Tag Archives: election

Video: Election Debrief: Reporters’ Roundtable

On November 18th, the Murphy Institute hosted a forum providing an examination of the 2016 electoral season, in which working-class anxiety and rage assumed a central role. A group of prominent journalists including Laura Flanders, Harold Meyerson, Jamilah King and Julio Ricardo Varela assessed what the primaries and the general election say about the current political landscape, especially with regard to racial, gender and class voting patterns.

New Labor Forum Highlights: Nov. 28th, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

Many of us continue to scratch our heads about a Trump electoral victory that only weeks ago seemed pretty improbable. While we anxiously gaze ahead at the likely domestic and international ramifications of a Trump presidency, we also look back in an effort to understand how it came to this. The Democratic Party primaries, of course, hold some clues. The labor movement was divided during the primary season over whether to support Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. In the forthcoming January issue of New Labor Forum, we invited contributions from both sides to debate those differences. Larry Cohen, past president of the Communications Workers of America argued on behalf of the Sanders option, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, together with Leo Casey, president of the Albert Shanker Institute, argued on behalf of the Clinton nomination. The authors assumed, as many readers also did, a Clinton victory.  When the election results came in, Randi Weingarten and Leo Casey asked to rewrite their essay. Larry Cohen elected to leave his essay as originally written, opting instead to add a brief addendum that also takes account of the election results. We feature that exchange here, as well as 2 articles and a video which all seek to wrestle with what happened and why — particularly as relates to organized labor.

Table of Contents:

  1. We Believe that We Can Win! by Larry Cohen
  2. Why Hillary Clinton Deserved Labor’s Support by Randi Weingarten and Leo Casey
  3. Election Debrief: Reporters’ Roundtable (Video)
  4. The Union Revolt by Bob Hennelly
  5. What Unions Got Wrong by Steven Greenhouse

Photo by Bill B via flickr (CC-BY)

Moving Forward

We post this just days after Donald Trump’s electoral triumph. That stunning victory raises more questions than it answers.

To what degree is the election outcome largely a result of an anxious and enraged white working class, sections of which either endorse the Trump campaign’s virulent racism or are willing to overlook it in favor of his tough talk on free trade and a rigged political system? How should labor and progressive activists understand and respond to the racism the campaign both fueled and exposed? What did the 2016 election tell us about the wisdom and viability of the Obama coalition, which depends on demographic changes presumed to be advantageous, rather than on birthing a multi-racial working-class? What was the nature and extent of organized labor’s impact on the election, particularly in the rust belt?

The Murphy Institute’s community of students, faculty, and union and community-based allies will be tackling these and other related questions on this blog; in our classes; in the pages of our journal, New Labor Forum; and in our public programming, beginning with a forum on November 18th, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Election Debrief: A Reporter’s Roundtable.

Who’s On the Ballot?: A Voter’s Guide

With election day rapidly approaching (it’s next Tuesday, November 8th!), you might be wondering how to cast your vote. Whether you’re still figuring out who you want to see in the White House in 2017, or you’re making your way through the down-ballot decisions, Who’s On the Ballot can help you find your way.

A project of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, the site helps you find your polling station, learn about the candidates and figure out who you want representing you.

Check it out here — and remember to vote!

Photo via flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

New Labor Forum Highlights: Oct. 31st, 2016

The New Labor Forum has launched a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.

In this week’s newsletter, we look policy issues — work and family — that normally fail to receive the political attention they deserve. Ironically, during the first electoral season to feature a woman as major party candidate, these issues remained overshadowed by other far less policy oriented concerns.

We kick off our effort to highlight these issues with an assessment by Linda Gordon of Second Wave Feminism, which included a strong strand of Socialist Feminism that emphasized the intersection of gender, race, and class oppression. As such, this movement that peaked from the mid 1960s until the 1980s gave rise  to many of the work-family policy initiatives of today, including paid family and sick leave; affordable, high quality childcare; and equal pay for equal work.

We look at current progress toward those policy objectives here. In a Washington Post column, New Labor Forum Contributing Editor Ruth Milkman discusses Paid Family Leave as a key means of reducing wealth inequality.  Sharon Lerner, writing for In These Times, describes the financial, emotional, and health repercussions suffered by working-class American women, who unlike their counterparts throughout the world, deliver and raise children without the most fundamental supports. And we provide, from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a handy, brief analysis of gender pay gaps.

To close out this discussion, we look at the disparate promises regarding women’s and family issues being made by each of the two major party nominees for President. If the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed into law by President Obama, it’s reasonable ask what legislation is likely to garner the early support either a President Trump or a President Clinton.

Table of Contents:

  1. Socialist Feminism: The Legacy of the “Second Wave” by Linda Gordon
  2. How a Lack of Paid Leave is Making Wealth Inequality Worse by Ruth Milkman
  3. The Real War on Families: Why the U.S. Needs Paid Leave Now by Sharon Lerner
  4. “The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State” Status of Women in the States Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Feb 2016 
  5. Donald Trump Unveils Plan for Families in Bid for Women’s Votes by Nick Corasaniti and Maggie Haberman
  6. Clinton’s Platform: Women’s Rights and Opportunity

Photo by Steve Rainwater via flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Prof. Joshua Freeman on WNYC’s United States of Anxiety

In the lead up to the election, WNYC and the Nation are producing The United States of Anxietya series aimed at exploring the lives and stories of “people trying to hold on to their piece of the American Dream and others who are looking to build one.”

The latest episode, “White Like Me,” dives into experiences of race, dreams and perceptions of some Long Island, and it features Murphy Prof. Joshua Freeman. Prof. Freeman describes how party politics in early US history helped produce the existing racial dynamics in the United States — and also set the tone for the spectacle-like politics we experience today.

Listen here.