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Thousands of progressive activists are rallying for Senate rules
reform today, spreading the word about an important package of common
sense reforms that will reduce opportunities for obstruction and end the
Activists are contacting their senators, asking them to co-sponsor
Senate Resolution 4, a package of real reforms that will enable the
Senate to actually debate and discuss critical issues for all of us.
Here's a fact sheet with details on exactly what Senate Resolution 4
Organization leaders of the Fix the Senate Now coalition are signing
on to a letter to Senators encouraging them to support these common
sense reforms. "Whereas Senators once resorted to filibustering only in
rare and exceptional instances of intense opposition, rampant
obstruction has now transformed standard operating procedure. Today,
majority rule in the Senate is the exception, not the rule. We believe
that the common sense reforms included in S. Res. 4 will go a long way
towards ending routine and reflexive obstruction and will ensure that
the Senate will once again be able to address the critical issues facing
our country," the letter says.
The Senate will take up rules reform when it returns to work just
after President Obama's Inauguration on Jan. 21.
Call your senators now at 1-888-966-9836, and urge them to
co-sponsor Senate Resolution 4.
What else can you do to help?
- Send an email to your senators asking them to co-sponsor Senate
Resolution 4, the reform package introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley and
Tom Udall. Go to
www.fixthesenatenow.org/actnow. CWAers and coalition members will
be delivering petition signatures to senators on Jan. 17.
- Make sure your members know how important it is to send a message
to their senators and to Majority Leader Harry Reid. Encourage them to
call and email.
- Mark your calendars for Jan. 17 and Jan. 22, our next big Days of
What's at stake? The Nation explains how lobbyists, at the direction
of big corporations, have profited off securing Republican filibusters
and "used Senate obstruction to push policies that punish ordinary
Americans and the environment."
Read the full story here.
Text RULESREFORM to 69866 for more info, and stay tuned at
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Secretary Solis meets with Hector Capote of CWA Local 3122 and
other workers in Miami.
CWA commends Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis for her service to
working people and her leadership that truly promoted the mission of the
Labor Department: To be a voice for working men and women, to help
ensure that workers are not victimized and to safeguard workers' rights,
health and well-being on the job.
Solis announced Jan. 9 that she had submitted her resignation to
"Together we have achieved extraordinary things and I am so proud of
our work on behalf of the nation's working families. Because of our
work, more people are receiving the wages they are owed. As a result of
our enforcement efforts, we have saved workers' lives," she said.
CWA responded: "Solis has been an incredibly effective advocate for
working men and women and we will miss her voice and her determination
to ensure that working people have not only opportunity, but justice.
CWA has been a proud partner of Secretary Solis, and we wish her and her
family all the best for the future. "
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American Airlines passenger service agents are just days away from
the vote count in their union representation election. Next Tuesday,
Jan. 15, the National Mediation Board will tally the votes and announce
the results at 2 p.m. in Washington, DC.
"We are determined that we will win this and on January 16th we will
have a seat at the table and the company will have to start showing us
the respect we deserve," said long-time activist and Dallas-Fort Worth
agent Rosemary Capasso.
AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, is currently weighing a
merger with US Airways. On a recent CWA town hall call, Millicent
Burnett, a US Airways agent based in Pittsburgh and a member of the CWA
bargaining committee, said her colleagues have been supporting American
agents in the drive for representation even before talk of merger
"because we understand how important it is to have a voice. There were
many years when we didn't have representation, and I don't ever want to
"When American Airlines management starts talking to you about
raises, remember that we have our raises committed in a legally binding
contract, with job security," Burnett said. "They can't outsource our
work. We will vote on what we will accept and what we will not accept."
For more information and updates visit
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CWA has a leading role in the Democracy Initiative, as progressive
groups are banding together to build a national campaign around three
goals: getting big money out of politics, voting rights and reforming
the broken Senate rules.
The idea grew out of discussions in recent years among CWA President
Larry Cohen, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, NAACP
President Ben Jealous and Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford.
The meeting was held on International Human Rights Day, with 100
organizations joining together to move forward, Cohen said. "CWA leaders
and members know that we can't end the frustration of current collective
bargaining without a real movement for bargaining and organizing rights
and social and political change. Working together is how we'll win
economic justice," he said.
From the Mother Jones article:
The four leaders bemoaned how the
dysfunctional political process was making it impossible for their
groups to achieve their goals. "We're not going to have a clean-energy
economy if the same companies that are polluting our rivers and oceans
are also polluting our elections," Brune said. Greenpeace's Phil Radford
notes that for decades conservatives have aimed to shrink local, state,
and federal governments by reforming the rules so they could install
like-minded politicians, bureaucrats, and judges. Radford calls it "a
40-plus-year strategy by the
Kochs of the world...to take over the country."
So last spring Brune, Cohen, Jealous, and
Radford called up their friends on the left and, in June, convened the
Democracy Initiative's first meeting. A handful of groups attended, and
they began to focus on the triad of money in politics, voting rights,
and dysfunction in the Senate.
Other attendees at the December meeting
included top officials from the League of Conservation Voters, Friends
of the Earth, Public Campaign, the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Common Cause, Voto
Latino, the Demos think tank, Piper Fund, Citizens for Responsibility
and Ethics in Washington, People for the American Way, National People's
Action, National Wildlife Federation, the Center for American Progress,
the United Auto Workers, and Color of Change.
Read more here.
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Larry Arnold, a member of CWA Local 6316.
Below: Jeff Rogue, a member of CWA Local 4320, with the local
president, Cathy Mason-Vallance.
Larry Arnold, a member of CWA Local 6316 in Missouri, is this year's
winner of the 2012 Political Action Fund contributor raffle for a trip
to Las Vegas. Larry was picked from more than 6,000 CWA members who
became new contributors or upgraded their contribution in our 2012 CWA
Political Action Fund campaign.
Jeff Rogue, a member of CWA Local 4320 in Ohio, is the winner of the
2012 Political Action Fund recruiter raffle for airfare for two to
anywhere in the continental United States. Jeff was one of the 325
members who signed up other CWA brothers and sisters to the Political
Action Fund in 2012.
CWA Political Director Rafael Navar congratulated Larry, Jeff and
everyone who signed up to make CWA stronger. "Because of all of our
activists' work, we now have more resources for the important fights and
issues that we care about, like the one on Senate Rules Reform happening
right now," Navar said.
If you haven't contacted your senators to let them know we want our
democracy back, do it today and ask them to support Senate Resolution 4
on rules reform. Go to www.fixthesenatenow.org for more information.
Thank you to everyone who signed up or upgraded their contribution to
CWA's Political Action Fund in 2012. This 100 percent voluntary program
helps keep our voice heard on critical issues for working families. If
you haven't done so already, sign up and contribute today to our
Political Action Fund, so that we can make sure our issues are heard.
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The November 2012 elections have come and gone, but voter suppression
isn't going away. The New Year has ushered in a new wave of attacks on
Americans' voting rights:
- In Iowa, Secretary of State Matt Schultz is once again
angling to purge the state's voter registration rolls in the name
of alleged voter fraud. His proposed voter-suppression rules would
unjustly target Latino immigrants, intimidate voters and could
disenfranchise citizens without cause.
- Several GOP lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly are
introducing new stringent voter ID measures, including legislation
that would prevent voters from using documentation like paycheck
stubs, bank statements and utility bills to prove their identity. Such
plans mirror other voter ID laws that were blocked last election cycle
because they disproportionately harmed minorities, seniors, students
and low-income voters.
- North Carolina State Rep. Frank Iler (R) has
pledged that a voter ID law will be the "first thing on the menu
for lawmakers" when they reconvene on Jan. 30. Voter ID was vetoed by
former Gov. Bev Perdue (D) last June, but Gov.-elect Pat McCrory (R)
has said he would sign the legislation.
A new report from the State Board of Elections found as many as
613,000 voters, or 9.25 percent of the North Carolina's voters, may
not have a state issued driver's licensed or ID card; 53 percent of
the voters in question are Democrats and about 30 percent are black.
- Republican lawmakers in West Virginia are
preparing to introduce a voter ID bill similar to the
GOP-controlled Pennsylvania legislation last year. A judge temporarily
suspended the controversial Pennsylvania law right before the election
and it remains in court.
These lawmakers are banking on the idea that the fewer working people
who vote, the more power anti-worker conservatives have to enact their
agenda. But GOP voter suppression actually
fueled African-American voter turnout last November. We'll continue
to prove them wrong and to fight for universal registration so that all
people can exercise their right to vote.
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Fifteen partial college scholarships of $3,000 each are being offered
for the 2013-2014 school year. Winners, selected in a lottery drawing,
also will receive second-year scholarships of the same amount,
contingent upon satisfactory academic accomplishment. Part-time students
— those taking less than 12 credits — will receive half of the
CWA members and their spouses, children and grandchildren, including
those of laid-off, retired or deceased members, are eligible for the
scholarship. Applicants must be high school graduates or at least high
school students who will graduate during the year in which they apply.
Undergraduate and graduate students returning to schooling may also
apply. Prior winners may not reapply. No specific studies are required.
Scholarship winners may pursue whatever courses they wish.
Applications are accepted from November through April, with the final
deadline for receipt of the application Apr. 30, 2013.
Click here to apply online.
Winners are chosen by lottery drawing and only winners will be
The scholarship program is named for CWA's founding leader and first
president, Joseph A. Beirne.
Read more about Beirne and the scholarship program here.