December 28, 2012 / BY LYLA BUGARA Why we can't forget about voter ID, a state by state look

The ColorOfChange community worked tirelessly to offset discriminatory voter ID laws this election cycle and people of color turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots on Election Day — but there's still more work to be done.

We're keeping a close eye on states that have tried to pass discriminatory voter restrictions in the past, and the states that are now taking up the cause.

Read a state-by-state rundown of voter ID status' after the jump:

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December 28, 2012 / BY JAMAR HOOKS NYC woman files suit after being stopped and frisked

After being recognized as a Champion of Change by President Obama, Hadiyah Charles, a New York City health advocate, was arrested in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn this past summer. Charles attempted to use her smartphone to film two NYC police officers stopping and frisking Black teenagers. 

After being shoved and antagonized by police officers during the incident, Charles has served the New York Police Department (NYPD) with a civil rights lawsuit.

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December 18, 2012 / BY LYLA BUGARA Need for change in service industry is clear for NYC fast food workers
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Late last month, hundreds of workers from McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Papa Johns went on strike demanding fair treatment, living wages, and the right to unionize. According to a recent article by Common Dreams:

While the fast food industry currently grosses $200 billion annually, and the average daily salary of most fast food CEO's is $25,000, the average fast food worker only makes 11,000 per year, or roughly 25 percent of the money required to survive in NYC.

The current campaign to unionize workers in NYC is the biggest to hit the industry, and echos recent Walmart strikes and Paid Sick Day campaigns.

Watch the Democracy Now! segment above to see the strength of the worker's rights movement. When you're done join our campaign to hold Walmart accountable to Black workers.

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December 18, 2012 / BY JAMAR HOOKS While residents wait for relief, NYCHA throws itself a big holiday bash

Monday night, as thousands of low- and fixed-income public housing residents face uncertainty in storm-damaged buildings, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) threw itself a big holiday bash. According to an internal email obtained by the NY Daily News, the four-hour affair wined and dined employees on the taxpayers' dime.

The timing for the holiday bash couldn't be worse. Just over a month ago, 35,000 low-income Black and Latino children, families, and elderly and sick public housing residents were left to suffer in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

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December 12, 2012 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Call Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and tell him to stop blocking a vote to repeal the death penalty

UPDATE (12/20/12)Hundreds of Maryland ColorOfChange members have signed the petition to repeal capital punishment in the state. There's serious momentum behind the drive by both the General Assembly and Governor to finally drop the death penalty from the books at the top of the new legislative session.

And now Maryland ColorOfChange members are keeping the pressure on by calling Senate President Miller's office. It's simple: visit our calls page and tell Mike Miller to stop blocking a vote on repealing the death penalty.

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December 10, 2012 / BY JAMAR HOOKS NYC Housing Authority's Flaws Revealed by Superstorm

New York Times examination published on Sunday revealed stories of older and infirm public housing residents trapped in high-rise buildings — running out of medication and struggling to survive in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

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December 10, 2012 / BY LYLA BUGARA Florida GOP officials admit to discriminatory voter suppression

This past election season, H.B. 1355 resricted the voting rights of thousands of Floridians. The law, which curtailed voter registration, cutback early voting, and complicated the electoral process for newly moved voters, disproportionately affected communitites of color. Recently, several Republican consultants and officials confirmed what we have known for while; the discriminatory impact of H.B. 1355 was not an inadvertent side effect but actually the law's intended purpose. 

The Palm Beach Post has the details:

[...]A GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said Black voters were a concern. "I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the Black churches organize themselves," he said.

To read the full story click here.

 

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December 08, 2012 / BY JAMAR HOOKS No services, no rent

Today, ColorOfChange launched a campaign demanding that NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John Rhea grant immediate rent relief to storm-impacted public housing residents that were left to suffer — for up to three weeks — without essential services in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. An initial flat-footed response by NYCHA dragged out the weeks until power could be safely restored. But now, NYCHA expects full rent payments upfront for both November and December, acknowledging no responsibility for the serious health, safety and financial toll its negligence continues to take on residents. NYCHA should be working around the clock to abate the needless suffering it has caused residents — not taking steps to compound it.

Please join us in demanding Chairman John Rhea immediately suspend rent collection for storm-impacted NYCHA residents, and credit payments already made. Read the email we sent to our members after the jump.

 

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December 06, 2012 / BY JAMAR HOOKS Rashad Robinson on taking down Stop and Frisk

This year, NYC has seen a reported 34% decrease in the number of New Yorkers fallen victim to the NYPD's discriminatory Stop and Frisk policing tactic. But there's still work to be done. We know that 86 percent of the nearly 340,000 stops made in the first 6 months of 2012 involved Blacks or Latinos. ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson recently sat down with Ebony Magazine to explain the organization's multifaceted approach to take down the NYPD's oppressive Stop and Frisk program:

"One, there hasn’t been a strong enough movement to take it on. We’re moving in that direction now. Two, there hasn’t been enough embarrassment placed on elected officials who support Stop and Frisk through their silence thus allowing it to continue. The police---not only in New York City, but around the country---have a lot of power over elected officials in cities. They’ve been able to control how politicians stand up on this issue. For us, at Color of Change, we believe all of these folks are accountable. We’re going to continue to do a variety of things to hold folks accountable who continue to support Stop and Frisk or through their silence they support Stop and Frisk."

 

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December 06, 2012 / BY LYLA BUGARA Romney's "gifts" comment foreshadows right-wing approach to austerity negotiations

Even after Americans voted against Mitt Romney's backwards economic and social policies, the former presidential candidate still doesn't seem to get it. Echoing his previous statement that 47% of Americans don't take personal responisibility for their lives, Romney attributed Obama's win to voters of color desiring "gifts." 

So what exactly are these "gifts?" The NY Times coverage of the event revealed that Romney's definition of "gifts" is just a rundown of critical social programs:

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”

It's the same divisive language we saw throughout his campaign — striving to delegitimize and dehumanize people of color, while simultaneously attacking crucial government programs.

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December 06, 2012 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS WATCH: Melissa Harris-Perry breaks down Walmart's labor practices

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

On her Sunday show, Melissa Harris-Perry took up the issue of the WalMart Black Friday strikes for several segments. In this clip, she breaks down the great disparity that seems to be at the center of Walmart's economic practices. These practices have won the Walton family the #6, #7, #8 and #9 slots on the Forbes Top 100 list, but left their workers with substandard pay and working conditions.

MHP puts it into perspective: "The Walton family's wealth is nearly equal to that of the bottom half of all Americans combined."

ColorOfChange joins WalMart workers in their fight for dignified employment. Listen to MHP and her panel discuss how this growing movement could dramatically change the lives of workers everywhere.

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December 04, 2012 / BY LYLA BUGARA Husted continues campaign of voter suppression with help from 6th Circuit

Will Ohio Secretary of State, Jon Husted, ever hault his campaign to disenfranchise the most vulnerable among us?

This time he set out to illegally invalidate provisional ballots filed with applications containing poll worker errors. That's right: poll worker errors. Even after a U.S. District Court issued a strong ruling blocking Husted's last minute voter suppression directive, the highly conservative Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Husted’s appeal of that order was likely to succeed.

As a result, Husted's directive went into effect discounting thousands of ballots in the interim.

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December 04, 2012 / BY JOHNNY MATHIAS Rashad Robinson: Is Walmart a modern-day Scrooge?

Just a few weeks after Walmart workers across the country walked off the job on Black Friday, ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson wrote in The Root about how Walmart must start treating workers fairly if the company wants to avoid becoming a modern-day Scrooge:

"At the end of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge learns the importance of treating people well, and if Wal-Mart ever hopes to be embraced as a good company, it needs to learn the same lesson. Wal-Mart can start by ensuring that their own employees work reasonable hours, have adequate health care and can support their families. That's why it's so important that Wal-Mart's board meets with workers and listens to their stories, their concerns and their needs. That is where everyday people, through raised voices and consumer advocacy, can have a real impact. Because until we do, the one thing you won't find in Wal-Mart's aisles is justice for workers."

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