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.
Clear It With Sidney
Join us tonight, Dec 2, for a panel discusion on the future of the union movement with guests Bruce Raynor, Andy Stern, Rich Yeselson, and Sarita Gupta, and moderator Raj Goyle.
A wave of protests swept Walmart on Black Friday and fast food strikes are being planned in 100 cities nationwide. The panel will discuss how campaigns by low-wage workers in the fast food and big box retail are reshaping the labor movement.
This free event is co-sponsored by the Sidney Hillman Foundation and the Rubin Foundation. Refreshments will be served.
What: The Changing Face of Unionism: New ideas for labor in the 21st Century
When: Dec 2, 6-8pm.
Where: 17 W. 17th St, Manhattan, NY. (8th Floor)
What Part Do I Play in All of This: RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Walmart activists plan Black Friday protests nationwide
- The city of Sea-Tac voted to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, by 77 votes, expect a recount
- Debunking 50 years of JFK conspiracy theories
- Labor organizing: There's an app for that
[Photo credit: Brent Nashville, Creative Commons.]
You don't remember this, but if you were born in the United States in the last half-century, you probably had blood drawn to screen for dozens of rare genetic disorders. When these tests pick up treatable illnesses, prompt action can prevent early death or lifelong disability. The newborn screening program saves about 12,000 babies every year. Unfortunately, as the Milwaukee Journal Sential discovered, over 100,000 tests a year are processed late, and the consequences can be deadly.
[Photo credit: Keaggy, Creative Commons.]
A sensible antidote to the latest round of racially-tinged "knockout game" hysteria.
[Photo credit: Eva-Lotta Lam, Creative Commons.]
The Best of the Week's News
- Yet more reports of Border Patrol locking detainees in freezers, sometimes after dousing them with cold water.
- Mariya Strauss profiles kids who died at work after the Labor Department squelched proposed child labor rules that would have kept them out of dangerous farm jobs.
- Why Justice Anthony Kennedy might not be the pro-choice swing vote everyone expects him to be.
- The humanitarian crisis in the Philippines reignites controversy over U.S. food aid policies.
Two Ohio Walmarts are hosting food drives for their own associates this holiday season. "A lot of associates can't even afford to buy a small turkey," Ricki Hahn, a seven-year employee of Wal-Mart, told the local Fox News station that broke the story. That's not surprising considering that more than half of all Walmart employees make less than $25,000 a year, according to the company's CEO, a wage that would make a family of four eligible for food stamps. The food drives have ignited controversy over Walmart's poverty wages ahead of Black Friday, which has become a flashpoint for labor unrest at Walmart stores in recent years. The employee group OUR WALMART is keeping the pressure on. The National Labor Relations Board recently handed Walmart employees a major victory, ruling that the retailer cannot retaliate against workers for protesting Walmart's poverty wages.
Check out USA Today's expose of Stanislaw Burzynski, a Houston cancer doctor who claims he can cure cancer with compounds isolated from human urine. Burzynski is under investigation by the FDA and the Texas Medical Board for peddling (piddling?) unproven remedies and failing to report serious side effects.
[Photo credit: TobyM, Creative Commons.]
The call for entries for the 2014 Hillman Prizes is now open. The Hillman Prizes recognize outstanding achievements in socially conscious journalism in the following categories:
1. Book (bound volumes and ebooks)
2. Newspaper Journalism (story or series/in print or online)
3. Magazine Journalism (story or series/in print or online)
4. Broadcast Journalism (story or series/at least 20 minutes in total package length) Open to television, web TV, radio, podcast, and documentary film.
5. Web Journalism (publication/story or series/multimedia media project) Open to blogs, computer-assisted reporting, new investigative tools, mapping, crowd sourcing, and other multimedia media projects. Entries should feature both text and visual components.
6. Opinion & Analysis Journalism (any medium) Includes all types of advocacy, opinion, commentary and analysis, normally short-form and/or frequent, regardless of medium. Open to newspaper and magazine columnists, TV and radio presenters, podcasters, blogs, and bloggers.
7. The Canadian Hillman Prize. Awarded for outstanding journalism published in a Canadian media outlet.
All applications must be received by Jan 31, 2014, except applications for the Canadian Hillman Prize, which are due Jan 9, 2014.
The prize is a $5000 honorarium and travel to New York City to receive the award.
Full application details here.
It is my great pleasure to welcome the Sidney Hillman Foundation's newest judge, Ta-Nehisi Coates. This fall, Coates joined the distinguished panel of judges who adjudicate our monthly Sidney Awards and our annual Hillman Prizes.
Ta-Nehisi is a senior editor at The Atlantic, a celebrated blogger, a memoirist, and a 2012 Hillman Prize-winner. His fellow Hillman judge Rick Hertzberg describes him as "one of the most elegant and sharp observers of race in America, [an] upholder of universal values, a brave and compassionate writer who challenges his readers to transcend narrow self-definitions and focus on shared humanity."
We could not be happier or more proud to have Ta-Nehisi on our team.
The Best of the Week's News
- A faith-healing sect in Idaho is killing children by withholding medicine for treatable infections.
- Kathryn Joyce investigates the abuse of Ethiopian adoptees in the United States.
- Historian Rick Perlstein explains why the Tea Party is nothing new in Republican politics.
- Attention, non-fiction writers: the deadline for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award has been extended until Dec 10, 2013. Enter to win $30,000 to help finish your book.