Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

FROM CONGRESSMAN JIM MCGOVERN’S OFFICE – 1/20 …

But first:

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“Today, Donald Trump was sworn in as president. I have the highest respect for the office of the presidency, but in all candor I don’t have an awful lot of respect for the man who took the oath of office today. He has said far too much that deeply troubles me.

“This is a man who attacked President Obama, the first African-American elected to the presidency, by questioning whether or not he was even a citizen of our country. But it’s not just that – it’s his disparaging comments about women and immigrants. It’s his talk about creating a Muslim registry. It’s his embrace of torture. It’s his talk about using nuclear weapons. And it’s his surrounding himself with people who embrace policies that are bigoted and racist.

“I hope for the best, and I hope that there are areas where we can find commonality, but I am reminded of the words of Maya Angelou who said when somebody shows you who they are – believe them the first time.

“I have two posters that I treasure deeply in my office honoring Rosa Parks, the great civil rights leader. The first one says “No.” That’s what she said when they told her to get to the back of the bus. No. We need to be prepared to say no to policies that we think are going to hurt this country. We need to say no if Donald Trump tries to weaken voting rights or civil rights. We need to say no if he tries to privatize Medicare or Social Security.

“I have a second Rosa Parks poster that says ‘The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.’ On Monday we honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He didn’t just have a dream, he got up every day and worked to make that dream a reality. He didn’t just agonize, he organized. He didn’t just talk the talk, he marched, protested, and even engaged in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience. And he made a difference and he moved this country forward. We need to be inspired by Dr. King’s example, and we need a renewed activism in this country to combat what might be coming down the road.

“So tomorrow my wife, Lisa, and my daughter, Molly and I will participate in the woman’s march here in Washington, D.C. and my son, Patrick will participate in Boston, and I hope that you will participate in one of the marches going on across Massachusetts and across the country. It is important that we make clear to President Trump that we will not acquiesce in the face of policies that we deplore. Politics is not about rolling over, politics is about standing up and fighting for what you believe in.

“These are challenging times no doubt but it is important that we not despair. I have hope. I have hope that we can get through this. I have hope that we can get through this because of the calls and notes and emails that I have received from so many of you urging me to fight and promising that you will fight alongside me.

“I’m looking toward the future as an opportunity to be able to shape the direction that our country will move in and to do all we can to make this the country what we want it to be. I’m a dad and I want my kids to have a good future. The stakes have never been higher. Let me remind you of the words of Barack Obama – keep hope alive.”

Congressman Jim McGovern Pledges to Fight GOP Repeal of Affordable Care Act

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From Jim’s office:

Today Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat, led debate for Democrats against S.Con.Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution, the House Republican bill to begin the process of repealing of the Affordable Care Act.

“For nearly seven years my Republican friends have railed against the Affordable Care Act. Their well-funded allies have spent billions of dollars distorting the ACA and lying to the American people about what it actually does. And for nearly seven years, there has not been a single comprehensive health care bill brought to the floor by Republicans as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Not one!

“We have voted over 60 times to repeal the ACA on the House Floor. I’d be the first to admit the ACA is not perfect. We want to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen it, to make it better. But my colleagues don’t want to do that. They are determined to just vote for an outright repeal and that is going to hurt countless people in this country.”

“The Donald Trumps of the world certainly don’t have to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. If someone in their family gets really sick – they’ll just sell some stocks or close down another American factory, or not pay their workers – as our President-elect has been known to do on many, many occasions.

“As someone who represents Massachusetts, this is especially personal because Medicaid is one of the best tools we have in the fight against opioid addiction, providing real care for the addiction and the underlying conditions that drive the opioid epidemic in our communities. Repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would rip coverage away from an estimated 1.6 million newly insured individuals with substance use disorders.

In Congressman McGovern’s closing remarks, he spoke directly to Republicans, “It is a cruel thing to do to take away people’s health care. We believe that health care ought to be a right, I know you don’t. We believe health care protections ought to be in law, you believe they ought to be up to the insurance companies. But this is a lousy thing to do. We’re gonna fight you on this. This is a fight worth having. Protecting people’s health care is something we should all be dedicated to and we’re going to fight you on this.”

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Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Floor Speech:

“For nearly seven years my Republican friends have railed against the Affordable Care Act. Their well-funded allies have spent billions of dollars distorting the ACA and lying to the American people about what it actually does. And for nearly seven years, there has not been a single comprehensive health care bill brought to the floor by Republicans as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Not one!

“We have voted over 60 times to repeal the ACA on the House Floor! I’d be the first to admit the ACA is not perfect. But rather than work together to tweak it, to make it better, all we get from them are repeal bills, repeal bills, repeal bills. And let me again point out – not once, not once was a replacement bill offered.

“Not only do Republicans not have a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act and protect access to health care for more than 20 million Americans who gained coverage, they can’t even agree on a timeline for when they’ll pass their replacement.

· President-elect Trump says repeal and replace will be done on the same day and he wants it to happen now.

· Rep. Steve Scalise said Republicans will replace the ACA over the course of the next few months.

· Sen. John Thune said it could take two or three years for the replacement to be implemented.

· Rep. Chris Collins said Republicans have six months to work out the replacement plan.

· Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to even give a timeline, just saying it would happen.

“While Republicans fight for each other over timelines, I think it’s appropriate to ask: If they did have a replacement, what would that replacement be?

“And what, specifically, would they replace the ACA with?

“Well, President-elect Donald Trump has the answer! When asked what we should replace Obamacare with he said, and I quote, “Something terrific.” When pressed for details and more specificity, he said “Something that people will really, really, really like.”

“You can’t make this stuff up! It would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic.

“It’s tragic because what Republicans are trying to do is take health care protections away from millions and millions of families.

“No one in Congress has to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. And the Donald Trumps of the world certainly don’t have to worry about health care if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. If someone in their family gets really sick – they’ll just sell some stocks or close down another American factory, or not pay their workers – as our President-elect has been known to do on many, many occasions.

“But for millions of Americans it will be a different story. Repealing the ACA would mean over 30 million Americans would lose coverage, including nearly 4 million children; more than 52 million individuals with pre-existing conditions could have coverage rescinded or see their premiums dramatically increased; millions of young adults would be unable to stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26; over 14 million individuals enrolled in Medicaid under the expansion would lose coverage; and nearly 140 million individuals with private insurance would lose access to preventive services without co-pays or deductibles.

“And millions of seniors would see their prescription drug prices increase because it would re-open the so-called doughnut hole that the ACA has begun to close.

“Republicans want to slash Medicaid, a health care program that does a lot of good and enables mothers to work their way out of poverty by providing affordable coverage for their children.

“And as someone who represents Massachusetts, this is especially personal because Medicaid is one of the best tools we have in the fight against opioid addiction, providing real care for the addiction and the underlying conditions that drive the opioid epidemic in our communities. Repealing Medicaid expansion under the ACA would rip coverage away from an estimated 1.6 million newly insured individuals with substance use disorders.

“That’s what’s at stake – and that’s what my Republican colleagues are so happy, so giddy, and so excited to do. It is sad. It is pathetic.

“But – they’re moving forward anyway – with no replacement in sight. I suppose they can roll out their oldies but goodies – like health savings accounts or their other healthcare prescription – take two tax breaks and call me in the morning.

“But that doesn’t do it.

“We have a complicated health care system, no doubt. I wish it were simpler. That’s why I’ve always favored a single-payer system and that is why I favor a public option.

“But the problem with our system before Obamacare was that it left all the decisions up to the insurance companies. Do you remember the days when insurance companies could charge women more for health insurance because they said “being a woman was a pre-existing condition?”

“They can’t do that anymore. Why? Not because of my Republican friends. They can’t do it anymore because we passed the ACA.

“It is a cruel thing to do to take away people’s health care. I will say to my Republican colleagues that they need to know that we will fight you every step of the way on this. There are some battles on behalf of the American people that are worth having and worth fighting and this is one of them, making sure that their health care protections remain intact. I came to Congress to help people, not make their lives more miserable.”

“This is a sad day because what we are doing here by voting for this budget is setting in motion a process to deny millions of people health care protections. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do that.

Is the Affordable Care Act perfect? No. We’re the first to admit that and we want to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen it, to make it better. But my colleagues don’t want to do that. They are determined to just vote for an outright repeal and that is going to hurt countless people in this country. People who have benefitted from no pre-existing conditions. People who have benefitted by being able to keep their kids on their insurance until they are 26. Senior citizens who have benefitted from closing the doughnut hole. I could go on and on and on. All of that is about to be eliminated.

We’re told that there will be a replacement. Someday. Somehow. For six years, over six years, you have been talking about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replacement and you haven’t brought one bill to the floor. Not one.

“Now, we believe that health care ought to be a right, I know you don’t. We believe health care protections ought to be in law, you believe they ought to be up to the insurance companies. But this is a lousy thing to do. And as I said in my opening statement, we’re gonna fight you on this. This is a fight worth having. Protecting people’s health care is something we should all be dedicated to and we’re going to fight you on this.”

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pic: R.T.

Peter Stefan of Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Home in Main South often helps seniors pay for their prescription meds. Our system is broken! Americans deserve single-payer health care! An expanded version of Medicare is the ticket to a healthier U.S.A! – R. Tirella

Farewell!

Now that we’ve learned President-elect Donald Trump worked with the Russians for FIVE years, that he used them to make a mockery of our democracy, that they used him to make a mockery of our democracy and deemed him highly “bribable,” our departing President Obama seems even more dignified, modest, sensitive, inspiring and visionary. When we see what’s down our American road, paved with Trumpian vulgarity, gold, sexual assault, KGB-leaders, excess, lies and – let’s be honest – utter disregard for each and every American (especially the working class that got him elected), Barack Obama looks like St. Barack!

President Obama, the world is surely, sorely, going to miss you when you step off the stage!

January 20 it’ll be Trump.

God save America!

– Rosalie Tirella

InCity Times Book Review

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… Bin Laden was easy prey for U.S. Navy Seals, according to Hersh. pic:R.T.

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

By Seymour M. Hersh

(2016, Verso Books, 132 pages)

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

Seymour Hersh is one of the best investigative reporters in the United States. In 1970 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the My Lai massacre by American troops in Vietnam. Since then, Hersh has gone on to report on numerous issues of public concern.

In this latest book, Hersh takes a look at two issues: the 2011 operation that killed Osama Bin Laden and the 2013 Syrian chemical attack on Ghouta that killed 1,400 innocent civilians. In the Bin Laden killing, Hersh quotes mostly anonymous and unattributed sources that Bin Laden was actually captured by the Pakistanis in 2006 and that the operation to kill Ben Laden was an elaborately staged hoax to re-elect President Obama.

In the Syrian chemical case, Hersh quotes sources who imply the United States, through Turkey, supplied Syrian rebels with the equipment and/or raw materials to manufacture sarin gas to conduct the attack on Ghouta, giving the U.S. casus belli to bring down the Assad regime.

London Review of Books

This book originally appeared as a series of essays in the London Review of Books. It patches together totally different subjects. In the introduction, Hersh insists the book’s subjects have a common theme – that President Obama promised transparency and delivered misrepresentation and lies. Hersh wrote: “Yet he [Obama] is a President who told series of lies about the killing of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011 … .”

Hersh asserted the following about the death of Bin Laden:

• “Bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI [Pakistani intelligence] at the Abbottabad compound since 2006,” after Bin Laden was betrayed to ISI by a bribed local tribesman.

• That Pakistani intelligence knew of the May 11, 2011, raid to kill Bin Laden “in advance and made sure that the two helicopters delivering the Seals to Abbottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering any alarms;”

• “At the Abbottabad compound ISI guards were posted around the clock to keep watch over Bin Laden and his wives and children. They were under orders to leave as soon as they heard the rotors of the U.S. helicopters.”

• “The town was dark: the electricity supply had been cut off on the orders of ISI before the raid began.”

Thus, stripped of guards and protection, Bin Laden was easy prey for what Hersh terms “murder” by Navy Seals. According to Hersh, the original plan had been for the Seals to kill Bin Laden and a week later for the U.S. and Pakistan to announce Bin Laden was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan. This was spoiled by Obama rushing to claim credit for Bin Laden’s death, injuring U.S. relations with Pakistan, claims Hersh.

Bizarre scenario

If this bizarre scenario laid out by Hersh were really true, it is highly unlikely it would have remained a secret this long.

In these days of the Internet and our hyper-partisan political atmosphere, it is highly unlikely that such a dubious scheme could have been carried out without the evidence leaking. Hersh is a good writer, and at only 132 pages, this book is an easy read.

Republicans and conservatives have long criticized Hersh for his reliance on anonymous sources in support of sometimes unbelievable accusations.

Liberals may find themselves in agreement after reading this highly unlikely accounting of a liberal icon’s greatest achievement.

InCity Book Review

OBJECTIVE TROY: A TERRORIST, A PRESIDENT AND THE RISE OF THE DRONE

By Scott Schane

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

Presidents make tough decisions.

In 2010 President Barack H. Obama made one of his toughest decisions. Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was actively encouraging Americans over the Internet to murder their compatriots. Obama knew that a drone strike killing Awlaki was controversial. An American citizen, executed by Presidential order, without Awlaki allowed his constitutional due process rights, struck some as an overreach.

“When a US Citizen goes abroad to wage war against America and is actively plotting to kill US citizens, and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot, his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a SWAT team,” said Obama.

Awlaki was killed by a drone on September 30, 2011.

In his book entitled “Objective Troy: A Terrorist, A President, and the Rise of the Drone”, New York Times security reporter Scott Shane traces how Awlaki went from being a moderate Muslim who condemned the 9/11 attacks and preached inter-faith communication, to a lunatic fringe determined to inflict mass casualties.

The Troy in the book’s title is not a reference to the city of Trojan horse fame but to Troy, Ohio. The military at the time randomly assigned the names of communities in the state of Ohio to terrorist targets, and this code name was allocated to Awlaki.

Erudite English

Awlaki was born in the U.S. in 1971 when his father, a Yemeni, was a graduate student. Awlaki’s erudite use of English led to his swift rise to the top post at a prestigious Washington D.C mosque. Young Muslims enjoyed Awlaki’s eloquent orations, wrapped skillfully in American idioms and slang, by an Internet savvy mentor. Awlaki became an Internet icon, whose sermons were downloaded or sold on CDs throughout the Muslim world.

9/11 was a life-changing event for Awlaki. At first, Awlaki condemned the terrorist atrocity in fluent English, becoming a much sought after cable news commentator. The pivot point for Awlaki was when police began dragnetting innocent Muslim institutions. Awlaki was enraged when the Fiqh Council of North America, which issued a religious fatwa saying the U.S. was justified in invading Afghanistan after 9/11, was rummaged.

“His fury was palpable,” writes Shane. “He spoke not of Islamic history or the requirements of life as a good Muslim, his usual themes, but of the heavy-handed raids, which had hit the community like a tornado.”

Iraq invasion

If searches of Muslim institutions was the turning point, the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the tipping point. Awlaki went from being a critic of U.S. policy to a terrorist. Records Shane: “[Awlaki] was deeply alienated by the Iraq War and was fundamentally shifting his views.” In 2009 Awlaki relocated to his ancestral Yemen and was tied to three attempted attacks inside the U.S.:

• Awlaki exchanged emails with Nidal Hassan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist. Subsequently Awlaki urged on his website that U.S. Muslim soldiers turn their weapons on their fellow soldiers. On November 5, 2009 Hassan mowed down fifty Americans at Foot Hood Texas, killing thirteen.

•The “Underwear Bomber,” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, activated a device in his underwear to blow up a commercial airliner over Detroit, trying to murder 289 co-passengers. Abdulmutallab succeeded only in scorching his own genitalia. Abdulmutallab traveled to Yemen to personally meet Awlaki before joining Al-Qaeda. Awlaki passed Abdulmutallab down the Al-Qaeda supply chain, where Abdulmutallab was equipped and trained before going on his mission.

• Faisal Shadzad, who planned to kill forty people by setting off a car bomb in Times Square in 2010, told interrogators that he was inspired to act by Awlaki. “When I watched Anwar Awlaki on video, I thought he was talking to me,” said Shahzad, whose bomb fuse failed to ignite the explosives.

• In 2010 Awlaki was directly involved in an attempt to use UPS and Fedex to place two bombs aboard a cargo plane, packaged as computer printer ink catridges. The bombs were discovered at the last minute due to a Saudi tip.

Awlaki created websites to recruit and train lone wolf terrorists. The Tsarnaev brothers used an Awlaki web infomercial to construct the bombs killing three Americans during the Boston Marathon.

“Objective Troy” is a timely warning of how American over-reactions to 9/11 were exploited by extremists to gain recruits from among the gullible. The invasion of Iraq was the gift to terrorists that keeps on giving.

Drug-free always in style! Congressman Jim McGovern Applauds Obama Administration Efforts to Expand Treatment and Education for Opioid Addiction

Congressman Jim McGovern applauded the announcement this week from the White House that it is calling for an expansion of specialized treatment for prescription painkiller and heroin addiction and training of medical school students using the newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prescriber guidelines for opioids.

President Obama spoke at this week’s National RX Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

“… President Obama announced new public and private sector actions to strengthen efforts in Massachusetts and across the country to tackle the opioid crisis. Massachusetts families are seeing the devastating impact of the opioid crisis every day, and we need strong national leadership to help our communities recover and come back from the brink,” McGovern said.

He continued:

“Prevention and treatment must be at the heart of our approach. [This week’s] actions are essential steps to do just that by expanding access to treatment, preventing overdose deaths and increasing community prevention strategies. With President Obama’s already announced proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to ensure that all Americans can get the treatment they need, it’s clear that the White House is ready to rise to the challenge.

“Nearly 30,000 Americans died from opioid overdose last year – more than 1,300 in Massachusetts – and the need for action has never been greater.

“I urge my fellow members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to come together to make the serious investments needed to end the opioid crisis once and for all and ensure that every American can get the help they need to recover.”

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BACKGROUND ON THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Increasing access to a key drug for medication-assisted treatment:

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a proposed rule to increase the current patient limit for qualified physicians who prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorders from 100 to 200 patients with the goal of expanding access to this evidence-based treatment while preventing diversion.

The proposed rule aims to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and behavioral health supports for tens of thousands of people with opioid use disorders.

Why this matters: Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved drug that, because of its lower potential for abuse, is permitted to be prescribed or dispensed in physician offices, which significantly increases its availability to many patients. When taken as prescribed, buprenorphine is safe and effective. Existing evidence shows that this lifesaving, evidence-based treatment is under-utilized.

Updating the regulations around the prescribing of buprenorphine-containing products, as proposed, would help close this treatment gap. Learn more here.

Preventing opioid overdose deaths:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is releasing a new $11 million funding opportunity to states to purchase and distribute the opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone, and to train first responders and others on its use along with other overdose prevention strategies.

SAMHSA is also releasing a new $11 million funding opportunity for up to 11 states to expand their medication-assisted treatment services. SAMHSA is distributing 10,000 pocket guides for clinicians that include a checklist for prescribing medication for opioid use disorder treatment and integrating non-pharmacologic therapies into treatment.

Why this matters: In 2014, nearly 21,000 deaths in the United States involved prescription opioids, and more than 10,500 involved heroin. Naloxone is a prescription drug that can reverse the effects of prescription opioid and heroin overdose, and can be life-saving if administered in time.

Addressing the substance use disorder parity in Medicaid:

HHS is finalizing a rule to strengthen access to mental health and substance use services for people enrolled in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans by requiring that these benefits be offered at parity, meaning that they be comparable to medical and surgical benefits.

Why this matters: These protections are expected to benefit more than 23 million people in Medicaid and CHIP. These actions build on the President’s proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to help every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment get the help they need.

Labor Day! President Obama arrives for a appearance at the 2015 Labor Day breakfast organized by the Greater Boston Labor Council (AFL-CIO)! Yay!!!!

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The Mass. Minimum Wage is $9/hour. pic: R.T.

Presidential Labor Day visit follows wave of union victories!

Across industries, workers in Mass. make gains through organizing in new and traditional sectors!
 
Support for unions in America and union organizing in Bay State both trending upwards!

 
BOSTON – The Massachusetts labor movement will have plenty to celebrate Monday as President Barack Obama arrives for a confirmed appearance at the 2015 Labor Day breakfast organized by the Greater Boston Labor Council (AFL-CIO).
 
WHO:              President of the United States Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator Edward Markey, City of Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Mass. Attorney General Maura Healey, Mass. AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, GBLC President Lou Mandarini, GBLC Exec. Sec-Treas. Rich Rogers, AFL-CIO, Regional Dir. Jim Snow, along with union members and their supporters from throughout Greater Boston.
 
WHAT:            2015 Greater Boston Labor Council Labor Day Breakfast

WHEN:            Monday, September 7, 2015, 8:30 a.m. Union members and leaders will be available for interviews upon request beginning Thursday afternoon through Monday. A labor-community rally and march is also slated to begin at the Boston Common bandstand around Noon following the conclusion of the breakfast.

WHERE:         Boston Park Plaza Hotel, 50 Park Plaza, Boston, MA, 02116.
 
According to a recent Gallup poll, support for unions continues to rise nationally to its highest point in years.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts labor movement has achieved a series of recent victories in partnership with community allies that are raising standards for workers across every major industry in the state.
 
MINIMUM WAGE

Through the innovative “Raise Up” coalition forged with religious and neighborhood advocates, Massachusetts unions won legislation that raised the statewide minimum wage to $9.00/hour on January 1, 2015 and will raise the minimum wage again to $10.00/hour in 2016 and $11.00/ hour in 2017.
 
EARNED SICK TIME

Union members also played a key role in securing new Earned Sick Time rights for workers, implemented on July 1, 2015, through the overwhelming passage of a ballot initiative in the most recent statewide elections. For the first time, the new law provides all workers in the Bay State the protected ability to accrue sick time to use when they are ill or need to care for a sick child or family member. Advocates hailed the passage of the sick time law as a victory not just for workers, but also for public health and consumers.
 
DOMESTIC WORKERS’ BILL OF RIGHTS
 
A growing industry of domestic workers won a range of new protections, implemented on April 1, 2015, under a labor-backed bill that aims to protect domestic workers from exploitation. The bill strengthens domestic workers’ rights and empowers the Attorney General and Mass Coalition Against Discrimination to enforce new regulations pertaining to wages, hours, sexual harassment, human trafficking, and more.
 
ORGANIZING AND CONTRACT VICTORIES ACROSS INDUSTRIES
 
Meanwhile, nearly every major Massachusetts employment sector has seen an increase in organizing activity as more workers vote to join area unions and as workers secure new contract victories in growing parts of the local economy, such as hospitality, construction, healthcare, and more.
 
HOSPITALITY

This summer, workers at the Hilton Back Bay hotel became the latest in a series of hospitality employees to join Unite Here Local 26. Additionally, food service workers at Emerson College, located just steps from the Park Plaza where President Obama will speak on Monday, recently secured their first contract after voting to join Local 26.
 
CONSTRUCTION

The Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District (Metro BTC) continues to secure good jobs for Boston area residents through a range of new development projects. The Metro BTC has been heralded for their continued expansion of multiple pathways out of poverty from recruitment to organizing drives, pre-apprenticeship programs to additional wrap-around services to promote social and economic justice at a community level while promoting fairness, justice and equity in the construction industry. Through the innovative “Building Pathways” and “Operation Exit” programs, the Trades Council has graduated and placed hundreds of residents from low-income communities into family-sustaining union construction careers since 2011. City of Boston Mayor Walsh launched Building Pathways in 2011 while head of the Building Trades; and partnered with the Building Trades in 2013 to launch Operation Exit, which provides additional pathways out of poverty to communities in Boston. Meanwhile, the Metro BTC continues to support Helmets to Hardhats to support returning veterans and enable them to put their skills to use in a rewarding career in the construction trades.
 
HEALTHCARE

Home health aides employed by Medical Resource Home Health Corp., owned by one of the nation’s largest private equity groups, became the first Massachusetts private agency home care workers to form a union in June. That victory was announced on the same day that Massachusetts’ 35,000 Personal Care Attendants secured a pathway to $15/hour as part of the national Fight for $15 campaign. Meanwhile, nurses and other hospital staff continue to secure new contracts in the state’s largest employment sector.
 
EDUCATION

A tidal wave of successful organizing votes among adjunct and contingent faculty in the Greater Boston area has brought thousands of new workers into the union ranks including at Bentley University, Boston University, Lesley University, Northeastern University and Tufts University. Meanwhile, para-professionals and classroom aides have continued to join the Teachers unions.
 
RETAIL & TRANSPORTATION

An unprecedented series of strikes at area fast food restaurants and amongst Logan Airport cleaners and support staff have helped spur new categories of unorganized workers into the movement and have shone a spotlight on increasing wage inequality. Parking lot attendants throughout the Boston area are organizing to join unions for the first time. Massachusetts unions and community partners have won major settlements holding corporations accountable as part of a coordinated campaign against wage theft violations in the retail sector and other industries.
 
 
STATEMENTS FROM UNION LEADERS
 
“We are honored that the President will be joining us to celebrate a labor movement that is needed now more than ever. Workers have achieved several major victories to advance fairness and dignity in Massachusetts this year – victories such as earned sick time, an increased minimum wage, a domestic workers’ bill of rights, and other accomplishments that are inspiring workers across the nation. For the President to be joining us in Boston on Labor Day following such a momentous year is a great honor and we look forward to celebrating our shared commitment to raising standards for all working people.” – Rich Rogers, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council
 
“We are truly honored to have President Barack Obama celebrating Labor Day with the hard working people of Massachusetts. Americans are recognizing labor’s important role in our economy. With income inequality at crisis levels, working people in the Commonwealth have been fighting back and winning because we know that unions will help level the playing field. Unions are good for families, good for Massachusetts, and good for the nation. All of our recent victories are building towards a new day in Massachusetts. We will continue to fight privatization and income inequality and defend decent pay for an honest day’s work.” – Steve Tolman, President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO
 
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The Greater Boston Labor Council is the regional arm of the AFL-CIO. Its membership is comprised of 161 local unions representing 90,000 members throughout its twenty-four-community jurisdiction in Greater Boston. Chartered by the National AFL-CIO, the Greater Boston Labor Council’s mission is to improve the lives of working families. Our goal is to build a movement of unions and workers to advocate for working family issues in cities and towns throughout Greater Boston.

The Greater Boston Labor Council also seeks to reach out to progressive allies within our communities to form coalitions to advance the cause of economic justice.
 

Go, President Obama, go!!!

From The New York Times.   (I’ve made a sentence fragment bold.)    – R.T.

Obama, Down but Not Out, Presses Ahead 

By PETER BAKER and JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS

WASHINGTON — President Obama emerged from last week’s midterm election rejected by voters, hobbled politically and doomed to a final two years in office suffering from early lame-duck syndrome. That, at least, was the consensus in both parties. No one seems to have told Mr. Obama.

In the 10 days since “we got beat,” as he put it, by Republicans who captured the Senate and bolstered control over the House, Mr. Obama has flexed his muscles on immigration, climate change and the Internet, demonstrating that he still aspires to enact sweeping policies that could help define his legacy. …

To read entire story, CLICK HERE

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President Obama to Announce $3 Billion U.S. Contribution to Climate Change Fund

By CORAL DAVENPORT and MARK LANDLER

NOVEMBER 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Obama will soon announce that the United States will contribute $3 billion to a new international fund intended to help the world’s poorest countries address the effects of climate change, according to a senior administration official.

Mr. Obama is expected to make the announcement at a summit meeting of the Group of 20 industrial powers this weekend in Brisbane, Australia, on the heels of his landmark announcement this week that the United States and China will jointly commit to curbing greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. …

To read entire story CLICK HERE