Unlocked from our Patreon (on pause this summer): Bill and Rachel discuss the failed IWW strike at the Port of Los Angeles in 1923, including Upton Sinclair getting arrested and the Klan menacing strikers.
On June 15, 1990, the LAPD violently smashed up a peaceful march by SEIU janitors in Los Angeles who were trying to grow their membership via new contracts with outsource cleaning service companies. Bill and Rachel discuss.
Description: Kelley, Rachel, and Bill discuss California’s Prop 22 ballot law against independent contractors and New Mexico’s positive reform for public-sector employee unions. Part II coming to the bonus feed.
Description: In 1934, longshoremen along the entire US West coast emerged as a powerful force in organized labor, staging a general strike in San Francisco and unionizing every port on the coast. Kelley, Rachel, and Bill discuss.
Instead of an opt-in provision at the DMV, eligible Californians will now have to opt out of being registered to vote if they wish to remain unregistered, thanks to a law Gov. Jerry Brown signed today, which is set to take effect ahead of the 2016 presidential primary. It was enacted in response to extremely low 2014 turnout in the state — well below 50%.
“The New Motor Voter Act will make our democracy stronger by removing a key barrier to voting for millions of California citizens,” [Secretary of State Alex] Padilla said Saturday. “Citizens should not be required to opt in to their fundamental right to vote. We do not have to opt in to other rights, such as free speech or due process.”
In general, this seems to me like a good idea. I do wonder how well it will work in practice if a lot of people move around (even just to a neighboring precinct) without updating their license and voter registration.
I also wonder how many people who weren’t registered before will now take the opportunity to turn out, but perhaps the campaigns will be able to target Never-Voteds more effectively by mail, phone, and canvassing now that there will be a database identifying them.
This legislation could also prove important for unexpected reasons given an upcoming Supreme Court case concerning redistricting by number of residents versus by number of voters (or other alternative metrics).
California will also be increasing options for early voting ballot dropoffs and vote-by-mail, also in an effort to increase turnout.
Beginning in the late 1970s, Saudi landowners were given free rein to pump the aquifers so that they could transform the desert into irrigated fields. Saudi Arabia soon became one of the world’s premier wheat exporters.
By the 1990s, farmers were pumping an average of 5 trillion gallons a year. At that rate, it would take just 25 years to completely drain Lake Erie.
Now the water is nearly gone. Most of that underground water came from ancient aquifers that are deeply buried and don’t naturally refill for tens of thousands of years.
Definitely read the rest, especially if you aren’t familiar with how broken U.S. water resource policies are.