Economic Justice

April 29, 2011

"Justice delayed is justice denied." -- William E. Gladstone, British statesman and prime minister, 1809-1898

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About 1 million women, according to the Cancer Prevention Coalition (preventcancer.com), work in industries that expose them to more than 50 carcinogens linked to breast cancer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a large number of cases, cancer is preventable. This fact applies especially to carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals in the workplace.

“At least one in every 10 cancers – and probably many more – is the result of preventable, predictable workplace exposures,” according to Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer: Union Guide to Prevention.

Peace and justice summit focuses on grass roots organizing

April 1, 2011

This year’s Midwest Peace and Justice Summit, the seventh annual, bristled with ideas for social justice activists. It took place March 26 on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis and was sponsored by the IUPUI chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.

The all-day, free summit began with a plenary session on grassroots organizing: from the Middle East to the Midwest, by two state activists, Omar Atia, president of Bridge, and Allison Luthe, community activist with Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, with Carl Davidson, a long-time activist and writer from western Pennsylvania, moderating.

Union, I-69 protesters picket governor, Chamber of Commerce

March 31, 2011

Jean Smith holds one end of a 7-feet-long poster that first entered the protesting scene five years ago. It should be a third longer, she said.

“It’s the cost of I-69 expressed in millions,” the longtime opponent of the Interstate 69 extension from Evansville to Indianapolis via Bloomington said, looking down at the small numbers. “When I printed this, the state said it cost $1.8 billion, but we estimated that it cost $3 billion. The state now admits that it’s $3 billion."

Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR) has calculated the cost to be $4 billion, so the poster should be longer.

Service agencies anticipate resource drops in times of need

March 5, 2011

Federal funding keeps the Middle Way House (MWH) emergency shelter running. It keeps the heat on, it keeps the water running, and it provides money for a full-time staff.

“It’s absolutely required to have 24-hour-a-day staffing,” said Toby Strout, director of MWH. “We’re not allowed to have volunteers.”

That funding might be cut this year due to the passing of H.R. 1 -- the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011.

February 23, 2011

News Release
Citizens Action Coalition, AARP Indiana, Save the Valley, Valley Watch Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club

On Feb. 23, 2011, a coalition of consumer and environmental organizations blasted Senate Bill 251, contending that it is a utility wish list inimical to consumer interests and economic stability. S.B. 251 was approved on Tuesday, Feb. 22 by a vote of 32-17 and will now to be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Grant Smith, Executive Director of Citizens Action Coalition (CAC), said, “SB 251 does three things: First, the legislation is designed to enable utilities to pursue financially high-risk investments, like nuclear power, that they would otherwise avoid. Secondly, it is designed to deregulate large portions of utility revenue over time. Finally, SB 251 all but eliminates the possibility of a robust, homegrown renewable energy sector for Indiana."


February 18, 2011

Food Works for Middle Way House sits opposite of the Boys and Girls Club across Third Street Park in the former Coca-Cola building. Blueberry and melon plants fill the patches of land around the recently opened kitchen. A rooftop garden with solar cells rests atop the childcare center next door.

The area exudes a sense of growth -- from the locally grown produce used in the kitchen’s recipes to the women working inside the store.

“My goal is to work with a woman and get her regular and stable hours,” said Donna Storm, the kitchen’s business and operations manager.

February 11, 2011

News Release
Citizens Action Coalition

The Citizens Action Coalition (CAC) has called for the immediate withdrawal of Senate Bill 251. The legislation, according to the CAC, would, for all practical purposes, eliminate ratepayer protections under the law and provide monopoly electric utilities the means for unlimited profits on the backs of their captive ratepayers and the Indiana economy.

Grant Smith, CAC's Executive Director, said, "Utility companies have tried for years to pass similar provisions. Those bills were ultimately rejected due to their negative impact on homeowners and businesses; the bulk of the Indiana economy. Senators Gard, Merritt, Hershman and Boots must think that excessively high, unaffordable utility bills are good for the economy. They have adopted in SB 251 the monopoly utility agenda hook, line, and sinker. There is absolutely no balancing act here.'"


February 5, 2011

Kathyrn Shaw fiddled with her hands as she waited for her ride at the South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) office. She had missed her appointment for the Energy Assistance Program earlier in the week and called Thursday morning to make another. They told her to come in later that day.

"When I lost all my income, I realized I needed to use the program," she said. "I was on disability for about 10 years."

Shaw took off her right-hand glove to reveal shaking fingers -- disabling rheumatoid arthritis.


February 4, 2011

The tragedy at the World Trade Center (WTC) on Sept. 11, 2001, continues to affect many thousands of first responders who sacrificed their own health while restoring lower Manhattan and attempting to recover survivors and victims' remains.

Recently, H.R. 847, otherwise known as the James Zadroga Bill, was signed by President Obama in an effort to provide services and compensation for those whose health was compromised through exposure to the toxic dust and gases at Ground Zero. However, these first responders also need help to understand how their illnesses originated so that improvements in treatment can be made.

January 29, 2011

Bloomington activist Paul Smith has discovered a heretofore unrecognized talent as a lyricist and has begun penning verse for the Bloomington-based songstresses the Raging Grannies. Here is the first. - sh

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Tax cuts for the rich

Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Obama's seen the glory of the tax cuts for the rich;
He got them through the congress without a single hitch;
Higher taxes for the poor will leave them clean without a stitch;
It's tax cuts for the rich!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Tax cuts for the rich will screw ya!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Wall Street is marching on.

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