A Hug from the President
President Barack Obama hugs Vice President Joe Biden following his election night remarks at a reception at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 6, 2012. Joining them on stage are First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Here’s a sad fact: Each year millions of American families forgo valuable income when they fail to claim tax credits for which they are eligible.
That means that millions of dollars of tax credits go unclaimed every year. Tax credits — including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) — provide an indispensable financial boost to vulnerable women and families struggling to make ends meet. But women and their families have to know about these tax benefits in order to claim them.
This is why we need your help to spread the word about tax credits. And this is why we are so delighted to debut our new and improved Tax Credits Outreach Resources. We’ve made it easier than ever for advocates to spread the word about these credits.
Our new resources include:
If you work or volunteer with families that are likely eligible for tax credits and/or in a program that supports children and families, you can help get the word out! Simply hanging fliers in classrooms, hallways, and offices, sending them home with young children, or talking about tax credits at parent meetings could make a difference for the families you work with. Be sure to let us know how you’re spreading the word about tax credits, or if there’s anything we can do to help, by emailing Amy Qualliotine at email@example.com.
Thanks for all that you do to help families learn about tax credits!
P.S. If you missed our webinar “Tax Credits Outreach Made Easy: Tips & Tools for Advocates,” you can find a recording of the presentation here.
|They’re at it again.
If you saw the President’s press conference today, it’s become clear that the right-wing noise machine has chosen to start to launch smears against potential Obama administration nominees, before they’re even nominated. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham are already smearing Ambassador Susan Rice, who might be a nominee for Secretary of State.
And now, the right is even raising old, debunked Swift Boat attacks against Senator John Kerry.
On his FOX News show, last night, Sean Hannity (who never served a day in his life) promised an “investigative” report into Senator Kerry, a decorated Veteran, who volunteered for the war in Vietnam. Let’s put an end to this now.
According to Hannity, Senator Kerry needs to be “vetted,” and he’s just the guy to do it.
In reality, Hannity’s just planning to rehash the Swift Boating that occurred in 2004 – a blatant smearing of a Veteran who served our nation with honor. It’s disgusting.
Let’s stop this all of this smearing before it starts. Click here to sign our petition, today.
Thanks for your support.
Walmart has responded to workers voicing legitimate concerns with harsh retaliation.
Demand that Walmart’s Board meet with workers and improve working conditions:
Retail workers at Walmart stores nationwide recently went on strike — for the first time in the megastore’s 50-year history.1
Unless Walmart takes immediate steps to improve basic working conditions, workers throughout the company’s vast operations — from factories and warehouses to retail stores — will participate in a massive walkout on Friday, November 23. “Black Friday” is traditionally the most important shopping day of the year for retailers, comprising upwards of 20-40% of their annual sales.2
Black workers comprise nearly 20% of Walmart’s workforce. By supporting Walmart workers in the fight for good jobs and a decent working environment, we can help raise the standard for the entire retail industry and show Walmart executives that there’s a price to pay for exploiting its workforce.
Walmart is the largest retailer in the world and claims to be the largest employer of Black workers in the United States.3 With Black unemployment at 14.3%,4 many in our communities are increasingly reliant upon Walmart for employment — particularly where the retail giant has actively worked to price out smaller competitors.
Yet landing a job at Walmart is hardly a guarantee of a steady paycheck. More often, Walmart jobs serve to keep members of our community in poverty. Wages averaging $8.81/hour add up to just $15,576/year for a full-time employee.5 And even this level of remuneration is out of reach for many — Walmart routinely keeps workers from getting enough hours during the week, and arbitrarily switches up available hours to prevent workers from seeking supplemental employment elsewhere.6 It’s no accident that Walmart consistently has the largest number of employees who rely on public assistance.7
For over a year now, workers have been calling on Walmart to reform the company’s notoriously exploitative practices with regard to wages, scheduling, benefits and workplace safety. Walmart’s response has been ruthless. Workers brave enough to speak up have been slapped with retaliatory disciplinary actions including cutbacks on hours and even firings, while the company and Walton family continue rake in massive profits off the backs millions of low-wage workers.8
Privately-held Walmart has made the Waltons extraordinarily wealthy — this one family controls a fortune equal to the wealth of the bottom 42% of Americans combined.9 Yet the Waltons have refused to take even the most modest steps to address the yawning inequality driven by Walmart’s labor practices. Walmart could take action today to raise wages to $12/hour10 — substantially improving the lives of its lowest-paid hourly workers, 72% of whom are women11 — if there were political will to end the company’s culture of worker abuse.
What happens at Walmart has ramifications far beyond the walls of any of its stores. To date, Walmart has set the standard for driving down wages and maximizing profits. Instituting positive change at Walmart could effectively transform the retail industry and improve working conditions for millions of Americans.
Please join us to demand that Walmart’s Board meet with workers, and take immediate steps to implement fair pay and working conditions. And when you do, please ask your friends and family to do the same.
Thanks and peace,
– Rashad, Matt, Arisha, Aimée, Kim, Johnny and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
November 15th, 2012
1. “Walmart Strikes Mark New Chapter In Labor’s Fight With Mega-Retailer,” Huffington Post, 10-15-12
2. “Holiday FAQ,” National Retail Federation, accessed on 11-13-12
3. “Will Black Friday Be Blue for Wal-Mart?,” The Root, 10-13-12
5. “Fact Sheet: Wages,” Making Change at Walmart, accessed on 11-14-12
6. “Some Walmart workers want better wages, affordable benefits,” USA Today, 06-08-12
7. “Hidden Taxpayer Costs: Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs,” Good Jobs First, 01-18-12
8. “Wal-Mart punishes its workers,” Salon, 07-26-12
9. “Walmart Worker Speaks Out: Raise the Minimum Wage to Get My Vote,” Huffington Post, 08-03-12
10. “Living Wage Policies and Big-Box Retail,” UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, 04-01-12 (.pdf)
11. “Everyday Discrimination: Why the Wal-Mart sex-bias lawsuit is the most important case the Supreme Court will hear this year,” Slate, 03-28-11
A Few Good Engineers
The United States is moving toward a clean energy economy and we need engineers to help educate policy makers, the media, and the public about the progress we’re already making and how we can continue moving forward.
Right now, Union of Concerned Scientists staff are meeting and talking with engineers at the annual meetings of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).
Are you an engineer? If yes, let us know!
Do you have friends who are engineers? Forward this message to them.
Not an engineer? Your voice is still critical to addressing the impacts of climate change, cutting our oil use, and bringing cleaner sources of energy online. Read more about our work on global warming, clean vehicles, and clean energy.
National Field Organizer
Climate & Energy Program
Union of Concerned Scientists
National Field Organizer
Clean Vehicles Program
Union of Concerned Scientists