fresh voices from the front lines of change







Sanders Eyes Platform

Bernie Sanders address brings attention to party platform: “…we must take [our] energy into the Democratic National Convention … the Democratic Party must support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour … We must defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership and make certain that that bad trade deal does not get a vote in a lame-duck session of Congress … we need to pass modern-day Glass-Steagall legislation…”

And urges supporters to run for local office: “…we need many of them to start running for school boards, city councils, county commissions, state legislatures and governorships … Please go to my website at to learn more about how you can effectively run for office…”

Democratic establishment figures press Sanders to endorse. Bloomberg: “‘He risks throwing it all away if he doesn’t quickly endorse Hillary Clinton,’ [former Harry Reid aide Jim] Manley said. ‘He still thinks he’s got a lot of leverage and every day that goes by he’s losing it. They might’ve been more inclined to take some of his concerns more seriously than maybe they need to now.'”

The People’s Summit meets today in Chicago to chart progressive path forward: “…we seek to bring together activists committed to a different kind of agenda: a People’s Agenda that can enhance and expand issue campaigns and hold all elected officials accountable to popular demands for justice, equality and freedom … we will plan how to move our People’s Agenda nationally and locally to help build the broad movement for people and the planet.”

Sen. Collins Offers Gun Compromise

Republican senator tries to break gridlock on purchases by suspected terrorists. NYT: “…the proposal by [Sen. Susan] Collins is a long-shot, but it seems to stand at least some chance … [It] would bar the sale of guns to terrorism suspects who appear on either the government’s no-fly list or the so-called ‘selectee’ list, in which individuals are subjected to additional security screening before being allowed to board an airplane … her measure does not require federal prosecutors to demonstrate ‘probable cause’ … [She] has proposed an appeals process that would award attorney’s fees to anyone who successfully challenged the government’s effort to prevent the sale of a firearm.”

Sen. Chris Murphy wants to build an “outside political movement” for new gun laws. Roll Call: “…he pledged to use any increased fundraising and organizing clout he may have gained from this week’s filibuster to help elect candidates who think like him.”

Philly Passes Soda Tax

How Philly passed a soda tax. New Yorker’s Vauhini Vara: “By a vote of fourteen to three, the city council approved a surcharge of 1.5 cents per ounce to be applied to sugary drinks … In 2010 and 2011, [Mayor Jim] Kenney’s predecessor, Michael Nutter, had used a health-oriented message to try to build a soda tax into his budget. It hadn’t worked … But Philadelphia, like many U.S. cities, is struggling to find revenue to fund its public programs, and Kenney came around to the idea that a soda tax might not be a bad option to raise the money.”

California, Kansas show value of progressive taxation. W. Post: “In 2012, voters in California approved a measure to raise taxes on millionaires … Also that year, the governor of Kansas signed a series of changes to the state’s tax code, including reducing income and sales tax rates … California’s economy grew by 4.1 percent in 2015 … The Kansas economy, on the other hand, grew 0.2 percent in 2015.”

Breakfast Sides

Sen. Harry Reid “compliments” Sen. Mitch McConnell on Merrick Garland strategy. NYT quotes: “If anybody can get his senators to all agree to go over a cliff and kill themselves, that’s pretty good … If I ever suggested something as absurd and bizarre as that to my caucus, they would revote and kick the hell out of me out of the caucus.”

“China Spends More on Infrastructure Than the U.S. and Europe Combined” reports Bloomberg: “Despite a crying need for better infrastructure, investment in it has fallen in 10 major economies, including the U.S., since the financial crisis, according to a new study by the McKinsey Global Institute. Meanwhile, China is still going gangbusters on roads, bridges, sewers, and everything else that makes a country run.”

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