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Looking Ahead: Women and the Affordable Care Act

By Julie Rabinovitz

This is an exciting time for women’s health care.  More than 9 million people now have access to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, with close to a quarter of those being women who were previously without coverage.  Even as U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation as the first open enrollment period came to a close, there is much to celebrate moving forward.

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Jensen Campaign: Dirty or Just Dumb?

By The Left Hook

The political action committee supporting Kevin Jensen for Sheriff can’t seem to get it right.  First they appeared to have violated campaign contribution laws .  Now – believe it or not — they have sent out a mailer that appears to be an invitation to identity theft. 

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Apple SF tax day protest

Security Officers, Community Supporters Urge Apple to Pay Taxes for Bay Area Upkeep

By Alfredo Fletes

As millions of Americans pay income taxes today, Bay Area security officers and community supporters called on Apple Inc. to pay taxes on some of an estimated $102 billion the company is holding overseas. Activists gathered outside a San Francisco Apple store and encouraged customers to participate in a mock $15 billion “mail-in rebate” to highlight how the company’s unpaid tax revenues could build a stronger Bay Area community. 

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Policy Watch: Your weekly tip sheet for what’s going on in your community

By Dennis Raj

 Santa Clara Co. Board of Supervisors

1. Janitorial Services: worker retention and living wage

The County is cutting down on the number of companies it had janitorial contracts with from 6 to 2.  The new contracts with Pride Industries and Universal Janitorial for janitorial services at county offices include requirements to retain workers from the old contractor and make sure those new companies comply with living wage ordinances in the local jurisdictions within the country.  

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Recent Articles


Sam Liccardo’s Big Cheat

By Steve Kline

When I filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission and the San Jose Ethics Commission against mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo, I did so because I take laws seriously.  Liccardo has cheated his way through the early part of the campaign to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and he shouldn’t get away with it.

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Whopper of the Week: Measure B discussion leads to multiple whoppers

By Bob Brownstein

On Tuesday, April 8th, the San Jose City Council approved an ordinance to provide for the hiring cops or firefighters who are denied disability pensions under Measure B. The discussion of the item provided a rare event – 3 Galactic Whoppers and 1 Mega-Whopper at a single meeting.

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The Dirtiest Campaign

By The Left Hook

Ironically, the dirtiest campaign so far this election season may be the one run by law enforcement officers.  Today’s complaint to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) about the campaign to elect Kevin Jensen Sheriff raises serious questions about legality of Jensen’s campaign activities and the campaign activities of his two sponsors, the Deputy Sheriffs Association (DSA) and the Correctional Peace Officers Association (CPOA).  The complaint, which is attached below, alleges that Jensen , the DSA and the CPOA blatantly violated the legal limit on political contributions. Read more »


Bob Kieve is wrong, for once

By Rich Robinson

Recently, Bob Kieve gave a personal opinion on his radio station KLIV that was dead wrong. Kieve attacked Supervisor Dave Cortese and said the most important issue in the Mayor’s race was Labor’s support for him. He opined that such a result would be bad for San Jose.

The real issue in this race is who can bring San Jose together. The false choice of labor versus business is simply a creation of the politics of division that has not served this city well for the last 7 years. It doesn’t have to be that way.

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Mozilla Made the Right Call: Not All Speech is Equal

By Ben Spielberg

Mozilla’s selection of Brendan Eich for CEO on March 24 prompted widespread outrage because of a $1,000 donation he made to the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 campaign in 2008.  Eich resigned ten days after his promotion.

Conor Friedersdorf and Andrew Sullivan are two of the most prominent pro-gay rights writers to denounce Eich’s “forced resignation.”  Friedersdorf worries that the anti-Eich movement will have “a chilling effect on political speech and civic participation.”  Sullivan goes even farther and writes, “This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance.”

Friedersdorf’s and Sullivan’s concerns are understandable, but their arguments paint an inaccurate picture of the effects of Prop 8, confuse the distinction between private and public views, and mistakenly equate two very different types of political speech and behavior. Read more »

Medi-cal cuts

“Is California Really ‘Progressive’ For Low-Income Patients?”

By Lupe Rodriguez

California made front-page headlines recently for passing some of the most progressive laws in the country on issues involving reproductive rights and health. And, it’s true, we did pass a groundbreaking law that increases access to abortion services by expanding the types of clinicians who can provide them as well as passing laws to increase the medical privacy protections for people who have private insurance.  

But these “progressive” laws benefit the middle class more than they do the poorest communities who need the laws most.   Read more »

Pay To

The Crime We Don’t Discuss in Silicon Valley

By Ruth Silver Taube and Maria Noel Fernandez

 Joe had worked at a local restaurant for two years for just $7 an hour, with no overtime pay and forced to work off the clock after his shift with only a 10 minute lunch break.  The last straw came when three paychecks bounced.  When he asked for his pay, he was immediately fired.  The good news – he filed a claim with the Labor Commission and won.  The bad news- it’s been two years, Joe hasn’t seen a dime and his employer continues to operate his business. Read more »

filipino workers

The Pivotal Role of Filipino Farmworkers

By William Chiang

A few days before what would’ve been Cesar Chavez’s 87th birthday, a biographic film of his life was released in major theaters.  The film chronicles the birth of the American labor movement and tells the story of how Chavez used his platform of nonviolence to combat the gross violation of farm workers’ rights. Chavez ignited a civil and human rights movement grounded on the power of grassroots movements that we still continue to move forward today.

 In light of the triumphant stories exhibited in the film, the pivotal role of Filipino-American farmworkers was underrepresented. Filipino farm workers were on the front lines of the breakthrough Delano grape strike of 1965. Read more »

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Whopper of the Week: A message from the world of consistent logic.

By Bob Brownstein

Ok, I admit it. I’m writing a Whopper critique of a column in the Wall Street Journal – which is kind of like fishing in your bathtub. But I’m busy this week so excuse me for going after the low hanging fruit.

My target is Daniel Henninger’s article of March 26th which is titled, “Why Can’t the Left Govern?”

Obviously if Mr. Henninger is going to analyze why the left can’t govern, he first has to prove that it is in fact unable to govern. Read more »

cesar chavez movie

The Cesar Chavez Movie and Why It Matters

By Louie Rocha

On Friday, March 28, the movie about the iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez and the farm worker movement will be released nationwide.  The reason I will be viewing it several times is: it is a family affair and it’s personal.  This is why the movie, “Cesar Chavez” matters.

 As an organizer for the CWA Local 9423, the challenges to organizing are always present: late hours; worker intimidation by anti-union employers; labor laws that are not vigorously enforced, to  name a few.  These obstacles to building worker power are seen day in and day out not only in Silicon Valley but across the country.  Now imagine trying to organize agricultural workers facing the worst working conditions and the most abusive employers.  This was the reality of organizing farm workers in the 1960’s and it is the reality today.   Read more »


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