By Doug Porter
Fast food restaurants in 270 cities nationwide will see strikes and picket lines next Tuesday as organizers with the Fight for $15 seek to widen the impact of the movement to include influencing the 2016 general election. These rallies will include a protest by several thousand workers at the Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee.
In San Diego, media have already been alerted to strike activity at a McDonalds location on Park Boulevard starting at 7am. Other fast food locations will be targeted throughout the day.
Twin rallies at City College (3pm) and the Front Street State Building (4pm) will feed into a citywide mass rally at San Diego City Hall at 5pm. California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Shirley Weber will be among the featured speakers at that event.
The expansion of the Fight for $15 into the 2016 political arena marks the latest sign of the mounting political power of underpaid workers who, just three years ago launched their movement for higher pay and union rights in New York City.
Issues that Matter
The demand for $15/hr is already helping to define the 2016 presidential race. Organizers are using these rallies as the starting point for a voter turnout effort built around . around issues of higher pay, union rights, improved child care and home care, racial justice and immigration reform— issues identified by underpaid workers as key factors in whether they will go to the polls for a candidate.
The National Employment Law Project recently commissioned a poll of workers making less that $15 an hour focusing on what could motivate them to become more engaged in the political process. Based on what the survey results indicated, they project as many as 48 million potential voters would turn out if there were candidates who backed higher pay and union rights.
The NELP discovered that 69% of unregistered voters would register to vote if there was a candidate who supported $15/hr and a union; and that 65% of registered voters paid less than $15/hr would be more likely to vote if there was a candidate who supported $15/hr and a union. Seventy-six percent of the underpaid workers surveyed said they would pledge to vote for candidates who support $15 and a union.
Over the next year, the plan is to engage this untapped voter group around issues of higher pay, union rights, improved child care and home care, racial justice and immigration reform— issues identified by underpaid workers as key factors in whether they will go to the polls for a candidate.
This potential voting bloc is much larger than most people realize. Forty-two percent of workers in America are paid less than $15, including 48% of women, 54% of African Americans, and 60% of Latinos.
From USA Today:
“This set of issues can motivate voters who have not been engaged in the election process” and tip races in swing states, says Neera Tanden, president of the liberalCenter for American Progress.
Terrence Wise, 36, of Kansas City, Mo., earns $8 an hour at jobs at McDonald’s and Burger King and has participated in earlier protests. He says he has never voted because, “I truly thought my vote wouldn’t matter much,” and he was just “trying to make it to the next day.”
But noting that the low-paid worker demonstrations have led to significant advances, he plans to vote for the first time next year. “I’m seeing I can make a change,” he says.
Local Strategy: June, then November Voter Turnout
San Diego organizers say they intend to organize around getting voter turnout in June 2016 for a more modest local minimum wage increase deferred by a hospitality industry-funded referendum petition and misinformation campaign.
Passage of the local measure would result in an almost immediate $1.50 per hour wage increase for near 170,000 workers in the city.
The plan is to then actively boost turnout in the fall general election in support of a (yet to be determined) statewide measure increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour over a several year period and mandating future increases based on inflation.
For more information: Facebook.com/fightfor15sandiego, twitter.com/SanDiego_FF15, Follow the hashtag: #FightFor15
On to other news…
FBI Files on San Diego’s Church of Satan
The crew at Muckrock.com publicize data revealed through Freedom of Information requests on a wide variety of subjects. Sometimes the results can be frightening, showing government intrusion into areas of questionable law enforcement value. Sometimes it’s just strange.
Files released to Evan Anderson show that FBI’s San Diego field office first started looking into the Church of Satan in 1983, following allegations that the group was kidnapping children for “use in their church rituals.”
This investigation appeared to have ended as quickly as it began, due to the minor technicality of there being no evidence any of these abductions ever happening.
Four years later the same source –who the bureau thought had some credibility– contacted them again, saying the kidnapped children may have been brought in from other areas of the country.The investigation was closed again for lack of actual identifiable victims.
Back to Muckrock’s succinct analysis:
What’s the takeaway here? If somebody tells you they’ve got dirt on the Church of Satan, make sure they know what the Hell they’re talking about.
Friday Calendar: Upcoming Events in San Diego
Joe Hill 100 Roadshow San Diego Concert
Thursday, November 5th 6:30- 9:30pm
San Diego Education Association
10393 San Diego Mission Road
Sign Up & Info
A national concert tour of labor and folk songs honoring Joe Hill on the centenary of his execution. Featuring Chris Chandler, George Mann & David Rovics. Sliding Scale Donation $5-$15. Nobody turned away for lack of funds.
Three Wise Men Tribute
Saturday, November 7th 6-10pm
USS Midway Museum
Sign Up & Info
The Midway event runs 6:00 to 10:00pm and will feature an athletic tribute workout by professional athletes from across the country, complimentary food from Slater’s 50/50, music from Jumping Jack Flash (a Rolling Stones tribute band), and local craft beer for a crowd of 1000+ guests. Proceeds from the Three Wise Men Tribute will be given to the Navy Seal Foundation and Valor Ventures, a veteran’s entrepreneurship program.
People for Bernie Sanders Enough is Enough Rally
Saturday, November 7th 11am
NEW LOCATION: Bea Evenson Fountain in Balboa Park, right in front of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.
Sign Up & Info
This is a Pro Bernie Sanders/Multi Issue rally, if you don’t support Bernie but support a majority of his platform this rally is for you also. We fight for the same things and a united left is needed to slow the advance of the right wing. Solidarity is needed if we want too see a positive change for the country. Are you ready for a Political Revolution!
What we stand for: We are the 99%, we believe in Black Lives Matter, we believe that Corporations are not people, we believe that we should not be kicking out 11.3 Million immigrants, we believe that money should stay out of politics, we believe in Peace and the right to earn a livable wage, we believe Healthcare is a right and not a privilege, we believe in free public school education, we believe in a Women’s right to choose, we believe in Gay rights and we believe Climate Change is a reality and not a myth! Join us in the Political Revolution!!!!
Rally for $15 and Political Power
Tuesday, November 10th 5pm
San Diego City Hall
202 C Street
Sign Up & Info
We are one year away from the next presidential election and we are the new electorate. We are the 42% of the population that make less than $15/hr, we are black and brown, we are the undocumented mothers and fathers of US citizens. We are not going to back down!
We call on corporate CEOs to raise pay and respect our right to for unions without retaliation.
And we ‘ll call on our elected representatives to stop letting the wealthy and powerful write rules in their favor.
Together we can work to end racism and oppression, create a path to citizenship for immigrants, and fight for wages and work that strengthens our communities.
Vets for Peace Hometown Arlington West Memorial
Wednesday, November 11th, 8am – 5pm
USS Midway Museum
The memorial consists of Arlington Cemetery replica headstones with the name, local city and date of death for the 300+ service members from southern California who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Visitors are encouraged to stop by, honor the fallen, take a turn reading from the list of the 6500 fallen from the entire US, and reflect on the overall cost of war. For additional information, please call 858-342-1964.
#MillionStudentMarch UC San Diego
Thursday, November 12th, Noon
UCSD, Silent Tree outside Geisel Library
Sign Up & Info
The #MillionStudentMarch demands three key things:
1 – Tuition-free public college
2 – Cancellation of all student debt
3 – $15/hr campus-wide minimum wage at every college in the country
None of these has happened. Even the $15/hr wage announced by President Napolitano doesn’t cover any student jobs under 20 hours a week.
The UC is a public university system under attack by predatory lenders, ignorant corporate leadership, and the forces of capitalism that oppress students and promote inequality of race, gender, orientation, and immigration status.
Sponsored locally by the UC Student-Worker Union San Diego (UAW 2865), Tritons for Bernie Sanders, 15 Now San Diego, Socialist Alternative at UCSD, and Students for Free Tuition (SFT).
3rd Annual San Diego Literary Gala
Friday, November 13th, 6:30-9pm
New San Diego Central Library
330 Park Blvd, San Diego
Sign Up & Info
Join the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation as we celebrate three years of preserving, promoting, and teaching works by LGBT artists of color and help us raise critical funds for our important programs. This year’s gala will feature Obama Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco; this prestigious post has only been occupied by five poets in our nation’s history. In addition to literary delights, this special fundraising event will have a fully hosted bar and delicious hors d’oeuvres!
On This Day: 1854 – Composer John Philip Sousa was born 1887 – French transport worker and socialist Eugene Pottier died in Paris at age 71. In 1871 he authored “L’Internationale,” the anthem to international labor solidarity, the first verse of which begins: “Stand up, damned of the Earth; Stand up, prisoners of starvation” 1986 – U.S. intelligence sources confirmed a story run by the Lebanese magazine Ash Shiraa that reported the U.S. had been secretly selling arms to Iran in an effort to secure the release of seven American hostages.
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