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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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Clear It With Sidney

Wed, May 20, 2015

Great news out of Los Angeles in the Fight for Fifteen:

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Great news out of Los Angeles in the Fight for Fifteen:

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to increase the minimum wage in the nation's second-largest city to $15 an hour by 2020 from the current $9, in a victory for labor and community groups that have pushed for similar pay hikes in several U.S. municipalities.

The council's 14-1 vote on the measure, which must come back before the panel for final approval, would require businesses with more than 25 employees to meet the $15 pay level by 2020, while smaller businesses would have an extra year to comply. [LAT]

If the measure becomes law, larger firms would have to start paying $10.25/hr by 2016, and the minimum wage would rise in increments from there.

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Mon, May 18, 2015

As this year's graduates are celebrating their hard-earned degrees, the New York Times has exposed a massive faux diploma scam shipping pseudo-sheepskins to slackers worldwide. 

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As this year's graduates are celebrating their hard-earned degrees, the New York Times has exposed a massive faux diploma scam shipping pseudo-sheepskins to slackers worldwide. 

"Newford University" presents itself to the internet as an institution of higher learning, but closer examination reveals it to be an educational Potemkin Village, a front for academic fraud:

Yet on closer examination, this picture shimmers like a mirage. The news reports are fabricated. The professors are paid actors. The university campuses exist only as stock photos on computer servers. The degrees have no true accreditation. [NYT]

A Pakistani software firm called Axact is raking in tens of millions of dollars for bogus degrees. For a price, the customer can even get a degree "authenticated" by a fake U.S. official, even an ersatz Secretary of State. 

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Fri, May 15, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • When pioneering feminist psychologist Sandy Bem developed Alzheimer's Disease, she decided to end her life on her own terms.
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Fri, May 8, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • Watch Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative deliver his unforgettable acceptance speech for the inaugural George "Citizen" Barrett Award for Public Interest Law.
  • Watch Jelani Cobb of the New Yorker accept his Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.
  • All the speeches from Tuesday's Hillman Prize ceremony will be available soon on this site. You can also subscribe to Hillman's YouTube Channel to keep up with all our video programming. 
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Wed, May 6, 2015

The 65th-Annual Hillman Prizes were a night to remember. In this image Bryan Stevenson, Founder of the Equal Justice Institute, gives an unforgettable acceptance speech for the inaugural George Barrett Award for Public Interest Law.  

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The 65th-Annual Hillman Prizes were a night to remember. In this image Bryan Stevenson, Founder of the Equal Justice Institute, gives an unforgettable acceptance speech for the inaugural George Barrett Award for Public Interest Law.  

Check out the beautiful photographs of our winners, judges, officials, and guests, celebrating excellence in socially conscious journalism at the Times Center on Tuesday night. We are still adding images to the archive. Check back later to see even more. 

Many thanks to our photographers, Clark Jones and Dave Sanders.

Help us make our album as complete as possible, please tag yourself and your friends in these images. 

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Mon, May 4, 2015

On Tuesday night, the Sidney Hillman Foundation will present the first annual George "Citizen" Barrett Award for Public Service Law to Bryan Stevenson for his tireless efforts to secure justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. 

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On Tuesday night, the Sidney Hillman Foundation will present the first annual George "Citizen" Barrett Award for Public Service Law to Bryan Stevenson for his tireless efforts to secure justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. 

The award is named after George Barrett, a crusading Nashville civil rights attorney, who died last year at the age of 86. As we prepare to honor his legacy, let's look back an an obituary written by Hedy Weinberg, the executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. She describes Barrett's contributions to civil rights law, his dogged committment to the First Amendment, and his infectious joy in public service. 

 

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Fri, May 1, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

  • Six Baltimore cops charged in death of Freddie Gray.
  • Hillman Judge Ta-Nehisi Coates: The violence in Baltimore didn't start with the riots.
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Wed, Apr 29, 2015

The Children's Place, a retailer whose goods were being made in the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh at the time of its 2013 collapse, has agreed to pay $2 million to a fund to help survivors of the catastrophe. The deal was brokered by Workers United SEIU.

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The Children's Place, a retailer whose goods were being made in the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh at the time of its 2013 collapse, has agreed to pay $2 million to a fund to help survivors of the catastrophe. The deal was brokered by Workers United SEIU.

The labor organization Workers United SEIU reached an agreement with The Children's Place last Thursday, the day before the second anniversary of the disaster that killed more than 1,100 garment workers in the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As a result of that agreement, protests planned at Children's Place stores for last Friday were canceled. The activist groups plan to continue to press other U.S. retailers, including J.C. Penney and Wal-Mart, for contributions.

Activists hope to raise a total of $30 million for the survivors fund. 

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Fri, Apr 24, 2015

The Best of the Week's News

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The Best of the Week's News

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Thu, Apr 23, 2015

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.

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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.

Gladden recently took part in a one-day strike to draw attention to the fact that the U.S. government is the single biggest indirect creator of jobs that do not pay a living wage. 

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