by Sandip Roy
This latest endeavor to get the migrants' vote is a belated acknowledgement of that reality. Until now many states have rolled out services for migrants. Bangalore-based LabourNet issued them identity cards that get them accident insurance coverage and a bank account. Disha Foundation in Nashik has helped them get enrolled in trade unions to protect them from police harassment and wage exploitation. In 2012, Kerala gave away goodwill kits to migrants for Onam - a box with vegetables, rice, oil, sugar, tea and red pepper. But the vote goes way beyond these sops and services.
by Eric K. Arnold
In contrast to more affluent areas of Oakland or nearby Berkeley, rooftop solar installations are uncommon among East and West Oakland flatland residents. This isn’t surprising, considering that the median income in one heavily polluted corridor in the Hegenberger area is under $33,000 annually. Vien Truong, environmental equity director for the Berkeley-based Greenlining Institute, which advocates for communities of color, says that “solar financing is out of reach” for low-income households.
by Jamal Dajani
In a few days, snow will blanket the mountainous areas of Lebanon, where many Syrian refugees live. Throughout the region, a brutal winter is just around the corner, according to weather forecasters. For Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, Jordan and surrounding countries, time is running out. There were 20,000 Syrians living at Zaatari refugee camp when I visited there a year ago. Today, the number exceeds 100,000 crammed into the two-square mile camp.
by Earl Ofari Hutchinson
In the decade before he won the White House, Kennedy said almost nothing about civil rights. In 1957, as a senator he voted against the 1957 civil rights bill. His opposition has been spun two ways; one cynical, one charitable. The cynical spin is he opposed it to appease Southern Democrats because he had an eye on a presidential run in 1960. The charitable spin is that he thought the bill was too weak and ineffectual. Three years later though he ignored the angry shouts from Southern Democrats and lobbied for a forceful civil rights plank in the Democratic Party's 1960 platform.
by Hal Gordon
The words of the Gettysburg Address are so familiar to us today that it is hard to appreciate how radical they were at the time. Our country was neither “conceived in liberty” nor dedicated to “the proposition that all men are created equal.” A third or more of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had been slave owners. Nor was the Civil War being fought over the issue of human equality—at least not at first. Lincoln himself had hedged on this point. At the outset of the hostilities, he insisted that his chief aim was to preserve the union.
by Tyler Huggins
Post-Romney/Ryan defeat, Republicans ordered an autopsy report on their '12 campaign season. The report, entitled the Growth and Opportunity Project exposed several large anachronisms and rifts in the party. To quote directly from the report: "These are voters who recently left the Party [sic]. Asked to describe Republicans, they said that the Party is 'scary,' 'narrow-minded,' and 'out of touch" and that we were a Party of 'stuffy old men.' This is consistent with the findings of other post-election surveys."
by Viji Sundaram
Even though the Affordable Care Act will significantly reduce California’s uninsured population, unless county-run health programs are well funded, those who don’t enroll, or cannot enroll because of their income level or their undocumented status, will be left with an “uneven safety net,” according to a study released last week by the Health Access Foundation. The report comes at a time when counties are making crucial decisions in the coming weeks on the scope of their safety net programs for indigent care after the full implementation of the ACA on Jan. 1, 2014.
by Andrew Lam
For every Syrian who escaped the civil war in his or her homeland by crossing international borders, there are three more displaced within the country. Those who manage to leave become refugees. Those who stay behind remain invisible. But they are part of a growing population of refugees that are often without international support, a sub-group of people whose basic needs are rarely addressed by the global community: the internally displaced.
by Christian V. Esguerra and Marlon Ramos
The distribution of food, water and medicine to typhoon survivors here picked up speed on Thursday after a barrage of criticisms from aid workers and the Philippine and international press forced the Aquino administration to bring order to its response to the calamity caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.” But President Aquino, smarting from the international criticism over his slow response to Yolanda, appealed to the press for “greater accuracy in reports.”
by Louis Nevaer
The Dominican Republic’s Constitution Court ruling on September 23 to strip thousands of individuals born in that Caribbean island nation of citizenship has met with universal condemnation for threatening to create tens of thousands of “stateless” individuals. This contravenes international norms, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which prohibits states from depriving individuals of their nationality.