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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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Sidney’s Picks: Cirque du Soleil is a Death Trap & Sex Offender Registries are a Joke

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US Senate Cafeteria Worker Has No Place to Call Home

Charles Gladden works in the cafeteria at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, but he has not had a fixed address for 5 years. Instead of going home at night, the 63-year-old diabetic grandfather sleeps in the McPherson Square Metro Station, near the White House.Continue reading...

Sidney-Winning Domestic Violence Exposé Goes on to Win Top Pulitzer Prize

In September 2014, Doug Pardue, Glenn Smith, Jennifer Berry Hawes, and Natalie Caula Haff won the Sidney Award for "Til Death do Us Part," a fearless, masterfully reported investigation into the domestic homicide crisis in South Carolina.

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Spencer Woodman Wins April Sidney for Exposing Amazon's Outrageous Non-compete Agreements

We are very pleased to announce that Spencer Woodman has won the April Sidney Award for exposing the outrageous non-compete agreements that Amazon has been enforcing on its temporary warehouse workers. Woodman found that the mega-retailer was forcing workers to sign 18-month non-compete agreements in order to qualify for a 3-month stint in an Amazon warehouse. The language of the non-compete clause is so sweeping that, if it were enforced, it would appear to bar workers from almost any job anywhere in the world, for a period 6 times longer than they actually worked at Amazon. Continue reading...

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Bryan Stevenson to receive inaugural George Barrett Award for Public Interest Law

The Sidney Hillman Foundation is proud to announce that Bryan Stevenson will be the recipient of the inaugural George Barrett Award. This prize goes to an attorney whose work exemplifies the public spirit of the crusading Nashville civil rights attorney George "Citizen" Barrett. Continue reading...

Sidney’s Picks: Supreme Court Gives Decisive Victory to Pregnant Workers

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Remembering the Triangle Fire: 104 Years On

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire broke out 114 years ago today, on March 25, 1911. One hundred and forty-six garment workers, mostly immigrant women, died in the blaze. The fire became a catalyst for the nascent labor movement. 

Today, Workers United/SEIU, the New York City Fire Department, and city school children, mark the anniversary at the official commemoration ceremony at the cite of the fire.

11:30am-1:00pm, at Washington Place & Greene Street.

 Continue reading...


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