All posts by Murphy Institute

Black Communities Leading the Movement for Economic Democracy

By Rebecca Lurie

Black History Month is here — and we must declare Black Lives Matter well beyond any one month.

Dr. Phil Thompson shares some important facts and insights in a recent article in the New Labor Forum, “The Future of Urban Populism: Will Cities Turn the Political Tide? He clearly lays out that the generations of inequality and disparate opportunities between the races stems from capitalism and its use of race as a tool to create and maintain the underclass, slavery, disenfranchisement, mass incarceration, poverty, low mortality rates and economic injustice.

Thompson identifies all the challenges for a new progressivism, and yet notes that, “…change is very possible. There are already hundreds, if not thousands, of small initiatives underway in cities to disrupt or reverse these dominant negative trends.” He then challenges us to make a movement of these efforts. Continue reading Black Communities Leading the Movement for Economic Democracy

596Acres Seeks Researcher for

This Spring, join the 596 Acres team to add key details to a new tool for NYC community land access. Created in collaboration with Common Cause/NY and the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, will bring New Yorkers accurate information about our key public places: post office buildings, libraries, New York City Housing Authority campuses, parks, gardens, vacant lots, and city-owned waterfronts. It’s live now at

We are hiring a researcher to add information about each site on the map. We want to know which ones are slated for development, which ones were included in master plans and where government agencies have plans to transfer properties to private owners.

Requirements: attention to detail; a love of the City Record; familiarity with government disposition processes, OpenData and ACRIS; fearlessness in weaving through phone mazes and asking strangers for help; ability to translate complex concepts for a general audience.

This is a contract position for 200-300 hours, to be completed by June 1, 2017. You will be working remotely and creating your own schedule. Pay is $30/hour.

To apply: send resume, cover letter describing what makes you the perfect person for the job, and a summary of what is planned for this NYCHA property and why it matters (yup – it’s a test!) to by Wednesday, March 1 at 5pm.

See original posting here.

After “Vigorous” Resistance Campaign, Andrew Puzder Withdraws

Yesterday afternoon, fast-food executive Andrew Puzder announced that he would be withdrawing his nomination to be the next US labor secretary. This came on the heels of last week’s announcement that Puzder was being sued via  class-action lawsuit for an illegal wage-fixing scheme at his Carl’s Jr. restaurants.

Of course, as David Dayen reported in the Intercept, this was only on in a “growing list of concerns” before Puzder’s confirmation hearing, formerly slated for later today. Puzder had:

“[…] delayed his hearing four times to get his financial disclosures in order; admitted to employing an undocumented housekeeper; and worked under the tutelage of a notorious mob lawyer. His ex-wife appeared on Oprah in disguise in the 1990s to discuss domestic violence incidents in their marriage; senators in both parties have viewed the footage, and divorce records, which include additional allegations of assault, were unsealed on Tuesday.” Continue reading After “Vigorous” Resistance Campaign, Andrew Puzder Withdraws

District Council 37/AFSCME Seeks Information Specialist (NYC)

District Council 37/AFSCME, New York City’s Largest Union of Municipal Employees, is looking for an Information Specialist who specializes In social media.


  • Manage the Union’s social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts with the goal of growing reach and engaging members
  • Work with the Communications department to develop new content, integrate existing editorials and media, and identify opportunities for user-generated content that will resonate with members
  • Track member engagement on Social Media and relay feedback to appropriate departments
  • Attend events and do live coverage on Twitter and Instagram
  • Collaborate with various departments, Locals, and other partners to align strategy for various campaigns, events and other content
  • Stay informed of social media-related industry best practices; identify and recommend new tools and platforms


  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in communications, marketing, or another related field
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • High fluency in multiple social media channels, including but not limited to: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others such as YouTube, Flickr, and Flipboard,  just to name a few
  • Strong project management and organizational skills
  • Team player, with the confidence to take the lead and guide other departments when necessary
  • Minimum 2 year experience in marketing, communications
  • Campaign experience a plus.
  • Knowledge of best practices in digital and new media marketing and proficiency in email marketing, social media, and web content development
  • An ability to identify target audience preferences and build content to meet them
  • Understanding of SEO and web traffic metrics

To apply, send cover letter and resume to:

Chris Policano
District Council 37, Room 730
125 Barclay Street
New York, NY 10007

Send by email to:

DEADLINE: February 21, 2017

Avoiding Concessions Under Trump

In a recent In These Times article (When Raising the Minimum Wage is a Bad Thing), Murphy Prof. Stephanie Luce and Jen Kern warn of the perils of conceding ground on minimum wage in the name of short term gains:

First, we cannot accept short-term gains in the form of a higher wage if they mean concessions that undermine our ability to organize over the long haul. Such concessions could include the ability to form unions, engage in collective bargaining, strike and protest. For example, a minimum wage increase that comes alongside cuts to the Department of Labor’s inspection staff would be a major setback. A minimum wage increase that comes at the price of “right-to-work” provisions would be disastrous.

The minimum wage is a valuable tool for raising the incomes of millions of workers, but it loses much of its value if worker organizations and movements are too weak to enforce the law. It doesn’t help people without jobs and only minimally helps those with few hours of work. Most importantly, minimum wages have the greatest impact when workers have unions to protect their jobs and help them move up to higher paid positions.

Second, we must be wary of attempts to divide our movement. The first minimum wage, which was passed in 1938, excluded domestic workers and farmworkers—occupations that were dominated by African-American workers. Today, the federal law sets a much lower minimum wage for tipped workers—a practice that disproportionately hurts women and people of color. An increase to the minimum wage must benefit everyone, including farmworkers and people who work for tips.

It’s also quite possible that a higher minimum wage could be linked to concessions on policies that impact unemployed workers, through cuts to unemployment benefits and the safety net. If we accept an increase to the minimum wage on these terms, we will drive a further wedge between the so-called “deserving” and “non-deserving” poor. Indeed, our ability to win depends on whether this fight is an inclusive one. 

They remind us:

Our job isn’t to find common ground with Trump or to figure out ways to work with a hostile administration that will put forward terrible deals. Our job is to build organizations and make our movements more powerful.

For more on the role of unions, trade and infrastructure under Trump, read the full article at In These Times.

Photo by Stephen L via flickr (CC-BY-NC)

People’s Climate Movement Seeks Social Media Manager (Washington, DC)

The People’s Climate Movement (PCM) is staffing up for our 100 Days Mobilization to resist the Trump Administration’s attacks on our planet, communities and people. We are looking to build a strong staff team that can help build out a powerful and effective mobilization that both defends the things we love, but also provides a space and opportunity for people and communities to come together to strategize, learn from one another and go back to their communities to lead to organize over the next four years.

The People’s Climate Movement is an innovative formation that includes some of the country’s most effective environmental and progressive organizations, powerful local front-line and community groups, faith organizations, arts and cultural workers, labor unions, youth organizations and community leaders.  Growing out of the massive NYC march in 2014, we have been working to strengthen and expand the climate movement and connect to struggles for economic and racial justice.

We are looking to immediately hire a social media manager. Full time preferred, part time possible for the right candidate.

This position will report to Digital Coordinator and have the following responsibilities:

  • Curate and craft timely, engaging social media content for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms
  • Work with Digital Coordinator to support the decentralized organizing work being done in support of April 29th
  • Respond to rapidly unfolding policy changes and political developments that shape the debate on climate change and related issues
  • Monitor and report on social media metrics and growth
  • Develop a plan for day-of social media coverage that drives people participating in actions to participate online as well


  • Strong writing skills are a must, as this person will be responsible for creating large amounts of content rapidly.
  • Basic proficiency with either Canva or the Adobe Creative Suite. The People’s Climate Movement is highly visual and the ability to create compelling graphics is a must.
  • Knowledge of and professional experience with commonly used social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter;

This position will be based out of Washington, DC.  For the right candidates, we are flexible on when they need to be working out of Washington DC, but all staff must be based out of Washington, DC no later than March 1st.  These positions are contract positions and will end on May 15th, 2017. Salary is dependent on experience, ranging between $4,500 and $5,500 per month.

People of color, women, and LGBTQ are strongly encouraged to apply for these positions.

Please submit a cover letter stating why you are interested in working with PCM and your resume to: Charlie Furman, Digital Coordinator. Please send to  Put “Social Media Digital Assistant” in your subject line.