Paid Sick Days Bill Passes in Newark!!

Newark City Council Members with Sherry Leiwant and other members of the coalition after the vote.

ABB is making a huge difference in New Jersey!! This morning, Sherry testified at the Newark Municipal Council in favor of a paid sick time law, which the Council unanimously passed (here, Sherry is pictured with the coalition and Council Members who passed paid sick days today)! The Newark law is a broad one.  Under it, private-sector workers employed by businesses with 10 or more employees (and all child care, home health care, and food service workers, regardless of the size of their employer) will be able to earn up to 5 paid sick days a year. Workers employed by businesses with fewer than 10 employees will be able to earn up to 3 paid sick days a year. This is truly a victory for all families in Newark.  Which city or state will be next?!
Thank you,
The ABB Team: Sherry, Dina, Phoebe, Jared, Elizabeth, Liz, Risha & Rachel

Protect honeybees

A new highly toxic pesticide is threatening honeybees.
Help save honeybees from death by pesticide.
Tell the EPA to take action and ban this chemical immediately.
take action today

Mark Floegel, Greenpeace

greenpeaceThis week, beekeepers across the country are waking their hives from winter hibernation to pollinate blooming almond orchards in California. But many honeybees won’t buzz back to life at all.
A deadly bee illness called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is sweeping across the US. Just last winter CCD wiped out almost a third of the nation’s hives.
We don’t know all the factors that cause CCD, but we do know one guilty party: A class of pesticides — known as neonicotinoids that studies have shown to weaken, disorient and kill honeybees.
Despite the evidence, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just last year approved a new Dow pesticide called sulfoxaflor, which its own research showed was “highly toxic” to bees. To save the honeybee, the EPA needs to step up. And fast.
Demand that the EPA take its first big step towards saving the bee populations that we all depend on. Tell the agency to ban sulfoxaflor the newest bee-killing pesticide to hit the market.
Because over 115,000 people like you demanded action last year, the EPA made bee health a higher priority adding warning labels on neonic pesticides and even funding new research about their effects this month.
But this progress isn’t enough to save the bees. The agency still hasn’t reversed approval of neonic pesticides. Even poisoning events like the deaths of over 25,000 bumble bees in an Oregon parking lot after pesticide exposure aren’t holding the EPA’s attention.
That’s why beekeepers, farmers and environmental groups have joined together to file a legal brief against the newly approved pesticide sulfoxaflor a chemical the EPA’s own studies admits are essentially bee poison.1 We need public pressure to ensure the EPA takes this legal action seriously and moves faster to protect bees. Tell the EPA to withdraw its approval of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, which its own reports call “highly toxic” to bees.
Convincing the EPA to change course is far from impossible.
After millions of Greenpeace supporters and others spoke for the bees in Europe, the European Union has suspended the use of neonics. And four state legislatures Alaska, Maine, New Jersey and Vermont are looking to do the same. Around the world, governments are realizing that trying to solve all agricultural problems with chemical additives is simply reckless.
Together we can ensure not only that bees are safe, but that our agriculture supports nature, rather than manipulates and destroys it.
For the bees,
Mark Floegel Greenpeace Senior Investigator and Beekeeper
P.S. Help honeybees from dying of pesticide exposure. Tell the EPA to ban sulfoxaflor, a pesticide considered highly toxic to bees.
1. “Center for Food Safety Joins Fight Against Newest Bee-killer, Sulfoxaflor,” Center for Food Safety, December 16th, 2013

Join us for the Unfinished Agenda on February 3rd

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power — A Conversation between Junius Williams and Tom Hayden

Unfinished Agenda.jpg

Junius Williams, attorney, activist, NMAAHC-Library of Congress Civil Rights Oral History Project Participant, will discuss his memoir with Tom Hayden, social and political activist, author, and politician.

Monday, February 3, 2014, 7:00 PM

National Museum of America History Warner Brothers Theater 14th Street and Constitution Ave, NW Washington, DC

Enter through Constitution Ave NW entrance

Free Admission – Seating is First Come, First Served

Metro: Blue and Orange lines at Smithsonian or Federal Triangle stations.

Junius Williams, attorney, activist, and NMAAHC-Library of Congress Civil Rights Oral History Project participant, will discuss his memoir entitled Unfinished Agenda … with Tom Hayden, social and political activist, author, and politician. Both leaders will recall and describe the Northern Urban Civil Rights Movement of the early 60’s, and what brought both men to Newark, NJ. Topics will include Williams’ innovative leadership of the National Bar Association, his long career as an education rights advocate in Newark, NJ as well as his ideas about the evolution and effective use of political power within and by the black community. Books will be available for sale and signing courtesy of Smithsonian Enterprises. The program is free and open to the public on a first come, first seated basis.

Participants include:

Junius Williams.jpg Junius Williams Tom Hayden.jpg Tom Hayden

Free Admission — Seating is First Come, First Served. This event will be Simulcast and Webcast. Please refer to

For more information, please go to, email, or call 202.633.0070

Participants may be filmed, photographed, and recorded for the Smithsonian Institution’s educational and promotional uses.

We’re Just Getting Started


Big News on the Minimum Wage

President Obama hasn’t even taken the podium for tonight’s State of the Union address yet, but he’s already made big news when it comes to the minimum wage.

This morning we learned that the president will use his executive authority to raise the minimum wage paid by federal contractors under new contracts to $10.10 per hour. As CAP’s Neera Tanden said today, the move “will put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans, who will spend it in their communities and help drive our economic growth.”

In addition to demonstrating the president’s commitment to creating an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few, which he recently called “the defining challenge of our time,” it underscores another theme we’re expecting to play a big role in tonight’s speech: action.

The current, Republican-controlled Congress is the least productive in history and has refused to even vote on popular items like universal background checks for gun buyers and immigration reform. Today’s announcement on the minimum wage shows that the president understands that we cannot afford to wait for a Do-Nothing Congress to help solve our country’s problems.

That said, the minimum wage is a great example of an area where a willing Congress can work with the president to immediately improve the lives of millions of Americans and help build a stronger economy with greater opportunities for all Americans. While the president’s executive action will help a lot of low-wage workers and is a major victory, Congressional action is required to raise the minimum wage nationwide.

Here are a few numbers to know about increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour:

73……the percentage of Americans who support it.

53……the percentage of Republicans who support it.

273……the ratio of the average CEO salary to that of the average worker. In 1965, CEOs made only 20 times the salary of the average worker.

$10.46……what the minimum wage would have been in 2012 if it had simply kept up with inflation since 1968.

$18.72……what the minimum wage would have been in 2012 if it had kept pace with gains in worker productivity since 1968.

$28.34……what the minimum wage would have been in 2012 if it had grown at the same rate as the wages of the top 1 percent since 1968.

$15,080……the annual earnings of a full-time minimum-wage worker at today’s $7.25 per hour minimum wage, which is $4,000 below the poverty line for a family of three.

17,000,000……the number of women, who make up approximately 2/3 of low-wage workers, whose wages would rise.

28,000,000……the number of workers whose wages would rise.

$32,600,000,000……the increase in economic activity during the period it is being phased in.

$51,000,000,000…..the increased wages that workers would earn while it is being phased in.

As you can see from these numbers, it’s well past time to raise the minimum wage for all workers. So when it comes to the president’s plan to raise the wages of federal contractors, we’re just getting started. The Senate is going to vote on a bill to raise the minimum wage for everyone, no matter where they live. It’s time for the House of Representatives to do the same.

And while we’re getting started, here are five other big ideas to help create an economy that works for everyone.

BOTTOM LINE: Raising the minimum wage will provide Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead while giving the economy a needed shot in the arm. With a higher minimum wage, workers will have more money to spend, which in turn gives businesses more customers—helping them to hire more workers. This will kick-start a growing economy that will create more opportunities for those who work hard.

.77 cents

AAUW Action Network

Today, American women are still typically paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, nine out of 10 American workers don’t have paid family leave, and nearly 40 million don’t have a single paid sick day – not to mention the critical need for affordable, quality child care.

We can change that.

On January 29, AAUW, our allies, and champions in Congress invite you to join an unprecedented national conversation about these issues and the changes that will advance income equality and economic security for women and families in America.

Can you make it? Here are the details:

WHAT: Let’s Talk About It: Advancing Women and Families in 2014
A national tele-townhall event on fair pay, paid leave, and access to child care

WHEN: Wednesday, January 29, at 8:30 p.m. ET
Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

WHERE: From the comfort of your own phone
No numbers to dial, we’ll call you to connect to the event


Fair pay, paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, and affordable child care are fundamental policy reforms that need to be on the national agenda. Hear from – and ask questions of – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Lilly Ledbetter, working women from across America, and congresswomen championing these critical issues.

RSVP now to join the January 29th call!