Surviving the $675,000-question: Clinton’s Cultural Studies Primer

One cannot begrudge Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s earning power. She’s a productive, tough, smart, political leader. Her genuine expressions of gratitude appease supporters. She donates to charity and pays taxes. However, Sec. Clinton’s honest answer to a tough question from CNN’s Anderson Cooper about accepting a $675,000 speaking fee from a Wall Street firm undermines all of the goodwill earned through a lot of hard work.

She gave an honest answer at the beautiful Derry, NH Opera House. Now, she must work harder to win back the public’s trust. Many voters consider income inequality a crucial issue this campaign season.

Sec. Clinton must use her knowledge and her skills to ameliorate the scourge of income inequality in the United States of America. Madame Clinton must create and announce a plan to end income inequality, reduce the student loan burden, and strengthen subsidies for students, and caregivers who have left the work.

Imagine this. What if every voter and potential voter were to share his or her most recent W-2 with Sec. Clinton? Would the reality of income inequality become more tangible to her?

Can Sec. Clinton demonstrate affinity for the precarious — and mostly female — part-time English professor trying to live on $11,051.48 a year in a city where average rent on a one-bedroom apartment is $2,011?

Candidates with fat paychecks touting practical solutions to complicated economic and social problems cannot appear to rationalize income inequality.

But wealthy political leaders who solve the problem of income inequality win the nation’s trust, and The White House.

 

Hack LA and FWD.us Collaborate and Draw a Crowd at HUB LA on Traction

LOS ANGELES — The last Tuesday of every month techies meet, greet and strategize for political dominance. The monthly meet-ups, organized largely by groups like FWD.us and Hack LA, encourage collaboration and civic engagement. Tuesday, May 26th was no exception. Officials from county and local government gave a short presentation on LA County’s new Open Source initiative (data@lacounty.gov).

Civic leaders, web developers, and start-up culture aficionados flocked to Downtown LA’s Hub LA on Traction Avenue for a Hack LA and FWD.us collaborative event. The space is gritty, authentic LA and perfect for boisterous brainstorming and networking. The group planned an immigration event for June 27th, but the exact time and location are not yet known.

June is Immigration Heritage Month. During the meeting, reference was made to a Texas Federal Appeals Court ruling against President Obama’s immigration reform executive action. One speaker at the event from FWD.us, a 501(c)4 issue-advocacy group, vowed the organization will keep pushing for change.                

#FashionPolitics: A Week of Grassroots Activism On the National and International Stage

This week, people who care about the working conditions of the women and men who make our clothes commemorate the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster with grassroots creativity. How? By asking everyone to consider this question: “Who Made My Clothes?”

Over the course of one year, global ethical fashion activists with .orgs have sprung into action by launching digital hashtag campaigns on the topic of poor labor standards in the garment manufacturing industry.

For example, fashionrevolution.org launched a stunning Twitter campaign (#FashRev) with the Who Made My Clothes? theme. Organizers ask that everyone wear their clothes inside out to call attention to poor working conditions. The end goal is greater transparency and improved conditions throughout the garment manufacturing process, from supply chain through distribution.

I would like to see greater attention paid to this cause.  For my part, I will do my best to learn as much as I can about new initiatives created by the Obama administration regarding Pacific trade.

 

   

Immigration Reform Talk Brings Tech and Policy Advocates to NextSpace

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CULVER CITY — Technology and business leaders met with immigration reform advocates at NextSpace Tuesday, to hear Chad Blocker, partner at a leading immigration law firm called Fragomen, talk about President Obama’s executive action on immigration reform.

Blocker discussed changes to existing law that now make it possible for people in the U.S. on work visas to matriculate through the immigration system with less red tape.

Highlights:

Workers whose job fulfills STEM-needs, and who are engaged in work In demand, no longer need sponsorship from an employer.

In certain situations, spouses of H1B visa-holders may be sponsored, if the working spouse is in the process of applying for a Green Card.

The labor-certification process is streamlined.

While the reforms attempt to rectify the problems, Blocker pointed out what the President has stated, that Congress needs to act in order to make the changes stick.

More details about how the new executive action impacts existing reforms pertaining to the Dream Act are in need of clarification, according to the speaker and other policy watchers in the audience concurred.

One question I raised during the question and answer session was about a problem discussed by Mr. Blocker regarding increasing the capacity of governmental agencies to inform the public about changes in immigration policy. A lively discussion followed about how schools might play a key role in terms of educating the public about changes in immigration laws.

Members of the start-up community and the immigration reform community participated in this networking event.

FWD.us will hold a panel discussion on a topic, TBA, the first week of February.