Labor Day came and went, and our revived local daily newspaper managed to get through it without coverage about the non-management side of the workplace.
This is historically ignorant, neglects the realities and aspirations of most San Diegans, and shows a blind spot amounting to bias on the part of the UT’s leadership. Nearly one-third of working families in the region struggle to earn enough money to exist on a basic level. I took a break from a relaxing day off to go on a bit of a twitter rant, starting here:
Wow. @sdut does a labor day spread of stories. Organized labor: nothing to see here. “Wages” vs cost of living: nada. Amazon has an “image management” problem. And the GOP Congress is expected to listen to an editorial plea for benefit portability. Wow.
— Doug Porter (@dougporter506) September 3, 2018
Organized labor, for all its warts, represents a constituency more likely to be engaged in the community, and not just in politics.
The UT did give Bridgette Browning and Keith Maddox a Sunday op-ed. That’s nice, but still not actual news.
You wouldn’t know from reading the local paper about Monday’s Labor Council turnout (which included several big name local politicians) to rehab the Martin Luther King recreation center.
Happy #LaborDay San Diego! Thank you @SDLaborCouncil for marking the holiday by sprucing up the MLK Recreation Center in #Encanto. Yet another way unions are serving our communities and investing in our neighborhoods. #1u pic.twitter.com/KKYcRiVM9u
— Todd Gloria (@ToddGloria) September 3, 2018
Or the hotel workers union’s (UNITE HERE Local 30) massive picket line and symbolic civil disobedience at the Westin Gaslamp Marriot (and nationwide).
This Labor Day, stand with hotel workers! Tourism is one of San Diego’s largest industries (nearly 180,000 workers) yet 43% of workers can’t make ends meet. One job should be enough! @UNITEHERE30 UNITE HERE Local 30 https://t.co/2oa3nd5RxW pic.twitter.com/1Q1DjfAMJj
— CM Georgette Gómez (@GGomezD9) September 4, 2018
My beef is not about these stories being covered or not. It’s about coverage in general.
From a marketing perspective, these union folks are more likely to be interested in current events. And the fastest way to sell people on just about anything is to appeal to their self-interests.
The front page of Monday’s paper had charts telling us about the wonderful local economy. That’s good news for company owners and real estate moguls and non-news for what now gets called the “workforce” (wages grew one-quarter of one percent last year) or the fact that bottom wage earners are now making less than they did in 2007.
The Labor Day edition of the UT’s editorial page reflected on the “gig economy,” suggesting good times might be just around the corner thanks to the (invisible hand of the) marketplace. (Love that trickle down from those tax cuts! -NOT)
And postulating that somehow Congress and the administration could come to an agreement regarding the portability of benefits.
Really? Have they actually read any of the legislation making it out of committee these days? How about that guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions covering everything BUT those pre-conditions? How about drug tests for Medicare? How about the madman in the White House?
For all the positive things happening at the Union-Tribune (it is improved), their blind spot on the challenges facing humans living in the zone between utterly impoverished and utterly ignorant of their privilege remains a problem.
Hearings for Donald Trump’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court begin today. It’s going to be contentious; Democrats have no actual leverage to slow the ascent of a nominee so challenged that the Senate’s Majority leader privately advised against this nomination.
Two things worth watching for besides the made-for-TV drama are questions about dissenting opinions from Kavanaugh in which he denied undocumented workers the right to bargain collectively and declined to hold Sea World responsible for a deadly attack on one of its employees by an Orca whale.
The truth is Republicans are rushing through this hearing because Kavanaugh is the least popular nominee in decades and the more the public learns about his record, the less they want him confirmed to the highest court in the land.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 4, 2018
Senator shames GOP: Remember when you blocked Obama’s SCOTUS nominee? https://t.co/oBj3CAmQWK
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) September 4, 2018
The drive to eliminate cash bail in California has spawned the latest in a series of political efforts to maintain the status quo in the criminal justice system, namely that pre-trial detention is based on the premise of some people being more equal than others.
The bail bond industry’s working on qualifying a referendum for the 2020 ballot that would have the effect of putting the new law on hold. Look for TV ads about criminals stealing your stuff and killing your family. Fear, fear, and lies. It’s a potent formula.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The message of their campaign, which would undoubtedly seek to portray the pre-trial release of some criminal defendants as dangerous, could align closely with a different criminal justice measure that’s already earned a spot on the fall 2020 ballot — one seeking to roll back some of the parole eligibility created by Brown’s Proposition 57 in 2016.
Government reformers have long argued the referendum could be the most valuable form of direct democracy because it serves as a check on the power wielded by the Legislature and governor. But it’s an opportunity that, given the cost of collecting signatures and running campaigns, is largely available only to influential interest groups.
As such, the referendum seems best suited to big industries that can account for qualifying a ballot measure and thus lengthening the law-making process as little more than the cost of doing business in the Golden State. And that alone could usher in a fascinating new era for California’s tendency to govern at the ballot box.
Not that they need any help in this area, but former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and Nike are rattling the far right’s hive. Get yer popcorn ready!
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) September 3, 2018
A staycation of sorts: I’m spending this week focusing on research for the San Diego Free Press Progressive Voter Guide. Some of this data collection and analysis will find its way into specific columns over the next month. Also, I have a family reunion thing going on this week that’s serving as a pleasant disruption of my normal routine.
So my posts will be short and sweet over the next few days. And if anything big comes up, like aliens landing on the White House lawn, I’ll check it out.
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