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Big achievements of Labor Secretary Tom Perez

Posted by Mary Von Euler on Aug 16 2016
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 We should be celebrating the achievements of Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, which have gone far beyond those of any Secretary since Frances Perkins. He has successfully implemented long-overdue overtime rules, extended labor protections to domestic workers, established new standards for the retirement-advising industry, fostered an executive order to improve labor standards for the federal government's contractors, and provided guidance to stop misclassification of workers as independent contractors. For an excellent article on his achievements for Labor and for civil rights, see "The Subtle Force of Tom Perez" by Justin Miller in the Summer 2016 issue of The American Prospect.

The Labor Departments of the Carter and Clinton administrations pushed for some of these rules, but did so within 60 days of the end of their terms in office, so the Republican successors could reverse them with a stroke of their pens. Secretary Perez's timely action means that the new rules can only be undone by initiating a lengthy rulemaking process or by Act of Congress. We can be sure that Republicans in Congress will do everything they can to undermine these important rules that accomplish a significant step toward restoring middle-class wages for some workers. The retirement adviser rule requires that advisers put their clients' interests above their own financial interests. The overtime rule requires that workers making up to $47,476 be eligible for time-and-a-half for overtime. To my disgust, a Democrat has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives, HR 5813, that would delay implementation of the rule and prevent ensuring that the threshhold keeps up with salary growth over the years.  Please let your Member of Congress know that these rules are important -- albeit insufficent -- steps to lessening inequality.   



Big Democratic Achievements Deserve the Kind of Presentation that Only Creative Colorful Infographics can Convey By Unknown on Nov 05 2016 at 12:13 AM
Americans for Democratic Action and other Democratic Party and Democratic policy champions and stakeholders need to inspire (and occasionally to hire) creative progressives and progressive creatives to design and produce colorful infographics of multiple kinds that lay out the hundreds of important contrasts between Democratic policies, achievements, and (in most cases) officeholders and candidates, and even between 'blue' and 'red' states: timelines, laundry lists, pie charts, bar graphs, Venn diagrams, maps, word clouds, comic strips, slide shows, and much more. Such as these "big achievements of Labor Secretary Tom Perez"; how much have these notable improvements in many Americans' lives been mentioned in this miserable 2016 presidential campaign? In every issue area, Dems have better ideas that serve more people and interests than Repubs -- however imperfect and 'American' Democrats are -- and so creating Democratic majorities in Congress and state legislators will at least give America a shot at improving and helping the country (not to mention the planet) in a way the GOP will never accomplish.

"Blue is Better" might be the overarching title for this political visualization project -- or perhaps for a map-based website that compares the politically-shaped social outcomes and quality of life in Blue States versus Red States.

The 2018 Midterm election begins next week. The Midterm as always will be about D's and R's and about which party elects more members to Congress and to the many state and local elective bodies.

Millennials -- described as a more data-driven generation than their predecessors -- in particular can be reached with political messages that use clear and interesting visual information. And they need to be reached by Democratic messages that move this notoriously politics-shy generation to the polls. All the better if digitally capable millennials are the creative partners (leaders?) in creating this Democratic progressive political visualization enterprise.

Any creative Dems and ADAers who would like to work on this with me (or on your own) are invited to contact me, at greg@newciv.org or (818) 784-0325.

'Crats R Cool!


Gregory Wright
ADA of Southern California
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