibility, not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors and for our communities. This belief has spurred me on through 30 years in the public sector, as an educator, a foster care worker and a leader of nonprofits.

As I established my own home in Bed-Stuy as a single mom, my children and I recreated the dynamic my parents had built. We always have a few extra people living in our home – whom we often refer to as our “chosen family.” These extended family members have filled my home with love and reciprocal support. In a twist of fate, since the pandemic hit, I have shared my home with my parents and my children. I envision a New York City where we take care of each other, where everyone is welcome to the dinner table, where neighbors provide more support than extra sugar and all of us have a warm place to rest our heads. Although NYC is vast with diversity, we are all inextricably bound together and are only as strong as our most vulnerable link.

360: How can a mayor, as opposed to any other civic official, lead unique positive changes for equity?

Morales: Over the past several months there is a mantra I have been repeating consistently: a budget is a reflection of our values. The mayor has executive power over what gets funded in the city and by how much. Funding for services that contribute to true public safety (access to housing, medical/mental healthcare, economic stability, job training, education) will provide access and opportunity to those who have historically been left behind by our elected officials. Line by line, the budget reveals the values of a city and government. The NYC budget passed in June was a failure. It failed the residents of NYC, who have been raising their voices in protest and demanding a divestment from law enforcement since May 29. It failed those whose lives have been lost at the hands of the NYPD. It failed communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by violence and brutality.

The budget highlights the need for NYC leadership to put New Yorkers first by investing in communities. The NYC Mayor also has the ability to work to desegregate public schools and impact the quality of education provided to over 1.1 million students, many of whom are students of color living in poverty. This alters the course of a student’s life and provides an entry point to economic mobility and a true career trajectory. New Yorkers deserve a bold, transformational leader who is unapologetically committed to prioritizing justice in the budget’s bottom line. I fundamentally believe that those closest to the problem are closest to the solution. Our city needs a mayor that is in tune with her people and provides a vision for and direction for what is possible.

360: What are some of the most pressing or urgent issues that need attention within New York City, and how would you address them?

Morales: New York’s problems all stem from structural oppression by Race, Gender and Class, so our solutions must go deeper, all the way to the root causes. Too many New Yorkers are living in a time of scarcity, and that’s been going on since long before the virus hit. The are working two jobs, just barely surviving and always one misfortune away from losing everything. Instead of this “Scarcity Economy,” we need a “Solidarity Economy,” and that requires bold action. First, transforming public safety in the city by providing access to the same critical resources found in wealthy communities will be a critical step toward creating the long-term change we need for all to live in dignity. True public safety includes ensuring that every New Yorker has access to “life essentials,” like quality transportation, affordable housing, excellent and equal education and human-centered healthcare. All New Yorkers deserve access to these fundamental resources in order to live in dignity, and it is the necessary floor needed to break through glass ceilings.

Next, we must enhance and overhaul vital infrastructure requiring multi-part, creative solutions that address the deeper issues embedded in the fabric of NYC. To break the racist cycle of poverty that divides our city into the “haves” and the “have-nots,” we will establish a guaranteed minimum income. We will push for universal healthcare and eliminate inequities in the health system faced by women, and especially women of color. We will work to address the persistent segregation of our schools and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by replacing school safety officers with trained mental health professionals. The driving force behind all policy initiatives is the experiences, needs and voices of women of color. Particularly, Black women. As the Combahee River Collective wisely wrote in its 1977 statement, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” We know that if New York does right by Black women, the entire city will be better for it.

360: How can you use your personal experiences with serving as a single mother and observing the many other challenges that face New York City residents to enact policy reform?

Morales: So many of New York’s problems have impacted me directly, and so much of who I am and what I know comes from being a mom. My greatest joy is being the mother of my two children, Ben and Gabby. They constantly push me, teach me and nourish me. As a single parent, I share experiences with hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers. A 2018 study found that single-parent households are the second largest household type in New York City. I navigated New York City’s systems – economic, health and education – on my own. I balanced a budget for my family each month, figuring out how to make it work. My greatest challenge was parenting my children through the NYC education system. The rigid and unforgiving education that my children received did not allow any space for their learning differences. They did not see themselves in the white-centric curriculum and we struggled to find support during their developmental years. Advocating for my children was a full-time job on top of my paying-full-time-job. Again and again I have stood with parents for a more equitable and life-affirming education for our kids. It is with this same community spirit of coalition building, advocacy and bettering of our social safety nets that I will push for policies that support all types of families in NYC.

360: What is one of the most significant components of your background or experiential knowledge that separates you from any other candidate?

Morales: I am, in so many ways, the average New Yorker. I was born and bred in Bed-Stuy. I am an Afro Latina single-mom of two children who survived the New York City public school system. I am a first generation college graduate who came back home to my city after school. I am a woman of color who discovered that I was not being paid the same as my white male counterparts. I’ve watched my neighborhood change, I’ve seen Starbucks replace the corner bodega, and I have spent my weekends marching side by side – 6 feet apart – with my fellow New Yorkers demanding justice for those killed at the hands of a racist policing system. Because I am the average New Yorker, my voice reflects the voices of thousands of others. We share our lived experiences, frustrations and joys. I love New York City because I see our full potential for all of us.

360: How does your previous extensive work with social service nonprofits inform your motivations and goals to serve as Mayor?

Morales: For decades, I worked within the community to address structural inequities burdening communities of color. I worked alongside those experiencing the symptoms of our broken system most acutely – poverty, lack of access to education, homelessness and mental health services. I witnessed firsthand the day-to-day struggles of New Yorkers that are perpetuated by cycles of poverty and oppression. I worked from the ground, up and from the inside, out. But as I hammered away, I recognized these structural and institutional barriers, and began to ask, “So how do we burn them down?” It felt as though I was only tinkering around the edges of the problem and providing Band-Aid solutions to deep, deep wounds. The core, perpetuating issues were centralized and foundational. I realized that if I want to create lasting, effective change, I must address these systemic and political problems at the root. As Mayor, I would carry with me the voices of those I have served.

360: In outlining your points of action and reform for New York City, how does the COVID-19 pandemic affect any of these potential strides for change?

Morales: As we know, COVID-19 is a catastrophe that illuminates all of the cracks and splinters in our broken systems. At first, many claimed the COVID-19 was a “great equalizer,” affecting all people, regardless of race, class or gender. Instead COVID-19 disproportionately impacts people of color and low-income communities. This is not a coincidence or personal failing, but rather the direct result of racist systems, putting structural oppression in stark relief. While some New Yorkers are able to escape crowded areas, arm themselves with personal protective equipment and work remotely, others, namely people of color, are on the front lines providing essential services to our city.

As COVID-19 has had devastating consequences that will leave a lasting impact for years to come, it has also provided us with a unique moment. As we saw after the murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, being homebound and isolated forces us to pay attention. We have paused. We have slowed down. With fewer distractions and a center of focus, folks all across the country have had the veil lifted. People are noticing the interconnected webs of oppression I have lived with and that I have been fighting to dismantle my entire life. In this moment, we need leaders in office who are of, by and for the movement for social change. There is a momentum and hunger for justice that can no longer be ignored. As we overcome the challenge of the disease, I will never let the city forget who is truly essential. Together we will create a world in which front-line workers are truly valued as indispensable. A world where we accompany our applause and platitudes with a livable wage, unquestionable dignity and real community power.

360: What are some of the most rewarding takeaways you have gained from leading several momentous organizations?

Morales: I’ve learned firsthand about the barriers and challenges that people have to overcome in order to gain access to opportunities that are alleged to be available to everyone. I also have watched as community members care for one another to bridge the gaps in access to those opportunities. This is testament to the power of our communities to be true partners in determining the solutions they face when given the resources to do so. Finally, I have been able to bear witness to what is possible when people finally gain access and opportunity and how that has the potential to change the trajectory of people’s lives and transform families and communities.

360: Regarding the national and global movement, Black Lives Matter, how will you utilize your unique identity to empower minorities in the City of New York?

Morales: Like many people of color, I have lived years of my life trying not to take up space. I have seen the ways that my identities – my Blackness, my Latina roots, my politics, my womanhood – make people, namely white people, uncomfortable. In these spaces I would constantly ask myself, “Do I seem too opinionated, too articulate, too aggressive?” I would contort and deflate myself to fit into tight corners and small boxes. I would shrink myself so that others could feel big. When making the decision to run for Mayor of NYC, I decided it was important for me to run as my full, unadulterated, unapologetic, multi-hyphenated self. There would be no more shrinking, questioning or self-doubt. I recognize that by the very nature of stepping into this space, I am opening up a path of possibility. As the first Afro-Latina running for mayor of New York City, I recognize the awesome responsibility I hold. I know that when I speak, unfairly or not, I am representing all Afro-Latina women. Missteps become mass stereotypes. Accolades become communal achievements.

This is both beautiful and deeply terrifying. But in moments of fear, I am guided by a greater purpose to bring with me those whom have been devalued and made to feel small, as I have been; to elevate the voices of those with shared experiences and claim our rightful place in democracy and representation in leadership. People like me, individuals and communities of color, women of color, we must be at the forefront of our politics and policies. I am deeply committed to divesting from racist systems and investing in Black and Brown communities. I am committed to reimagining public safety on our streets and in our schools. I am committed to shifting wealth opportunities to those who have been historically marginalized. I am committed to redressing and repairing the wounds of oppression that scar our city. I am in this race to stand taller in the face of a world that tells me to shrink. I am here to tell them that Black lives are beloved. We matter today and every day forward.

360: To all of the NYC citizens following your efforts to better numerous communities, what are some of the best ways individuals can support your campaign?

Morales: The best way to help me is to join the campaign with a small contribution. I am not a career politician, and unlike other candidates, I have not spent decades cultivating a war chest of people, networks and resources to kickstart my run for mayor. I want to be responsive to the people, not the special interests.. My campaign was born out of my home in Bed-Stuy, out of conversations with my neighbors, friends and colleagues. Our campaign is 100% powered by the people, not the 1%. We are an intersectional coalition of Black and Brown, Latinx, LGBTQIA and working class New Yorkers. We are backed by the people being hit the hardest at this moment in time. I am so incredibly humbled that in the middle of a pandemic, without employment, people are finding a way to donate to our campaign. I know what is at stake and the choices they have had to make to do so. If donating to our campaign is not possible for you during this financially uncertain time, we understand. Visit my website, dianne.nyc, for information and volunteer opportunities. Spread our mission to your fellow New Yorkers. Reach out to join our team. Remember me in November 2021.

To learn more about Dianne Morales, you can click right here. To learn more about her stances and solutions, you can click right here. To support Morales through donations, you can click right here. You can also support her on Twitter and Instagram.

Working From Home illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Google Employees Home Until Summer 2021

By Eamonn Burke

Google has just announced that it will keep its employees working from home until July 2021, extending the previous mandate that was set to end after 2020. According to a spokesman, the reasoning by Google CEO Sundar Pichai for this extension was “To give employees the ability to plan ahead” and to help them “balance work with taking care of yourselves.” Certain employees, as stated in the previous plan, will be allowed to return sooner. Google has also partially opened some offices in other countries, although the extension applies to all major offices in places like the U.K and India.

Over 200,000 employees, across Google and its parent company Alphabet, will be affected by the decision made by Pichai last week after a conference with Google Leads.

Although other major tech companies like Microsoft and Apple still promise to bring employees back this year, the move is predicted to influence many similar companies to move in a similar direction as Google. The CEO of one such company, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, expects that they will begin to move permanently toward remote work.

book, reading, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Annalisa Parent – Writing Tips

How to finally write that book this summer, even if you haven’t written a word

By Annalisa Parent

Many would-be authors get overwhelmed by the size of a book-length project. Many of us find ourselves with additional free time on our hands this summer with fewer barbecues, farmers’ markets or fairs. How can you use this time to finally write your book? Here are some of my top tips from my writing coach archives.

Write down your end goal.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard this one a million times. But, look, if you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you’ll never get it done. As Lewis Carroll famously wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

Know what you want to accomplish.

If you’re like most writers, when you start to untangle this “what I want” knot, you’ll find it’s far more complicated than you first thought. For example, maybe your dream isn’t just a book, it’s a series, and movie rights, and a worldwide book tour. Those are all great ideas, but one step at a time. If you can hone in on the first step toward your dream, then you can break it down into actual action steps, moving it from nebulous dream to achievable goal.

Choose a deadline.

Choose a day that you are going to have this project done. This step cannot be overlooked, however, while deadlines are a huge motivator, here’s a pro tip: Post your deadline out on social media. Tell your friends, your parents, and especially someone who intimidates you just a little bit. Let these people hold you accountable and keep you motivated. Once you set that deadline for yourself, you’re going to work backward from that date to create your work plan. How much writing do you have to do each day to reach your goal, and how can you carve out the time to make it happen?

Remember that Creativity is Wonky.

Despite the best-laid plans of mice and men (Thank you, Steinbeck and Burns) to write 5,000 words a day or a chapter an hour, creativity is not always a linear process. You may want to finish that chapter today, but your book–and your brain– have other ideas. When our characters (or ideas) misbehave, they’re often right. You may feel like you want the piece to take a certain shape or go in a certain direction. The brain is sending us a caution flag, though. When your creativity takes the lead, following it always bears fruit. Really. I promise. Now, the piece you create today may not make the final cut for your book, but the information you garnered from the experience of following your creativity will always bring a benefit to the piece as a whole.

Find your best writer and be that writer

All kinds of would-be mentors want to tell you that you have to do it this way or that way in order to be a real writer. There are some rules, especially if you want to traditionally publish. That said, in the creative phase the most important consideration is finding your creative flow.

Write with a pencil or a tablet. Write outdoors or in your bed. Use an outline, or allow the natural flow of ideas. None of this fluff matters; here’s what does: Find the place where you can be at your creative best to get that draft out of you. After all, you can’t publish until you have a book. And you can’t have a book until you get it done.

The biggest key to success I have seen in writers who finish and publish well is that they find and embrace the writer they are, so they can write book after book with creative ease.

Show up every day like it’s your job.

My writing mentor Julia Alvarez, wasn’t the first one to say it, but she was the first one to say it to me: Being a writer is 90% applying butt to chair. Write at the beach. Write in a hammock. Write on your lunch break. Whatever you do, make writing a habit, and you’ll see the results. You don’t get a dream body by going to the gym once, or even once a week. The same is true of writing a book. Show up. Do the work. Even when it stings.

Remember that writing is art, and art takes time.

Many writers get lost in the rabbit hole: Why is it taking me so long to finish my manuscript? This trap turns into self doubt. “I must not be a good writer.” “I’m never going to get it done.” Believe me, I’ve heard it all, and I’ve seen self-doubt and fear stymy project after project. What if you reframe this fear? What if instead you say “Writing is art and art takes time.” Consider the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo. It took four and a half years for him to complete that masterpiece, which–frankly, if you’ve seen the level of detail–you know it’s astonishing he completed it so quickly. What else? The Washington Monument took thirty years to construct; thirty full years. Let’s think about more writing-related references. It took Victor Hugo twelve years to write Les Miserables and Harper Lee spent two and a half years writing To Kill a Mockingbird. Writing is art, and art takes time. Completing your manuscript is not going to happen overnight, not because there’s something wrong with you, but because you are an artist. Allow yourself to get into creative flow, and creativity will reward you with a cornucopia of ideas and finished pages. Promise. I’ve watched it with my own eyes hundreds of times.

Pace yourself.

Working with the creative process and the brain’s natural function means you must be really honest with yourself about how much you can get done. It’s very admirable and ambitious if you say you’re going to get everything done today, but you also might be setting yourself up for failure. When you set yourself up for failure, you’ll feel yucky about yourself. You don’t want to come back to the project feeling like you failed. So, make reasonable goals for yourself and pace your project in a reasonable way.

Follow these steps above and you will notice how much lighter it feels to write and finish your project.

About Annalisa Parent

Annalisa Parent is a writing coach who has helped hundreds of authors to finish and publish well. She used neuroscientific principles to guide the writing process through her programs in the Writing Gym. To find out more, and to download her free e-book The Six Steps to Go from Struggling Writer to Published Author, visit www.datewiththemuse.com

book, reading, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

ASCAP Announces HBCU Internship Program

ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, announced the launch of a new paid internship program for students enrolled in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. This summer, the PRO will offer five HBCU students the opportunity to join ASCAP’s team to gain real-world experience in the music industry.

Howard University (Washington, DC), Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA), Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), and Bennett College (Greensboro, NC) will be initial partners in the program, which will run through July and August. Interns will work remotely, alongside ASCAP professionals in their field of interest.

ASCAP plans to continue and expand the initiative moving forward, offering paid internships to HBCU students each summer.

“We have a responsibility to seek to nurture talent and empower the next generation of Black leaders in the music business, just as we do on the creative side,” said ASCAP Senior Vice President, Rhythm & Soul Nicole George-Middleton. “Our goal is to provide experience within ASCAP and to help our interns connect with the larger industry as they pursue their careers.”

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews added, “This program is a natural extension of ASCAP’s ongoing work to create and evolve a culture of inclusion and belonging that reflects and serves the incredible diversity of our ASCAP membership. By creating a new pipeline for college students to gain music industry work experience, we hope to provide meaningful mentorships and opportunities to new generations of Black leaders who will influence the future of the music business.”

“Bennett College is thrilled to be a part of the inaugural class of ASCAP’s HBCU internship program. ASCAP will provide our students with invaluable, real-world experience and expand their understanding of the music business. We are looking forward to this partnership and what the future holds for our talented students,” said Yolande Johnson, Bennett College Director of Donor Relations & Stewardship / Interim Coordinator for Career Services.

“Some of the most meaningful education takes place outside of a traditional classroom, and we are excited to have our students learn from top executives in the music industry. ASCAP is a global leader in entertainment and this internship opportunity is priceless,” added Cafabian Heard, Creative & Marketing Services Specialist University Relations, External & Community Affairs, Clark Atlanta University.

Students selected for the ASCAP HBCU internship program will have the opportunity to work within the following departments: Marketing & Communications/Events; Membership (Film & TV, R&S/Urban, Country, Pop/Rock, Symphonic/Concert and Latin); Data Strategy; International Affairs; Finance; Licensing; and Global Technology Solutions. In addition, interns will have access to ASCAP employee perks, such as Wellness Events, Employee Jam Sessions, and Online Learning tools.

Applications are available through each of the participating college and university career services offices. The deadline for submission is Monday, June 29 and internships are expected to begin the second week of July.

Learn more about ASCAP and stay in touch at www.ascap.com or on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.